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Old 05-14-2019, 10:33 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is online now
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 22,797
Let me start out by pointing out how immaterial the crying discussion is.

It doesn't matter if current society considers crying something unmanly or not. What gets stereotyped as manly can change ... one generation it may be being stoic and another braggadocio ... the point is that there are stereotypes that become internalized, which in general are ones of toughness and assertiveness.
Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
... To me, that is "toxic masculinity". The poster had internalized the idea that certain traits are intrinsic and exclusive to men, and that because he was male, it was important that he exemplify those traits past the point of rationality. It was tied into his concept of what it means to be a man. To talk about this, we have to acknowledge the source of the programming: it's not enough to say "some people push stoicism and self-reliance too far"--that misses the point that people feel like they will lose their status as a member of their gender (turn in your man-card!) if they don't embrace and exaggerate those traits. We need to talk about how, as a society, we limit people's full range of expression with very narrow definitions of "masculinity" and "femininity".

I don't actually understand your objection to that. Do you feel like we need to leave the terms "masculinity" and "femininity" behind? If so, I can certainly get on board with that. But I don't think we get there by denying now that some traits that are considered "gendered" --in fact, as seen as essential to membership in one gender and negative in a member of another gender-- are actually positive and should be equally available to everyone, and that other traits--or some traits in some contexts/to some degree--that are considered essential to a particular gender identity are neither essential nor positive. They are toxic in anyone. What part of that do you disagree with?
I do have no objection to the idea that sexist stereotypes, often internalized, are problematic.

I am pointing out that the phrase "toxic masculinity" is crap at communicating that concept and actually counterproductive. I would likewise object to labelling racist stereotyping and its myriad effects (including how they can be internalized, be implicitly held, and play out by institutional factors) as "toxic whiteness" or "toxic Blackness." Or even the phenomena of white privilege as "toxic whiteness" and Black thuggery as "toxic Blackness." They'd be crap in pretty much the same way. I'd doubt monstro would promote use of that phrase to discuss these issues because of toxic nature of the message of not getting mental health help, or because of the celebration in some cultural circles of "thug culture."

The phrase does not well communicate the problem of monstro having considered certain traits as feminine and weak (to be avoided in a "man's environment"), nor how she plays to the crying woman stereotype with females co-workers but tough cool chick who mocks women who cry with men.

What it messages to those who are not steeped in reading deeply, i.e. most myself inclusive, is that there is some subset of men that are a problem because they act excessively manly, with the traits we expect men to have if they are "manly men". Not me and certainly not a problem that women contribute to with the stereotypes they hold ...