If you go to the extreme either way, it can have negative effects.
Masculinity, and recognizing the inherent differences between males an females is NOT a negative thing, and, in fact, can be a good thing.
It’s when it is taken to the extreme to the point where it is believed men are not allowed to have emotional feelings, are meant to be sexually aggressive or dominant over their wives, etc, that it is a problem (or, if you will, defined as “toxic”.)
Or when the reaction to the above is taken to the other extreme, to the point men and women are supposed to have the same exact emotional landscape on everything, sexual urges, interests (including professional), bonds with children, etc, when, in fact, they do not, then we create huge problems as a society as well.
The ideal would be to get rid of the stereotypes and expectations and let people be and accept them for who they are.
Yes, when we do so, men and women will end up different than each other in terms of emotions and reactions to things, yes, men and women will have different types and levels of sexual desires and needs, yes, men and women will each gravitate towards certain professions more so than the other will, and yes, men and women will have different types of bonds and relationships with their children.
But these differences between the sexes and the way they play out should be accepted, admired, and constructively built upon rather than looked down upon or erased.
Such differences are as inherent by nature as anatomy itself and I would even venture to say that a society isn’t ideal or “complete” unless it is as readily accepted.
It’s also important to recognize there will always be a great number of people that fall as exceptions to the above, and it is important to accept those as well. It is, in fact, the failure to do so that results in the toxic extreme.
re: my BIB
I agree. To an extent.
Vive la difference
is perfectly acceptable provided those differences don't morph into discrimination, oppression and abuse then we can all live together, content in our own skins and enjoying the benefits that both bring to our lives. But it has to be said that men are often highly selective in how women - and our capabilities - are viewed by them.
For example: It is true that females are biologically less physically powerful than men. That's a given. But that power has been abused for centuries to oppress women. Men have celebrated their position of power and are loathe to give it up.
Women were denied the vote in Britain throughout the 19th century largely on the grounds that they were "weaker" than men and unable to carry out the hard physical labour that men do. That argument, so it went, meant that as women were inferior to men they shouldn't have the same voting rights.
And then along came World War I. The men marched off to the trenches and women in their hundreds of thousands poured into the munitions factories to do the.... er.... hard physical labour that they'd been told for generations was beyond their fragile capabilities.
This is toxic masculinity writ large. Tell women that they are inferior and then when it suits, make them do the things you've hitherto said was beyond them.
TM is a mindset. It's an attitude. It is the belief that women are inferior and are therefore subject to male rule in whatever form suits the male purpose at any given time.
It doesn't apply only to the workplace or in civil rights. In the home... especially in the bedroom, where a wife may be expected to submit to being treated as a whore.... on the sports field, in government.... at every level of society, TM demands that the woman be considered inferior for no other reason than her gender.
Toxic Masculinity, by virtue of it's very name, is a male attitude. Women aren't responsible for it. We just suffer from it. But just because it exists doesn't mean we have to submit to it. And increasingly, we don't.
This is resented by men. Women who stand up for themselves are labelled "Feminazis".... "b****es"..... they're even labelled as lesbians when they're not. The word is used as a pejorative for a woman who demands to be treated like a human being.... which also brings homophobia into the TM landscape, (although I accept that some women can use that kind of damning slur against other women in that regard too).
Yes, we can celebrate those differences that exist between us where they lead to a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship. But we shouldn't be oppressed by them.