Toxic masculinity. If you talk to any of my friends they’ll tell you its something that gets me going. I might be a sarcastic bitch, but I’m also very empathetic, a little bit glitter obsessed, fond of fruity drinks, a lover of poetry, children and animals, and more than capable of laying down a verbal smackdown on anyone who suggests boys can’t be all those thing too; its something I pride myself on. My ability to own my own femininity and my own emotions, and to show kindness to others is something I’m proud of, and to think that men are prevented and shunned for presenting or having or enjoying any of those supposedly feminine traits/things is not only extremely disrespectful, it is frankly ridiculous. And here’s some facts to prove I’m right:
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50. Fact.
Suicide is indeed the biggest killer in men under 50 in this country, wanna know why?…
Men are less likely to seek mental health treatment than women. Fact.
Yet another fact. Likely stemming from the emasculation associated with mental health care and the general and well established belief (perpetuated by pop culture and arseholes) that having emotions, feelings, issues and being neurologically atypical is some how inherently feminine, or at least not masculine. I imagine this issue is exacerbated by the fact that men have been shown to be less likely to seek medical attention generally than women. Don’t believe me? When was the last time your dad/ brother/ grandpa/uncle/ male friend went to the doctors? Even when he knew he was sick? Exactly. Still don’t believe me? Hit up google. It’s the truth.
Now this is probably the time to stress that I am not discussing masculinity in the sense of ones own masculine traits or indeed in any form of personal expression, or how someone feels etc. I’m talking about masculinity in the sense of societally encouraged, constructed and reinforced ideals that mandate the way in which people are allowed to behave and/or express their own gender. Onto more facts:
Men are encouraged to present a multitude of emotions through violence from a young age as a way to assert their own masculinity, thus reinforcing ideas of men as violent abusers. Fact.
Again, if you don’t believe me hit up google, you can read about it. The notion that men are naturally violent or more likely to be abusers is founded in the way we teach boys to express themselves, through anger. I’d go into more detail about it but I don’t know enough to comment with conviction, so take my word and read into it yourself if you want to know more.
Male victims of abuse, particularly sexual abuse, are not only less likely to come forward, they are less likely to see their abuser prosecuted. Fact.
Hardly surprising is it? Pretty heart breaking that. From a statistical point of view men are more prolific abusers, but they’re also less likely to see their abusers brought to justice, particularly if that abuser is a woman. Now women can abuse other women, and men can abuse other men, and non-binary folk can be abused and be abusers in much the same way, but the fact of the matter is, when people can’t come forward, when they can’t be honest about what they’ve suffered, and when they can’t see the people who have hurt them punished, they don’t heal in the same way. Rape culture and the way we deal with assault is already a massive problem, the way the system is geared against victims is fucking atrocious and, in short, toxic masculinity isn’t making anything any better.
In march of THIS YEAR there were only 18 refuges nationally that help male victims of domestic violence. Fact.
Does this need explanation? I don’t think so. Men need help too, anyone who think otherwise can fuck right off.
Toxic masculinity encourages homophobia. Fact.
No. Explanation. Needed.
So there we go. Those are my facts. Do I have more? Yes. Could I go one? For pages. Am I going to? No. These are some of the facts that shock me, the ones that remind me why this is a topic so close to my heart. Why I need to be there for my male friends in a more active emotional way, you see my female friends will simply tell me, my male friends beat about the bush. Keep an eye out peeps, your boys aren’t always happy, be vigilant, be loving, be there for them. They deserve it.
Be kind to each other.