Men who cling to toxic masculinity tend to reside in communities with high rates of drug abuse, sexual violence, extreme risk-taking and aggression; furthermore they tend to reject health care as it might undermine their masculinity.
Moving beyond toxic masculinity may seem impossible, but it is achievable. By providing education and holding open discussions, individuals can begin reshaping their ideas about masculinity.
1. He wants to be the center of your world
Toxic men strive to be at the center of everything, which can lead them down dangerous paths. Seeking power and dominance, they often resort to aggression or violence to assert themselves.
Women may also struggle to ask for assistance and express emotions openly, believing that feminine traits such as empathy and vulnerability do not belong in men. Furthermore, certain gender norms such as having another female colleague taking notes for them in the office or making coffee could be off-putting for these men.
Their aggressive and uncooperative behaviors can have detrimental social repercussions, including alienating them from other men and damaging their careers. By viewing other men as competitors rather than colleagues, they will not share work-related problems with them and share solutions together.
2. He wants to control every aspect of your life
Men who believe in toxic masculinity seek control in all aspects of their lives: relationships, workplaces and communities alike. Furthermore, they may think displaying emotions such as sadness or vulnerability is weak and display them as such in an aggressive fashion.
Harmful masculinity is a mindset that perpetuates an exclusive world where straight men rule the scene, while anyone outside this narrow frame pays the price. This kind of thinking is socially constructed rather than dependent on biological essentialism or gender determinism for its existence.
Toxic masculinity contributes to ongoing issues like sexism, rape culture, and violence by encouraging men to ignore their own traumas and act upon misogynist beliefs. One way to combat these harmful ideas is by speaking up and providing support for people experiencing oppressive behavior.
3. He has a fiery temper
Toxic masculinity promotes the notion that, to be a man, one must suppress one’s emotions and appear tough. Men who subscribe to this belief tend to commit violent crimes, spread false rape myths, or ignore signs of emotional distress or mental illness.
Toxic masculinity encourages unhealthy behaviors like forgoing restful sleep, overexerting themselves physically and not seeking preventative medical care. People who subscribe to this belief tend not to get checked for prostate or testicular cancer screenings and also tend to smoke, drink and suffer physical injuries more regularly than their counterparts.
Toxic masculinity affects anyone who doesn’t fit neatly into an “idealized male mold.” This includes queer boys and gender non-conforming individuals as well as women. But there are ways to change harmful gender norms!
4. He’s not honest with you
Good news is that masculinity does not need to be toxic. Unfortunately, changing old patterns of behavior into healthier ones takes time. Speaking with a therapist or joining a men’s support group are great ways to begin this journey.
Toxic masculinity has long been linked with harmful social constructs like sexism, misogyny and male chauvinism. Furthermore, toxic masculinity often encourages risk-taking behaviors which contribute to physical and mental health problems for both men and women.
If your partner consistently rejects femininity or insists upon being right in all matters of life without considering or seeking your input or considering what matters most to you as part of his agenda, this could be a telltale sign of toxic masculinity. This is particularly evident if he seeks control of every aspect of your existence without seeking or considering your opinions and wants complete control without consulting you beforehand.
5. He’s a gaslighter
Gaslighters use manipulation tactics to maintain control over their victim, such as “reversing the blame”. This involves making the victim question their reactions in certain situations – for instance, gaslighters will make you doubt your feelings after something they did manipulative was said or done, to convince you it was really your own reaction causing issues rather than any real hurt being felt from their action.
Toxic masculinity is an aggressive and restrictive conception of manhood that promotes violence, sexual exploitation, status gain and aggression as measures of success; while attributing female-like characteristics like emotional vulnerability as unacceptable. If left unchecked, toxic masculinity can become dangerous to both individuals and society at large.