"You're a man, don't cry, please!" Have you ever had this treatment? This attitude is included in toxic masculinity. Instead of being able to provide support or positive energy, toxic masculinity it can have a negative impact on the social life and mental health of men.
Toxic masculinity is a cultural pressure for men to behave and behave in certain ways. This term is generally associated with values that are considered to be in a man, for example, men must show strength, power, and abstain from expressing emotions.
Basically, masculine is a good characteristic. However, this becomes toxic or misguided when men are required to possess and show masculinity in order to avoid the stigma of “weak men”.
In fact, a man can also have a gentle nature or gentle, friendly, or sensitive, and there's nothing wrong with men.
Recognize the Characteristics Toxic Masculinity
In concept toxic masculinity, emotions tend to be judged as weakness and masculinity is identically associated with strength, toughness, or prestige. So, every man must be able to store emotions in any situation, especially sadness, and be dominant, as in patriarchal customs.
Besides, attitude toxic masculinity also usually seen through the following characteristics:
- Do not show sad emotions and complain, and assume that men can only express courage and anger
- No need for warmth or comfort
- Don't need to receive help and can't depend on anyone
- Must have power and high social status in order to be respected by others
- Behaving rudely and aggressively, and dominating others, especially women
- Tendency to be misogynistic
- Tendency to engage in violent sexual activity
- Considering “cool” unhealthy habits, such as smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, and even taking illegal drugs
- Heterosexism and homophobia
Attitude toxic masculinity can also be reflected in the notion that men should not do or have an interest in activities that are identical to women's work, such as cooking, sewing, or doing household chores.
How to Prevent Toxic Masculinity
Since childhood, most boys are educated and required to be strong and tough. Sadness seems to be a taboo thing and needs to be avoided because it is often considered a sign of weakness. In fact, every human being has emotions that need to be felt and expressed.
This mistaken concept of masculinity can be one of the risk factors for men to commit domestic violence, sexual harassment, to rape. Besides, the man who upholds toxic masculinity can also feel isolated, isolated, and lonely, and it is more difficult to develop empathy.
A grown man who has been used to holding on to his attitude for years toxic masculinity tend to find it difficult to change their mindset. Therefore, this wrong concept should be avoided and instilled in men from childhood.
In order not to get stuck with the wrong masculine concept and avoid its bad effects, the first step that can be done is to improve the parenting pattern of parents towards boys.
Here are some ways that every parent can use to keep their son out of this mindset toxic masculinity:
1. Teach to be able to express yourself
Teach children to be able to feel and express the various emotions that he feels. Let him know that it's okay for boys to complain and express sadness and cry.
If he feels embarrassed to cry in public, give an understanding that he is allowed to cry when he is alone or around people he trusts, such as parents, teachers, or caregivers.
2. Cultivate empathy
Empathy in boys does not just appear, but needs to be trained. By having empathy, children will be able to understand the feelings of themselves and others, and can control their emotions well. This can also prevent them from thinking toxic masculinity when growing up.
Teach children the value of politeness and invite them to be able to position themselves as other people. Also give him an understanding of the importance of showing concern and respect for others, regardless of that person's gender, gender, or ethnic and religious background.
3. Avoid words that demean women
As much as possible avoid words that seem demeaning to women, for example "The way you walk like a girl" or "Don't talk like a girl". This will make boys look down on girls and find it difficult to respect girls.
4. Keep an eye on children's entertainment media
Monitor the entertainment media provided to children, be it books, movies, gadgets, or others. Make sure the content is not toxic masculinity. If children's shows or entertainment show the wrong concept of masculinity, give an understanding that this is not something that should be imitated.
Toxic masculinity certainly not a good attitude to do. In addition to making men a social burden, this concept also makes them tend to maintain negative attitudes, such as not wanting to express their emotions or finding it difficult to find catharsis, and this can risk damaging their mental health.
Therefore, be aware of the characteristics toxic masculinity and do the way above to prevent it, especially in children. Not only beneficial for men's lives, a healthy understanding of masculinity can also be done as an effort to reduce the number of violence against women and children.
If you get stuck in toxicmasculinity to feel that the quality of your life is disrupted or it is difficult to establish relationships with other people, especially with women, it might be a good idea to consult a psychologist to get the right advice and guidance to change this bad trait.