Is toxic masculinity creating a crisis for men?
The media seems to be consistently exposing the world of toxic men.
Politicians, entertainers, businessmen and actors are appearing amongst the many men abusing their privilege and power.
These men are acting out in toxic ways including:
- Harassment and abuse of women
- Aggressive, bullying tactics during political debate
- Power and controlling behaviour that dominates work place culture
- Explicit misogynystic views
Toxic masculinity is not a new term.
According to Wikipedia it is:
“used in the social sciences to describe traditional norms of behaviour among men in contemporary American and European society that are associated with detrimental social and psychological effects”
Sadly, the so called ‘traditional norms’ referred to in the definition above encompasses traditional male attitudes and behaviours such as:
- Sexual aggression
- Suppression of emotions, except anger
- Tough men don’t need to seek help
In contrast, there are many good men in the world today who find the behaviours of toxic men abhorrent and shocking.
Therefore, a counter-balance to the negative characteristics of toxic masculinity is an appreciation of what makes a good man.
What is the essence of a good man?
Countless men are searching for more meaningful and authentic lives.
These guys are actively owning and changing their behaviours and attitudes.
However, the voices of these men are rarely heard.
Some time ago a good friend gave me a poem. Her partner penned the following words:
About the author – Kym Faehsi is a trained art teacher, a practicing artist with 10 one man exhibitions to his credit, and has a lifetime of creative experience. I’m grateful for his permission to publish such a great piece.
Transforming Toxic Masculinity
The poem captures some important messages of change for some men.
Have compassion and flexibility
Be able to calm anger
Have understanding and grace
Nourish, nurture and inspire
Be consistent and reliable