Hello everyone! Over the next 2 weeks, I will be talking about 3 main topics: Toxic Masculinity, Gender Inequality, and Domestic Violence. This week I will be informing you about the harsh effects that Toxic masculinity has not only in our workplaces, but in our homes, schools, and our communities as a whole.
I am a girl. I have a voice and I will use my voice to advocate for all girls and young women who can’t advocate for themselves against topics such as gender inequality, and domestic violence. All topics listed above tie into one singular topic: Toxic Masculinity. There are so many young women and girls who suffer from the effects of toxic masculinity in today’s day and age. I am a girl and I am using my voice to educate you on the harsh effects that society brings upon us girls for wearing too little, or wearing too much; somehow, it’s always our fault.
What Is Toxic Masculinity? How would you describe it? The concept has been around forever. Suddenly, the term seems to be everywhere. Well if you ask me, Toxic masculinity is what can come of teaching boys that they can’t express emotion openly, that they have to be “tough all the time,” that anything other than that makes them “feminine” or weak. (No, it doesn’t mean that all men are inherently toxic.) Justin Baldoni (actor) once said, “I want to be a good man, a good human and I believe that the only way that can happen is if men learn to not only embrace the qualities that we were told are feminine in ourselves, but to be willing to stand up, to champion, and to learn from the women who embody them.”~ 2018 TED Talk.
When a girl is walking down a street, wearing shorts, and showing skin, OR even when she’s wearing a whole freaking jumpsuit and is fully-clothed, she gets cat-called. Why? Because men are taught that women are just sex objects or things to be objectified. That is toxic masculinity. As a girl, my clothes do not give consent. I do. when we say no, we deserve that that ‘no’ is respected and not taken lightly. If we get touched inappropriately or the worst scenario, get sexually assaulted and are wearing ‘revealing’ clothing, it’s considered as “oh she was asking for it, wearing a skirt like that.” Again, our clothes DO NOT give men the right to say “she was asking for it” when their god-awful assumptions are so far off!
We teach girls from such a young age to not wear revealing clothing or don’t go out late at night alone or when a boy teases you, he likes you. We should be teaching young boys that when a girl, or anyone for that matter, says NO it means NO. We should be teaching boys that showing emotions does not make you feminine so maybe they will learn to respect females a little more. Girls are sick and tired from hearing some guy bragging that he “scored with a chick.” We are not objects or toys for young men to use when they feel like it and then throw away when they get bored of us. Toxic Masculinity isn’t just an action that we need to change, it is a mentality that needs to be erased.
Contrary to popular belief, the influence that traditional male stereotypes have on the perpetuation of gender inequality, at a transnational scale, also needs to be addressed. If we are able to end the mentality of toxic masculinity, we might be one step closer to establishing Gender Equality! Stay tuned to hear more about how we as a community can stop gender inequality & reduce Domestic Violence and create a better, brighter, and more beautiful future for young girls and boys in next week’s Blog!