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Jonathan McIntosh @radicalbytes
, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Seeing a lot more people writing about toxic masculinity and media which is great. Though I do feel like many are missing the deeper understanding of how patriarchy operates as a social system. I’d recommend The Will to Change by bell hooks as an easy-to-read introduction.
“Toxic masculinity” doesn’t just refer to the worst or most obvious misogyny. The term is shorthand for a wide range of harmful or destructive behaviors (both overt and subtle) that are socially accepted and enforced. This means most men have participated in toxic masculinity.
There’s a tendency to want to distance ourselves from overt misogynists in order to feel better. But it’s not enough to point to the worst offenders and say “See I’m not like him so I’m good!” We’re all participants in the social systems that give rise to those worst offenders.
Violent male supremacy didn’t magically appear overnight, it didn’t arise out of a vacuum - it’s an extreme manifestation of the sexist hyper-masculine ideology that’s baked into practically every aspect of our culture, our media, our institutions, and our history.
Toxic masculinity isn’t a “few bad apples” situation. This problem is cultural and that means we need to transform our culture at every level. Yes, we as men, need personal transformation but we also have a responsibility to transform our larger cultural ideas about manhood.
Transforming masculinity isn't an easy task. Cultural ideas about manhood are deeply intrenched. Men are expected to present as invulnerable, independent, rational, unemotional (except anger), and always in control. That describes practically every male hero we see in media.
I know for a fact that men have a great capacity for nurturing, caregiving, vulnerability, empathy, cooperation, and solidarity with women. This is the type of masculinity we need to advocate for. This is what we need to see reflected and celebrated in our culture and our media.
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