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Toxic masculinity is a term used to describe harmful attitudes and behaviours associated with traditional stereotypes of masculinity. It refers to a set of beliefs and practices that promote the idea that men should be dominant, aggressive and emotionally detached. These attitudes and behaviours can have serious negative consequences for both men and women, as they can lead to violence, discrimination, and a lack of emotional connection.
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At the core of toxic masculinity is the idea that men should be strong, tough and unemotional. This can lead to a culture where men are discouraged from expressing their feelings or seeking help when they need it. This can result in a range of negative outcomes, including increased rates of depression, anxiety and suicide among men.
Toxic masculinity can also lead to the belief that men should be dominant and in control. This can result in men feeling entitled to exert power over others, which can lead to harassment, abuse and violence. For example, some men who believe in toxic masculinity may feel that it is their right to exert power over women and to use physical force or coercion to get what they want.
Another aspect of toxic masculinity is the idea that men should be sexually aggressive and should seek out sexual conquests. This can lead to a culture where men are encouraged to view women as objects to be conquered, rather than as human beings deserving of respect and consent. This can lead to high rates of sexual harassment and assault, as well as a general lack of respect for women’s autonomy.
The negative consequences of toxic masculinity are not limited to women, however. Men who subscribe to toxic masculinity may also feel pressure to conform to rigid gender roles that can limit their ability to express themselves and pursue their passions. They may feel that they must hide their emotions, suppress their creativity, or limit their interests in order to appear more “masculine.”