Tracing the Origins of Toxic Masculinity

Toxic masculinity occurs when cultural pressures condition men to behave in stereotypically masculine ways. This article traces its origins.

But by far the worst thing... - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Quotes.Pub

Stated above are the words of award-winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from her book, We Should All Be Feminists. 

Toxic masculinity has its roots sown thousands of years back in history when homo sapiens used physical strength, dominance, and aggression to hunt and battle for survival. These domineering patterns behaviours continued for centuries solidifying them as defining features of what is known as ‘masculinity’. These notions have flowed into contemporary times where- although such behaviours are no longer necessary- the attitude is still promoted as the benchmark of being a ‘man’. Continuing these patterns and conforming to this socially constructed phenomenon becomes toxic since it’s outdated and incompatible with the 21st century.

Toxic masculinity stems in society when cultural and societal pressures condition men to behave in stereotypical/ ‘socially constructed masculine’ ways. Conforming to such behaviour revolves around suppressing emotions, avoiding distress, acting “tough” regardless of circumstances, and using violence or aggression to exert power/ practising patriarchy. Toxic masculinity only allows space for men to behave according to the socially constructed masculine ideals, leaving little to no space for emotions, or vulnerabilities. Ultimately, the toxic masculinity entails remaining strong emotionally and physically despite of any issues.

Moroever, this phenomenon includes dismissing any behaviour that does not conform with the toxic masculinity with phrases such as “man up” or “boys will be boys.” These learned beliefs and behaviours not only contribute to disciplinary and conflicting issues, but also contribute to mental health issues such as depression, excessive aggression, violence, and substance abuse and a transgenerational cycle of aggression. Toxic masculinity stresses the importance of turning a blind eye towards raw emotions and feelings, and therefore compensatory behaviours are used in an effort to exhibit further masculinity.

Transgenerational Cycle of Aggression

Ultimately, the encouragement of men embodying both expressive roles and instrumental roles should be valued culturally and societally.

About Us:

Runway Pakistan is a complete solution provider for all your marketing communications-related requirements. The ultimate hub of infotainment – Runway composes of all the key offerings – Monthly Print Magazine, Digital Magazine, Media Production, Creative Agency, PR Agency, and Marketing Consultancy that a brand needs to be seen, heard, and known!

Like and follow our Facebook page:
Runway Pakistan

Read our previous article:

Spotify to Officially Launch in Pakistan