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No, ‘toxic masculinity’ does not exist

Traits that one person considers toxic, may not be to another person; the entire phrase is based on a subjective scale with absolutely no objective ground and is used as a shaming tactic for “modern feminists” and anybody else buying into their horrible rhetoric.

by Jermelle Macleod, Staff Writer

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You read the headline correctly.

Toxic masculinity doesn’t exist.

Traits that one person considers toxic, may not be to another person; the entire phrase is based on a subjective scale with absolutely no objective ground and is used as a shaming tactic for “modern feminists” and anybody else buying into their horrible rhetoric.

For example, one person may like the typical “alpha male.”

Confident, loud, powerful, buff, etc.

But another person may find those traits unlikeable, and so  they’ll brand that male as “toxic” because “toxic masculinity” is a catch-all term for any traits a man has that are considered unlikeable or “overly masculine.”

That’s all it is.

Any trait that a person or society deems unnecessary, unlikeable or “overly masculine” in a man.

The problem is, by shaming men on a completely subjective scale, you intimidate, which is exactly what the left and most “feminists” want, they want to intimidate the men that go against the grain and reject the weak and feminized version of men you see portrayed everywhere.

I believe there are toxic people, but to make an entire term for men and to keep cramming it down the throats of men is biased, bigoted and a result of brainwashing.

A toxic person can be defined as somebody that is poisonous to you or society.

Toxic people can be any gender, male, female or nonbinary.

So why do we have an entire term for men?

The answer is simple: a misunderstanding of feminism and man’s place in society.

Feminism is not shaming men, despite what so many women’s studies majors are doing, the original definition of feminism is, according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”

Of course, that’s not what it is today.

Today, feminism is an absolute joke that steps on men and uses the original definition as justification.

This misunderstanding of feminism is so ingrained into society that so few people are bold enough to question it and the foundations of today’s skewered definition.

And to illustrate this point, here’s something to think about.

We have so many people talking about toxic masculinity, but so few talking about toxic femininity.

The instant you flip the script and apply the same broken terms that define men and apply it to women is the moment you’ll have people calling you “sexist.”

 I bring this up not to shame women.

I don’t believe in that.

However, I bring it up in order to illustrate the constant pressure men are under and expose how programmed a majority of people are into shaming anybody that dares to go against the grain.

If you speak up, you’re “toxic” and “sexist” but if you conform to societal pressures, you’re not yourself and wasted your life.

I don’t believe in toxic masculinity or toxic femininity; but if you’re going to apply the “toxic” label to men, why can’t I apply it to women?

The double standard is disgusting and it needs to end now.

If a man wants to be stoic and keep his emotions inside, who are you to call them toxic or weak?

If a man wants to be strong and courageous instead of weak and cowardly, who are you to call him toxic?

If I were to call a woman that wants to go out and make money “toxic” instead of “independent,” my entire career would be ruined.

When do we draw the line?

Men somehow have to be just sensitive and kind enough not to be toxic, which is entirely subjective, and somehow just “masculine” enough not to be a doormat and used, which is once again subjective.

Stop using the term “toxic masculinity.”

It doesn’t have any meaning, it’s entirely subjective and damaging to men.

The more we push an agenda down men’s throats is the more we push the opportunity to define ourselves away from men and make them ashamed for wanting to define themselves.

Stop buying into the rhetoric being crammed down your throats through pathological appeal and constant repetition.

If you don’t question what you’re told, you’re a part of the problem.

