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
💪 Courage without recklessness
☝️ Independent without individualism
🙏 Humble pride without ego in one's achievements
👍 Optimistic in face of difficult situations
🧕🏾 Openness to a diversity of people
🧗♂️ Adventurous to what life offers
👨👧 Protect without needing violence
💡 Being open to change and new ideas (via @keenencharles)
🤷♂️ 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?