The concept of toxic masculinity refers to a mindset that encourages aggressive behavior in men. It’s unacceptable for men to be vulnerable or to show their emotions in our society and that is exactly the problem. However, getting rid of it is not so simple as a lot of false beliefs surround this problem. One being that only men promote toxic masculinity. But that’s definitely not the case. Not all men encourage it just like not all women discourage it. You’d be surprised to know just how many women instigate men to behave “aggressively” or “manly” and leave them no choice but to adopt this false persona where they don’t feel pain.
Hate breeds more hate. So as long as there are those who encourage toxic behavior, the ills of our society can never be stopped. To prove that not all men like violence and that not all men are cold-hearted, we have compiled the following stories from Reddit where men are talking about toxic masculinity they have experienced in real life.
Men are human too but the society isn’t ready for that conversation.
I got made fun of for wearing lifesaving safety gear on job sites. There are people now who can’t taste, smell, or hear properly because they were too stubborn to put on earplugs and safety glasses, since it’s ‘not manly’ to protect yourself apparently.
To many people these insensitive remarks seem funny, but they don’t realize the impact it has on people.
I’ve been called ‘gay’ for rescuing a starving kitten and taking it to the RSPCA.
Talent has no gender but no wants to talk about it.
My earliest memory of toxic masculinity was when I was on my first grade basketball team. We got to pick our jersey numbers. I chose 14 because it was my aunt’s number, who was a D1 college player at the time. When I told them this, the coaches laughed at me. Apparently looking up to a non-male athlete was frowned upon, even though none of the coaches made it past high school.
You know it’s a serious problem when it even makes parenting hard.
People act like I’m suspicious or dangerous when I travel alone with my daughter.
Every time I go out in public without her mother I get people watching me closely. I parked my car in a parking lot to feed her lunch a while back (didn’t want to take her inside due to COVID) and a group of people gawked and circled our vehicle in their truck a few times. That is not an uncommon experience for me.
I’m legitimately afraid to take her into a family bathroom because I fear some Karen is going to call the police and tell them I am doing something unspeakable because God forbid a man act like a nurturing parent in public. I’m scared I’m going to get a gun pulled on me in front of my daughter.
A lot of people assume that a lone man with a child or adjacent to children is a predator by default.
If they’re not assuming I’m a predator, I still get comments like “Babysitting for mom?” No, I’m not babysitting for mom. I am her parent and I’m every bit as capable at it as her mother. Me taking my child to the park and feeding her lunch isn’t “babysitting” just because I am doing it alone.
Gender stereotyping needs to end!
Getting sh*t on for not caring about sports. I’m sorry, I just don’t want to spend my time watching people run around a field. And no, I don’t want to play sports video games either.
The biggest flaw is perhaps the bad parenting. When parents tell their sons to act tough and force them out of their comfort zone, that’s when they resort to aggression because that’s their only coping mechanism. Their suppressed emotions become their biggest weakness. All they need is one small push before they explode. All their bottled emotions are channeled into rage and anger.
Then they go to school where they experience bullying. Other kids laugh at them because they can’t defend themselves. So, in order to survive and avoid getting laughed at, they BECOME bullies. And just like that the cycle continues and we help create the monster we hate.
They say men are monsters but never mention the society’s contribution in it.
I got r*ped by an ex. Nearly everyone I’ve told starts by arguing the toss that it wasn’t actually r*pe.
This has got to be the most stupid one.
My favorite color is purple. I’ve tried to wear purple, and nope, too many dumba*s comments.
If taking safety measures is for the weak, we should keep our front doors unlocked at night.
I always wear seatbelts in cars, but every so often, someone will scoff or poke fun that I put my seatbelt on when we share a cab or an Uber. I don’t feel like smashing out my front teeth if the driver gets into a fender bender.
Oh, the irony!
Oh another one for me is when I grew my hair out. Most guys called me gay and that it looked girly. Yet, I was dating more women than ever during that time because a lot of the women I dated loved the hair. So I guess being straight is gay?
And to think we live in 2021.
Men in a group tend to sexualize any and all women
I hate that
Also growing up I got s**t for not knowing about cars, like cause I’m a dude I should have the knowledge of a mechanic
Fragile ego is a real thing.
I remember in high school (I went to an all-boys school), I would go to watch my older sister play hockey, and I’d get made fun of. I never understood what the problem with going to watch a women’s hockey game was, especially one where my older sister was playing.
Ah, yes. Let’s not forget about the hypocrites who talk about equality, call themselves feminists and then treat men like sh*t.
Lost power during a cold (and wet) spell pre-covid. As the building management guy who also lived in the building, I was tasked to stay on-site for the entire 10 days to coordinate repair efforts while the rest of the residents left for hotels/relatives’ places. On the 7th day, I also got food poisoning and spent the day expelling from both ends while taking time in between to meet with contractors. The then girlfriend came home later that evening to see me pale, dehydrated, shivering, and exhausted in bed wearing all of my snow clothes. She asked how I was, I said “rough” and she went on to say how her day was so much worse because of some office drama. After her rant she asked why I didn’t go make myself some tea as if I was stupid enough to not consider it.