Jermelle Macleod is a freshman studying journalism. You can follow him on Twitter @Jermelle_m


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14 Responses to “No, ‘toxic masculinity’ does not exist”

  1. Candace on March 13th, 2019 9:29 pm

    Hi, no one is saying having muscles and being confident is toxic. What’s toxic is using your muscles and confidence to abuse/belittle women. No one is saying men can’t have drinks with the boys and joke around, however it becomes toxic when that group of men start saying disgusting vulgar things about women because that’s just “boys being boys”. It’s ok to bottle your feelings if that’s your thing (women do it too), what’s toxic masculinity is the belief that you HAVE to do that in order to be a man. Want to bottle your feelings? Go for it. Want to cry when you’re upset? GO FOR IT. It’s really so simple, but I feel this article is just the same fruitless argument – feminism is destroying mens’ lives, we can’t do anything but be criticised, blah, blah, blah. C’mon man. It’s simple: don’t degrade women, don’t use your masculinity as an excuse to degrade women (or anyone). You can still be yourself as long as it’s not to the detriment of others. Chill.

  2. Em on March 13th, 2019 11:36 pm

    Men: Oppress, control, and dehumanize women for literally all of history
    Men: Oppress, control, and dehumanize women to this day
    Women: Hey that stuff that you’ve been doing…yanno..that’s been ingrained in the very fabric of gender roles, maybe it’s bad??
    Men: Is this…..opression????????? On my good name ????

  3. AJ Dickens on March 13th, 2019 11:44 pm

    Couple of things:
    Speaking your mind is not sexist. Speaking your mind is not toxic. It is speaking harmful opinions to men and women that is toxic.
    The idea of toxic masculinity is the idea that men HAVE to be masculine, and if they are more complex than that, they feel as though they are inadequate.
    Traditional gender norms harm both the man and the woman. As a man, you SHOULD be allowed to express your opinions, be yourself. You SHOULD be allowed to be complex.
    It hurts me to think that your only exposure to feminists is that of women who hate men. These people should not refer to themselves as feminists, because feminism is supposed to be the pursuit of the equality of the sexes. While there are extremists, your thoughts shared here, the thoughts of hoping that both men and women can want careers and want to feel a range of emotions, are very feminist.
    Masculinity, as it is currently defined, is only toxic in the way that housekeeping in the 60s was toxic to women- it prevents a sense of a full identity. It is okay to be masculine, it is okay to be feminine. It is the idea that men cannot want to cry, it is the idea that men cannot want to be artists or writers, that is the toxic essence of masculinity. The masculine traits themselves are not the problem- it is the fact that we live in a society that continuously privileges colder, less emotional traits in men.
    You make a valid point in the toxic femininity- there are extremists, as their are in men. The pursuit of feminists, at least ones like myself, is to try to make it more acceptable for people to be nuanced. Just as a woman should not be told not to get angry, a man should not be told not to cry. Everyone deserves the chance to be a full person.
    Toxic masculinity only exists in that it is a phrase given to a cultural ideology, similar to how the feminine mystique was applied to the idea of women being shamed out of education. It is by giving a word to something that we can begin talking about it, debating it.
    Read The Feminine Mystique, if you get the chance. A majority of the earliest readers were men for a reason. Read up on some actual feminist scholars, not just twitter accounts that have “feminist” in the bio. Read up on what feminist scholars are saying about toxic masculinity. You will be pleasantly surprised.
    In fact, upon reading them, you’ll see exactly what I am noticing here: you are a feminist, whether you like it or not. You are striving for equality of sexes, and for a man to be allowed to express his emotions freely.
    You’re definitely expressing yours freely. Thank you for your contribution to the feminist agenda.

  4. Objective Fodder on March 14th, 2019 8:00 am

    Alpha males, have always, and always will, have economic, social and sexual control over their environments. This is natural order. It is biological and societally programmed by evolutionary progress. Men today in business, possess and command an enormous amount of attention and attraction by not only women, but respect by men. Nothing is as simultaneously fear inspiring and arousing for women as a Man she suspects is self-aware of his own value.

