As a woman, I know how hard it can be to struggle with confidence. In this world, we talk so much about the problems we have with insecure girls becoming insecure women and it's amazing. However, we need to let boys know that they're loved too. Men are raised to think that they need to be stronger than us. They're not supposed to be emotional; they're supposed to be tough. They can't be artists; they're football players. Stay at home dads? That's ridiculous. Men are supposed to provide for their families.
Toxic masculinity is a man's need to act tough and emotionless. They feel they need to hide their negative feelings during stressful or upsetting situations and often are overly aggressive. They feel they're supposed to be the dominant sex; therefore they usually have a negative attitude towards any woman who threatens their masculinity. For example, telling your son not to cry after a traumatic event is wrong. Boys are allowed to have feelings, but a lot of the time they're forced to repress them to show their emotional strength. This can lead to a lot of built-up anger which is part of why men typically are more violent than women. Women are sensitive and empathetic. That's just the way we've been raised. Men have been raised to stay mighty. We need to start raising boys and girls the same. Instead of shaming your son for crying, let him know that tears are okay. You can be a sympathetic person and still have masculine qualities.
The Toxic Patriarchy is what's raising our rapists. Men have been taught to be sexually aggressive. For example, we all can think of a time when our own president made some extremely vulgar comments about women. Having leaders like this is what makes our men so sexual. It's not just President Trump, it's our fathers. We shame women for having sex by calling them sluts, but we glorify men for having sex which makes them think they're entitled to it. They feel the need to conform to their expectations of having sex all of the time and being aggressive human beings.
I've always been picky about the idea of "rape culture," but in a way, we do have a rape problem in our society. Rape has been justified time and time again by blaming it on alcohol or saying the victim is ruining the rapist's life. Did you get raped on campus? Well, why would you report it? You're ruining poor Chad's chances of becoming an NFL superstar. Too often are we blaming the wrong people because men can never be accountable for their actions in the toxic patriarchy. They're taught that they're superior to women, so why would they take the blame?
Toxic masculinity has been around from the beginning. If we criticize it, we're threatening their manliness, but if we let it get out of hand, we'll continue to raise aggressive men who feel like they're not allowed to express their pain.
There's no way we can change the way women are treated if we don't focus on the way men are treated. We're being treated like we're lower than men because of the way they've been brought up. So, if it's equality we're fighting for, we need to start by teaching our little boys that it's okay to have empathy. You don't have to be aggressive. We should respect women's bodies.
Toxic masculinity will continue on for years, but it doesn't have to. If only we treated our boys differently... then we'd all have the equality we want AND need.