Jan 18, 2019 15:56:19

What's the moral opposite of toxic masculinity?

by @jasonleow | 321 words | 110πŸ”₯ | 110πŸ’Œ

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 110πŸ”₯
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So we heard a lot about what toxic masculinity is, thanks to that Gillette ad. That Youtube video actually managed to get more dislikes than likes - ~820k dislikes vs ~410k likes at point of writing. Personally, I quite liked the video. It didn't give me the impression that all masculinity is bad. Yes, it shown some examples of bad male behaviour, but it also role-modeled some good behaviour. Behaviour that's worth diving into a little more. What's the moral opposite of toxic masculinity like? 


What is wholesome masculinity?


Truth is, I don't know for sure and I'm hardly an authority in this. It's a genuine question I'm curious to learn more about. 


Good role models in masculine behaviour are hard to come by these days, but I believe they exist. And masculine qualities are not the limited to only men - it can also be found in women. Likewise, men can have feminine qualities too. It's not about biological traits here; it's about social/cultural values, mindsets, attitudes and behaviours. We all have a portfolio of masculine/feminine traits within us, some nurtured since young, some borrowed from society as we grew up.  


So I made a tentative list of wholesome masculine traits, from memories of random people/situations/books/movies that had exhibited that behaviour. Traits that inspire me to be the best I can get: 


🐘 Strength in softness

πŸ’ͺ Courage without recklessness

☝️ Independent without individualism

πŸ™ Humble pride without ego in one's achievements 

πŸ‘ Optimistic in face of difficult situations

πŸ§•πŸΎ Openness to a diversity of people

πŸ§—β€β™‚οΈ Adventurous to what life offers

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘§ Protect without needing violence

πŸ’‘ Being open to change and new ideas (via @keenencharles)

πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ Being assertive but accepting when you're wrong (via @keenencharles)


Did I miss anything?


I'd love to build on the list and have human stories for each trait, but that probably could be for another post. Maybe you, dear reader, could share yours?

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    @jasonleow I think this is an important discussion to have along with the toxic masculinity one. It's easy to assume it means all masculinity is toxic. Maybe a list of traits of what constitutes wholesome masculinity can help deter that issue.

    I think the traits you selected are pretty spot on and I'd add:
    - Being open to change and new ideas
    - Being assertive but accepting when you're wrong

    Keenen Charles avatar Keenen Charles | Jan 18, 2019 22:33:46
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      @keenencharles nice i like your additions. Can I add to the main post above? (while crediting you of course)

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 19, 2019 12:48:49
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      @jasonleow yeah sure!

      Keenen Charles avatar Keenen Charles | Jan 19, 2019 01:22:27
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      @keenencharles done! Thanks! Love your recent post about whataboutism. Explains my frustrations so clearly. πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 19, 2019 14:46:50
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    @jasonleow Oh, brother. Here we go.
    Look, some of your points are valid, but considering you're acting as a mouthpiece for an ideology which purports to serve 'equality' it's quite hypocritical to accept the use of the term 'toxic masculinity' without critically examining the obvious - yet unstated - duality.

    If there is toxic masculinity, there is also toxic femininity. If we discuss one, we need to also talk about and address the other. But this is why it's a load of BS, and, like many female arguments, it's not a rational argument but a trap, where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    If you talk about women and toxic femininity you are participating/contributing to a gender war, which is just stupid. Men and women are made/created/exist to support each other. Men and women love each other and, no matter what feminists try to tell girls, we cannot live meaningful lives without each other. If feminists cared about humanity, and equality, they would work from here at improving things. Men should act like men, women like women. Let's get better at doing that for each other.

    And yet, if you don't talk about toxic femininity but you accept that 'toxic masculinity' is the only problem, then, as the definition of toxic masculinity widens, you find, more and more, that you are problematic just because you are a man. That's pretty shitty. That's the kind of thing toxic women do to men in toxic relationships.
    That's toxic femininity.

    Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jan 18, 2019 09:54:59
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      @gabrielgreco Oh brother, here we go. Nah I think you read too much into my words and misunderstand my meaning. I do agree with everything you say. I think toxic femininity exists too. In fact toxic people are everywhere, whether man or woman. I don't believe masculinity is toxic in itself - it's the people who bring toxicity into it. Toxic masculinity isn't the only problem, it's toxic behaviour everywhere that's the problem. So I'm with you man. Perhaps if toxic femininity is so important to you to talk about, you can write about it and teach us about it. For me, I don't have much thoughts about it yet. I only had a question about the term toxic masculinity and just wanted to write my 200 words and ask a question publicly about it.... can I ?