  5. Yvonne Gastélum on March 16th, 2019 9:39 am

    The term “toxic masculinity” cannot be reduced to its parts as you attempt here. It is about specific gender normative social expectations linked to violence. You might find this article helpful:

  6. Chase on March 16th, 2019 1:16 pm

    Claims of ‘subjectivity’ are not a get-out-jail-free card again accusations of poor behavior. It was a classic argument made by cultural relativists and it was a poor argument then as it is here. The issue with claims that behavior is inherently subjective and thus defensible in some regard is that it completely stymies moral, societal progress and can then be used to justify the most reprehensible actions.

    In a day and age where public faith in business and government institutions is waning and the need for ethical leadership is talked about almost daily, we need quash any notion of ‘subjectivity’ in definitions of right and wrong.

    I suggest Mr. Macleod lessen his journalism school-load next semester and take some philosophy courses focusing on ethical and moral theory, I am sure they fulfil some requirement for him.

  7. rabel on March 18th, 2019 8:42 pm

    “Toxic masculinity” is hate speech.
    The offensive label has two terms; the extreme negative “toxic” and the all of field “masculinity”. It does not describe the behaviours proposed as toxic, or suggest that masculinity could have any non-toxic characteristics. The term is clearly offensive and demeaning.
    For any other group of people, descriptions of groups are couched in terms that are acceptable or adopted by the group. But for males, the misandrists on this panel, in academia and the popular media, use terms that many many men, including this young man, find offensive and unacceptable.
    No-one has bothered to explain why insensitive, less empathic and demeaning terms are used in the media and academia to describe men, when an entirely opposite approach is used for all other groups.
    The refusal to acknowledge this inconsistency and continued use of this “hate speech” reveals a entrenched culture of gender hatred that is pervasive in our government, judicial, education and media sectors. The younger generation, like this young man, are living this culture of being hated.

  8. Hannah on March 27th, 2019 11:37 am

    Toxic masculinity doesn’t exist? Try speaking with any gay man about this subject.

  9. Brett on May 7th, 2019 10:36 am

    Ask ANY Gay man? Lol. What an insidious and Bigoted proposition! To Suggest any gay man.. Ergo ALL gay men Subscribe to the same political philosophical or social positions Is one of the most close minded statements I’ve heard since at least yesterday afternoon

  10. Karl on May 7th, 2019 2:31 pm

    ‘No one is saying men can’t have drinks with the boys and joke around, however it becomes toxic when that group of men start saying disgusting vulgar things about women because that’s just “boys being boys”.’
    Yeah, because we all know women NEVER DO THE SAME THING, right? Nope, they’re perfect little angels.

    Women:….maybe this masculinity thing is bad?
    Men: Ok……want to do all the dangerous and disgusting jobs we do and suffer our death rates?
    Women: Eh………….

    AJ Dickens:
    “Speaking your mind is not sexist. Speaking your mind is not toxic. It is speaking harmful opinions to men and women that is toxic.”
    Translation: Only us feminists and progressives get to define what is toxic.
    “Traditional gender norms harm both the man and the woman.”
    Nope, not really.
    “As a man, you SHOULD be allowed to express your opinions, be yourself. You SHOULD be allowed to be complex.”
    Just don’t do it in a nasty stinky icky masculine way. Be more like the bearded male feminists with man buns who get #MeToo’d eventually
    “you are a feminist, whether you like it or not.”
    Classic Freudian runaround logic

    “I suggest Mr. Macleod lessen his journalism school-load next semester and take some philosophy courses focusing on ethical and moral theory”
    Yeah, post-modernism, the cancer that is destroying universities.He definitely needs more of that!

    “Try speaking with any gay man about this subject.”
    What a freaking homophobe! LOL

  11. TWC on May 8th, 2019 5:04 am

    As usual, the comments pejorative of the OP-ed never even come close to addressing the points contained within. Pathetic.

