Defining Toxic Masculinity…
The insidiously harmful – ‘toxic’, practices and attitudes associated with being hence acting “male”. This involves the man believing in masculinity through adopting toughness and aggression in mentality and physicality, some of which stemmed from traditional gender stereotypes.
For many, toxic masculinity is the last resort in a moment of frustration when in charge; however, some may only know to act this way. In such cases, myriads of factors come into play; growing up in a dysfunctional family and internalizing these norms, getting exposed to violence in the community or via childhood trauma, feeling ostracised from peers and coerced into a toxic norm, and the shame of seeking help.
Unchanged traditional societies raised generations of unemotional, status-seekers, when toxic masculinity spread contagiously, fanned by the accessibility of mobile networks. Men grew to work hard and target high power, followed by manipulating their top position to dominate particularly over females, maintaining their high social status. Many learnt to reach this through controlling, obnoxious behaviour – egocentric bullying. Charisma and likability are assumed to be evident from the man’s successes and hence many women fall for the embellished show, which adds up to the successes in the man’s eyes.
What the Media Has to Say
I believe that toxic masculinity is amplified in certain online communities that classify men into a dominance hierarchy. Pseudoscientific terms like ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’ males mostly handpick men based on the degree of dominance hence attractiveness to women; alpha being the overly confident, superior and influential top. Put in perspective, teenage boys scrolling on social media would naturally be drawn to imitate the alpha male behaviour when it is admired and thought to be the type that “gets girls”.
…This practice of encouraging male hegemony in anywhere ranging from professional work environments to casual street settings primarily creates nothing but female misogyny and sexism. Despite human mating psychologists proving that it is a combination of prestige and other things that women find attractive in men some communities insist on failure to terminate these toxic unsolicited messages.