Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So today’s post is more than likely to ruffle some feathers, but nonetheless, I feel like it’s something that needs to be said, since it very closely ties to why I even write this blog at all. And I’ve said in the past that I try to stay generally nonpolitical on here, but this subject has unfortunately started to work its way into our politics, as much as I wish it weren’t the case. In any case, let’s get started on today’s topic: toxic masculinity.
Anyone who’s seen the rise of third-wave feminism or has kept a watchful eye on the mainstream media has more than likely heard the term “toxic masculinity” more than once, and the term has started to become even more widespread with the rise of things like the #MeToo movement and the entire Brett Kavanaugh debacle. More often than not, this term is used to shame men and call out society for teaching men and young boys to become rapists, murderers, and warmongers. A lot of what these movements try to tell people is that a young boy being raised with traditional masculine values will grow up to be a racist and a misogynist who wants no more than to serve his own primal, sexual desires. It’s practically gotten to a point where if a man even so much as holds the door open for a woman or offers to help her carry a heavy load, modern feminists and the media automatically peg him as guilty of an unforgivable crime of sexism and should be shamed thusly. And before I continue, I have to address that I understand not all modern feminists and media pundits act that way. They are most likely not the majority, but they are the most vocal minority and the ones who get the most media attention. But now I’m starting to get off-topic, so let’s move on.
The media and feminist representation of masculinity does not in any way represent the traditional masculinity that I and others like myself advocate for. Masculinity in and of itself is in no way a bad thing. Quite the contrary, men who “embrace their masculinity in a way that’s healthy and productive” are able do an inordinate amount of good for themselves and the world around them. Someone like Teddy Roosevelt is someone I would describe as traditionally masculine, but he was no tyrant who wanted to rule with an iron fist or put down anyone that he saw as below him, if he even saw anyone as that way. He was a friendly, charismatic, and altruistic leader who stood up for the everyman and was an ardent proponent of environmental preservation. The Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln is someone I would describe as masculine. He carried loads of authority and respect, he was funny, and he was incredibly devoted to his family, on top of the myriad of other accomplishments during his presidency. Even fictional characters like Jack Arnold from The Wonder Years were fairly masculine. He was the “man of the house”, he was the one who busted his hump at his job so he could provide for his family. He didn’t do this because he hated his family or saw them as subhuman or in any way below him. He did it because he loved his wife and his kids and wanted the best future possible for them. And it’s these very tenets that I try to teach my readers.
It should come as no surprise that I try teach my readers how to be traditionally masculine, just like the men I mentioned above. I try to teach them to respect others, especially women, not rush to judgement, and treat everyone how they deserve to be treated. I also try to teach them to embrace their masculine traits – to be more assertive, to stand up for themselves, and rise up to lead and protect others when no one else will. If even these things are what is considered to be “toxic masculinity”, then I must be teaching my readers entirely wrong.
So there it is! Apologies if the end of this article sounded a bit incendiary, I in no way intended for it to come across that way. This is just a subject that gets under my skin more than most, and I wanted to put my opinion on it out there. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!