She was a self-proclaimed feminist but was always blind to my needs.
While we’re at it, let’s also not exclude the Jocks and the Gym Bros.
My old roommate was the definition of toxic masculinity. He told his parents the other night that all other guys who go to the gym are ‘betas,’ while he is a ‘biological alpha’ and then proceeded to make fun of out-of-shape people at the gym.
Gender does not define personality.
For being straight but exclusively using the gay trainers on Peloton. They are more fun and have better music, sorry not sorry.
Real men don’t cry.
My mother in law told me to stop whining and “man up”, we were new parents and I was working nights. The only thing I said was that I was “tired”. It’s stuff like that. I’m actually clinically depressed, but I never talk about it because I’m 6’3″ and masculine so I’m not allowed to feel sad or tired.
Men’s mental health? What?
Mainly how boys are raised to disregard pain and view emotions as a nuisance to be avoided and stifled. It’s helpful for getting things done but not so good for being mentally healthy.
*Gordon Ramsay wants to know your location*
When I told someone I was a chef, they told me that career path was for women.
So, apparently being a man is equivalent to having supernatural abilities.
I was expected to be able to chug alcohol and just keep on going. I just can’t. I have a low threshold. I can’t have like five shots of tequila and go about my business. I’ll be a mess.
It’s high time we end this toxic culture before it gets way too out of hand.
About five years ago, I feel into a deep depression. I have been wrestling with the problem since I was a teen. I refused to see counselors for years until I snapped. As a man the expectations are to “hang tough”. “Real men” don’t need counseling was sort drilled into my head because it exhibited weakness. When I became suicidal, I had to leave my job and quite a few people insinuated I was weak. I sought treatment with the help of a psychologist and a counselor. That’s when I realized the “manliness” garbage was toxic. I hate sports, cars and bullshit. I spend my time with my awesome wife not weekends with “the boys” ignoring my family. I haven’t looked back since.
A lot of people don’t even believe that it’s possible to be harassed by a woman and that’s scary.
Being harassed by women multiple times and having it dismissed because I’m a man.
It’s infuriating how men are always termed “bad” regardless of the situation.
Apparently guys are absolutely required to like any attention from a girl even if it’s invasive as f**k or borderline r*pey.
In all honesty, no one promotes toxic masculinity like women. But nobody’s ready for that conversation.
I work at a grocery store.
I was ringing one day and one of the other register employees was giving this older gentleman a really hard time about wanting a bag to carry his stuff. She said something to the degree of “Come on! You should be able to carry that on your own; you’re a man. You’re supposed to be strong!” The dude had a cane with him. I’m not even sure if she realized what she was saying was demeaning and toxic. I turned around and gave her a WTF look.
She didn’t last too long.
Realizing your flaws and correcting them is something only brave people can do.
I am currently in therapy to unlearn all the toxic behaviours I learned growing up. I learned in my 30s that feelings aren’t a burden to be suppressed and ignored.
“Men don’t feel pain.”
My dad. He’s never been wrong about a god damn thing in his life. The solution to a problem he picks is the only solution.
Examples include: lighting fires under our water pipes to thaw them out in cold weather for hours to fix a blockage, setting our house on fire at one point, when it turned out the block was at an elbow that was easily broken loose once mom found it. Another is his insistence on gluing s**t together with silicone to ‘fix’ vehicles. If I have a bad day, I clearly need a higher dose of antidepressants, as I’m a man and I’m not allowed to have negative emotions. Launching a piece of plastic into my eye breaking open the box of our water valve and it’s my fault because I was ‘sticking my face in it’
If the man decided he was gonna headbutt his way through a brick wall, he wouldn’t stop until his skull broke. He’s ridiculous.
Now even getting a drink of your own choice is a sin.
After the final exam, my classmates and I went to a nearby bar to drink our pains away. I ordered a lime Margarita and was mocked by both the males and females that it was a girly drink. Same thing when I ordered a long Island afterwards. (I’ve now moved to cosmopolitans, since three or four can get me happy drunk, and tastes awesome!)
Imagine telling that to Gordon Ramsay.
“Cooking is the woman’s job” said to me when I told them I like to cook
Should he be blamed?
I grew up in a cowboy town. I saw a guy fall off his horse and break his leg. He refused to be helped off and insisted in getting back on his horse and riding out. There was an ambulance right there.
At this point, the society is just forcing what it considers normal down everyone’s throat.
Almost everyone I know has at some point ridiculed or bullied me because I don’t like or want a car.
Imagine the number of people who started doing drugs just because of social pressure.
For not smoking, drinking or doing drugs.
It’s more common than we think.
People trying to use their size to intimidate or invalidate you.
Toxic masculinity is so deep-rooted in our world today that it would take a long time to end it completely. But it doesn’t mean we stop trying. Instead, it’s important that we identify those who are responsible for promoting it and take appropriate measures to stop them. But if we don’t act now, it will continue to get worse until the day we can no longer tell the difference.
What’s your take on this? Share your views in the comments below.