What inane drivel that society has taught you would you like to unlearn today?
You might as well consider unlearning a few expressions that have become popular without carrying any meaning.
“Toxic Masculinity” is one such expression.
Masculinity simply refers to “qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of men.”
The interpretation of the attributes can be arbitrary of course.
So don’t fight me on that, I’m just quoting a dictionary definition.
But at this junction the attributes that do, or do not constitute manliness, are still fairly neutral and open for discussion… That is the whole point.
Debate things. That’s a basic prerequisite for logical discourse.
Some may argue that “being driven” is not only a masculine trait, but also prevalent in many women.
And… Do you notice…We are still busy with a positive discussion of positive traits.
The big problem with a slam-dunk generalization and fabrication such as “Toxic Masculinity” is that it immediately defeats attributes that should be positive when viewed in a logical manner.
Deconstruct this a bit…
let’s propose someone is “handsome, muscled, and driven”—As per the dictionary of course.
These are considered to be “masculine” by some.
Again, interpret these however you wish, but be careful not to slap a negative connotation onto a word for no reason.
Now take each “attribute” and give it the toxicity label.
“Toxic Handsomeness.” Isn’t this just vanity in a sense?
“Toxically muscled.” This sounds like a medical condition?
“Toxically driven,” I might’ve though that person could’ve been narcissistic?
So that’s how society teaches you to take concepts, words with inherently positive connotations and twist them to suit a narrative that has become popular.
One other gripe I have with “toxic masculinity” is the reductionist manner in which it treats issues symptomatically instead of addressing a root cause.
Let’s just chuck in the “ad Populum” logical fallacy and group many problems under a broad blanket-term.
We’ve become lazy!
A man who pushes people around is a bully.
One who is aggressive and demeaning towards women could very well be a misogynist!
We’re missing out on proper descriptions because we’re lazy and decided to lump it all together in a bundle that looks impressive as a hashtag. #toxicmasculinity.
I’ve never been impressed by misogynists but I can’t comment about men who display “toxic masculinity.”
I simply have no idea what it means.
Which other expressions would you propose we “unlearn” in order to make communication a more comprehensible activity?