What About Toxic Femininity?

I recently saw a tweet by a feminist blogger talking about men’s mental health. It was a good article, however within the article was a term I keep seeing pop up when talking about men, or men’s mental health. The term was Toxic Masculinity. When I politely told the author of the article, that I didn’t like the term, she said that the editor had put the term in. She did however defend the term, which is her right. However, I disagree. I think the term is bigoted and continues to propagate the myth that being a man is bad… that men are baddies. This inherent beating up of the male gender, can be found in folklore, namely this well known 19th century nursery rhyme. It’s a humorous take on the subject, but all the same, this idea of men being baddies has been happening for quite a long time.

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails
And puppy-dogs’ tails
That’s what little boys are made of

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And all things nice
That’s what little girls are made of

So what does toxic masculinity mean? It seems to hint towards the negative stereotype of the male gender:

  • Violent
  • Emotionally illiterate
  • Uncaring towards self and others

However, I don’t see this in any of my male friends, and would even suggest that my male friends on average, are more emotionally literate than my female friends. I have seen just as much anger, which isn’t a negative emotion if processed well, in male and female friends. I have seem women show just as much disregard for their own health as my male friends. There might be some fairness in part of the stereotype, however 40% of all domestic abuse is towards men. Also men are more emotional than women, they’re just less like to show it.

My problem with the phrase, is that it looks towards the worst men in the world, then clumps in all their faults into a label, that then applies to all men. This is a rotten feminist sleight of hand, attempting to, yet again, demonise all men. What would happen if we coined the term toxic femininity? Firstly feminists would be up in arms, as would the media. A witch hunt would occur for coining such a term. If I took the stereotypical worst parts of women, and started talking about toxic femininity, I think it would be unacceptable. I just wouldn’t do it. The following list would be unreasonable, but no more unreasonable as the list against men.

  • Bitchy / gossipy
  • Holding grudges for years
  • Not practical
  • Emotionally volatile

So can we please stop demonising men. Toxic men, or women, should be dealt with on a case by case basis. Lumping an entire group of people into one label, and then generalising about that whole group of people, is called bigotry. It’s no different to how racism or homophobia works. So let’s stop being arses. Let’s start dealing with issues that need dealing with, without demonising whole swathes of people.

Masculinity should be celebrated, not denigrated.

Copyright MEN HEAL 2016


3 thoughts on “What About Toxic Femininity?

  • January 23, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    I agree. In my porn addiction research, time and time again, other researchers – male and female – kept assuming that males “enjoy” hardcore violent porn when in fact they DON’T. They are simply addicted. Big difference. And worse, when I try and help people understand that men do not enjoy it, they DO NOT want to know – preferring instead to hold their convenient opinion that they MUST enjoy it because ALL men are potential rapists just getting off on a bit of fantasy first. The irony? I realized during that 2 year research just how beautiful men in fact are. It is when they are forced by their addiction to watch this truly horrific stuff that their souls cry out the hardest.

    • January 24, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks for your comment Billi. Someone openly told me yesterday, in a public forum, that he had been addicted to porn. He said it was a coping strategy for him during periods of stress. So it does seem to be an issue. Only yesterday Martin Daubney, a Telegraph journalist said:

      “depressed men are turning not to their GPs for help, but to “quick fixes” like porn, sex and video games”
      (Source: https://heatst.com/life/theres-a-problem-with-mental-health-treatment-thats-killing-men/)

      As a society we need to be less taboo about people’s coping strategies, so we can offer people more positive coping strategies.


  • January 24, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Agreed. I have a strong sense mine is going to be an uphill battle getting over my positive messages about who men REALLY are in relation to porn when I go more mainstream with my voice this year. Am up for the fight though.

    Keep up the great work Mike. Together both men and women can help move these sorts of lifesaving conversations forward bearing in mind that men – as you know – commit suicide 4 times more often than females…. http://billicaine.com/men-depression-suicide/


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