Toxic masculinity is a set of attitudes and behaviors stereotypically expected from men. They have adverse effects on men and society. It is associated with strength, lack of emotions, dominance, sexual virility, and self-sufficiency. Society has come up with expectations for men to prove their masculinity. These expectations are not realistic. Toxic masculinity is a killer of men’s overall health, both emotionally and physically. The cultural norms around men had become a problem drifting men behind from when they were toddlers, but they come to stick as they grow. Therefore, it is suitable for men to shift their attitudes and have new perspectives to fit gender norms.
Toxic masculinity can be associated with various reasons, including celebrities’ influence via social media platforms; some men can lack emotional vulnerability, homicide, misogyny, or even mental illness. Without any doubt, social media influences toxic masculinity a lot. Social influencers display aggression and violence, making their fans follow the same. Role models encourage hostile behaviors and attitudes through the media, for example, musicians who sing rap songs and some movies like action movies. These role models affect men with insecurities.
Emotional vulnerability has also influenced toxic masculinity. Since society views vulnerability as masculine, these men project their emotions aggressively. Men are supposed to contain healthy emotions but not to express them. People with repressed emotions are most likely to have unhealthy coping mechanisms making them use drugs like alcohol and cocaine, watch pornography and join gangs to feel united to a particular group. This tough mindset begins from childhood and is influenced by parents since they are viewed differently from girls, but in a real sense, they are vulnerable. Masculinity can also be caused by religion, class, culture, race, and sexuality.
Today, toxic masculinity is also affecting women. Rap music contains a lot of sexism, and the way the music presents women makes men objectify them. For example, an attractive girl with a beautiful boy can make men strive to get her, but watching a lot of pornography can make men not sensitize the act of violence. They soon start to mimic the behaviors of pornography. These make girls demoralized, and instead of engaging themselves in an intimate relationship, they get into a domestic one. Video games also influence men because they contain acts of violence and their image of women being hyper-sexualized.