  12. Christian Wolff, MA on May 8th, 2019 11:56 am

    Thank you, Jermelle Macleod (JM). Your article is neither masculine nor feminine (IMO), but the fact that you went against the popular tide is definitely a masculine act. In reviewing your article, I cannot find any way of determining your gender. I appreciate that. There is a place for this thing called “masculinity” in women and men alike*, and the same goes for “femininity.” Taoists have known this for millennia (think yin yang) and Carl Jung refamiliarized Western Culture with this idea in our most recent century. The languages we presently call “Roman(tic) languages” are rife with assignments of the masculine and the feminine to objects which have no actual gender. Female and male vs. masculinity and feminity are linguistically problematic. I do not know how far it would take us, but if popular culture (the larger body of culture) would stop conflating these sets of false dichotomies, I think we gain some ground – all of us. I agree with JM’s suggestion that “Toxic Masculinity Does Not Exist,” although I would state it differently. I would suggest that idea of “Toxic Masculinity” is an unnecessary idea. As well, I would suggest that the notion cannot be given any serious respect if it does not bring with it, the prospect of “Toxic Femininity.” Let’s return to the linguistic intervention. “Toxic” is a poor word choice in that it seems “medical.” I am not surprised that it is the word choice of the American Psychological Association (APA). In the current Zeitgeist, medicalization of a notion gives it gravitas. The APA’s politically aggressive (masculine?) exploitation of their bully pulpit to propel the POLITICAL idea of “Toxic Masculinity” into a culture already highly charged with gender issues was irresponsible and unbecoming of an organization comprised of psychologists just begging for a seat at the table among the STEM disciplines. To stick, for just another toxic moment with APA’s “toxic” language, let’s look at the “Toxic Femininity” hidden, but inherent in this matter. APA introducing this concept as they did would be an example of “toxic masculinity” whether it was introduced by APAs males, females, or non-binaries. Correspondingly, simply getting on board with a bad idea because it is popular or introduced by a self-proclaimed “authority” would be an example of “toxic femininity.” I’ll wrap up with two more thoughts. One, although nearly universal pariahs, countless intersex people are born every year. I am talking about human beings who are physiologically and biochemically BOTH male and female. Unless you want to close your eyes to it, this blows the formula and delegitimizes the very discussion of masculinity vs. femininity in relation to men and women. Finally, lest the world forget, it was Gina Haspel (by all indications, a female human) who oversaw the torture of human beings at a CIA “black site” in Thailand following 9/11 and it was this same CIA who coerced APA into writing the professional ethics for psychologists to allow them to participate in torture at Guantanamo Bay. It took 10 years of on-going pursuit by strong, virtuous men, women, and non-binaries to nail the APA on this. The pursuit was a non-dichotomous BLEND of femininity and masculinity. Now, the APA has agressed humanity with this volatile and politically provocative tripe about “Toxic Masculinity” under the guise of psychological authority. Thank you for your good work, Jermelle Macleod.

  13. Jesse on May 9th, 2019 10:50 am

    @Candace on March 13th, 2019 9:29 pm …You are missing the point. Using the term itself “toxic masculinity” is disparaging to men. Simply try on the term for yourself, “Toxic Femininity”. And to be clear, women DO use all kinds of disparaging language to men and women, like slut-shaming, fat-shaming, shaming pro-life women, and cattiness , yet there are no adverting campaigns about this, nor any articles calling to end TOXIC FEMININITY. You are just uninformed about this topic and really just looking at it from you own perspective as a female and buying into the 4th wave feminist hate propaganda. As the author states, you are using shamming language, it’s a little bit selfish, sexist, mean and Toxic.

  14. Kass on May 9th, 2019 10:57 am

    @Em You are programmed to say this and your speech is Toxic. It is hate speech and not factual. There are bad women and men. Just because 1 women is a mean selfish gold digger doesn’t mean ALL women are mean selfish gold diggers. You also conveniently leave out Women that own brothels and abuse women by making money on selling their flesh and take advantage of the poor men who are looking for love. Stop letting yourself be manipulated by the feminist hate speech narrative written by lesbians that want more women for themselves and hate men for loving them. STOP THE HATE!

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