Students aware of toxic masculinity


Ivan Olivares is researching about toxic masculinity on Google.

Ivan Olivares, Reporter

The majority of students are aware of what is toxic masculinity and there’s a small portion that do not.

In a random survey of 25 Morton East students, 18 reported that they knew what toxic masculinity was while 9 students answered that they didn’t know what it was.

According to an article in The New York Times, “What is Toxic masculinity” published by Maya Salam states that toxic masculinity is the set of behaviors or beliefs such as suppressing emotions, showing toughness, and using violence as sense of power. Meaning that men or boys can’t show emotions as well as being tough all the time, continue misogynistic behavior, and or homophobia. However, if they show anything opposite to this kind of behavior they are seen as weak or feminine. In another article on Medical News Today, “What to Know About Toxic Masculinity” published by Jon Johnson specifies how masculinity and gender roles are viewed in different manners that are formed by varying factors along the lines of age, race, class, culture, sexuality, and religion. This demonstrates that there are many factors to how masculinity is being perceived and influenced. On the other hand, it also exemplifies that boys or adult males are looking into the world through a very narrow viewpoint with an exaggeration of masculine traits as a way to feel acceptance and live up to being a man. Which could, later on, lead them to many issues like bullying, risky behavior, substance abuse, domestic violence, and psychological trauma. The third article on VeryWell Mind, “The Dangerous Effects of Toxic Masculinity” published by Sarah Sheppard expresses the concern about the mental health of men that show toxic masculinity. The concern for the mental health of men that express toxic masculinity is that people fail to address the traumas and conflicts that men go through. Just like women, men can have mental health issues, but men don’t use the available resources as women do. The reason being is the stigma about mental health as well as not encouraging men/boys to seek out help, express emotions, and attending therapy. 

“I do know what toxic masculinity is and yes, I have experienced it. My experience with it was a constant reminder that I can’t be superior to the guy and he would verbally remind me I can’t do certain things and I need to know my role as a “female”. At times he would always make remarks talking about cleaning is not his job that it’s only a female job,” senior student Daniela Moreno said.

Various women experience toxic masculinity, not in the same aspect as men, but in a misogynistic way. By getting constant reminders that they are inferior to men and that they should serve the man. As well as being told where the place of a woman is according to a man’s misogynistic way of thinking.

Oh yeah as an identified androgynous woman in a Latin household, I’ve seen and experienced a lot of toxic masculinity-like discomfort looks to the saying “ Empieza a vestirte Como una nina,” senior student Maribel Camargo said.  

Cultural factors can influence the toxic masculinity in way that a child is raised depending on the gender assigned at birth. From the way you dress, act, speak, or express yourself it will affect how you are looked different and told to fit in to the more socially accepted household or culture.

I was always forced to wrestle with my stepdad and my brother and when I refused, because I didn’t like conflict, my stepdad would punish me for not being a “man,” Jesus Gonzalez said. 

Men that do not portray masculine traits or fall under the more brute force side of themselves get the short end of the stick by being punished for not being on the same level of masculinity as them, as well as being told that they aren’t “man” enough. 

I’m not really aware of the term. I assume it means that as a man you think you must behave a certain way — that you must be tough — to be a man. As a teen I experienced it, I think. I was more into music than sports, and I think I was self-conscious about that. But, now, I celebrate it because I don’t care about societal stereotypes anymore, journalism teacher Kent Frankfother said. 

Many people if not all will have self-consciousness if what they are doing is socially accepted by other people, especially men/boys that don’t act the same, as the same hobbies, activities, or even think the same way. Many boys/men experience this kind of toxic masculinity for being different from the norms that have been set in place for boys and girls.