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 18, 2019 17:25:46
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      @jasonleow Of course you can, but you shouldn't. That was the point of my comment. I could easily write about toxic femininity, but I'm limiting myself to these replies. The way in which the topic is currently framed (as toxic) any discussion on the subject is far more damaging to the relationship between the sexes than it is useful. Unless you think browbeating people makes for a good strategy in achieving one's aims.

      Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but it would make a lot more sense for men and women to get together and say, we are making mistakes in the way we treat each other and our children, and, as you said, the toxic behavior comes from everywhere. How do we get better?

      Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jan 18, 2019 12:52:59
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      @jasonleow @gabrielgreco
      All this from a "virtue signalling" global behemouth that charges more for their women's line than the men's and got caught placing a "Made in the USA" stamp on their products which are majority made elsewhere.

      Also proves the limited attention span of people, especially the men who are cheerleading this ad. Imagine if they ran this ad in the midst of the Kavanaugh hearings?

      Mark Armstrong avatar Mark Armstrong | Jan 18, 2019 14:12:32
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      @gabrielgreco I love everything you're saying about both sexes coming together and work towards getting better. And I absolutely agree. I'm just not sure where you're getting the part about me browbeating people. I simply asked a genuine, honest question and happen to not have time to write long essays exploring both sides of it in one 200 word post. Just like you choose not to write about toxic femininity in your replies, I choose to not write at length too. I think if we want to have a wholesome, constructive discussion, perhaps you yourself should stop browbeating how others should or should not write about any issue. Frankly this discussion is leaving me a bitter after-taste. I wanted to learn more and just have a civil discussion, but condescending comments like yours isn't helping with your cause. And as much as I'm on your side in terms of the logic of what your saying, you're making me feel smaller and lesser with your tone. Now isn't that toxic?

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 18, 2019 21:30:17
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      @RealNegotiator I'm happy to have a civil discussion if you have something constructive to say. But your sarcasm isn't appreciated here.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 18, 2019 21:32:51
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      @jasonleow My mistake, I didn't mean to imply you're doing the browbeating, I don't believe you are. It's the Gillete ad doing it, and people who insist on labels that end up generating a divisive narrative.
      The thing I do not agree with, and I'm happy to discuss if you think you can change my point of view on it, is that presenting masculinity alongside the label, "toxic" and discussing it as a fait accompli is not helpful, even if your goal was to, in fact, suggest there are positive examples of masculinity (there are and your post included some of these).

      In other words, if you discuss the term 'toxic masculinity' without critically examining why it is used in the absence of its feminine counterpart, and you're happy to essentially promote it as a legitimate umbrella term as defined by a group of people who are not those that it refers to, then part of whatever argument you do make on its behalf is going to be disingenuous.

      Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jan 18, 2019 15:58:04
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      @gabrielgreco Good. We have an understanding then. Actually I don't wish to change your point of view. I only sought to learn more from others regarding the question I had. I see your point that putting "toxic" next to "masculinity" seem like it's fait accompli, but from my perspective, that feels a bit like nickpicking on semantics. You'll probably disagree with me about the semantics bit. No problem, I have no wish to change your mind because that wasn't my purpose of writing this post. And honestly, I had lost interest to continue because I had repeatedly mentioned I agree with your points but you chose to focus on that two words that trigger you. Thanks for sharing in any case.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 18, 2019 23:40:24
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      @jasonleow @gabrielgreco
      No Sarcasm Given. No more cash to Gillette or any other "Virtue Signalling" company given. The media and Madison Ave. have turned the meaning of word "feminism" into "feminazi." (at least in the USA.) I don't see this as a problem in countries outside the US where women are taught to be feminine and men are taught to be masculine. The best way to compliment each other and live in harmony.

      Mark Armstrong avatar Mark Armstrong | Jan 18, 2019 17:27:18
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      @gabrielgreco nah bringing in experts won’t make your words more convincing Gabriel.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 19, 2019 12:47:35
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      @RealNegotiator i like the part you said about complementing each other and live in harmony but have no idea what the rest meant, but ok.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 19, 2019 12:52:33
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      @jasonleow @gabrielgreco
      I suggest you look up and learn about the "Red Pill." It will help you understand the real purpose of these types of ads, who is behind them, and why you should care.

      Mark Armstrong avatar Mark Armstrong | Jan 19, 2019 12:57:41
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