Toxic Masculinity - Part 2
** I already know that I will get a bunch of backlash for this post **
Some of this talk about Toxic Masculinity really pisses me off. I was raised to hold a door open for a woman and state “ladies first”. I was raised to walk next to a female, with you on the side of the sidewalk closest to the street. I was raised to treat females with respect and not be a jerk. It is actually called “chivalry” and being a gentleman.
Chivalry originally referred to the medieval knight’s code of honor but today references a range of – usually male – behaviors, from courtesy to overprotectiveness. Some see it as the mindset of elite warriors, glorifying violence and demeaning women. Others see it as necessary and desirable to protect groups under attack. (Source)
I’m 53 years old and I have a whole host of medical conditions, but I will still give up my seat for a woman. I still carry her things for her whenever possible. But by today’s standards, I’m being a pig and I have Toxic Masculinity. That is because some look at chivalry as women cannot look after themselves. That women are weak and men are strong. In that sense, chivalry serves a purpose: it reinforces the belief that men are the more capable gender, and that women are in need of protection. (Source)
I’m in no way stating that when I open the door for my wife or for anyone, they are weak and can’t do it themselves. I’m doing it as an act of kindness, in the same way, that I may pay for the food for the person behind me, or for a cop. The same as stopping for an accident to help and render first aid. When I’m walking next to my wife on the road, she is always on the outside (furthest from the road), because I don’t want my loved ones to get hurt. I will rather be the one that gets hurt, not them. It has nothing to do with weakness, sexism, or capabilities, but it has everything to do with kindness.
It is upsetting that when I’m trying to be nice to someone (let’s say I opened the door for a female or a total stranger) and they get pissed and start to preach that I’m being sexist or being a pig. And since I was raised that way (like many of us that were raised in the 70s and 80s) it is second nature and I didn’t for a split second even think about how wrong it was for me to open the damn door. Then there is the “I can’t win if I try” issue when you don’t open the door and the female expected you to open it for her. I’m, however, happy to note that my son was raised this way, so at least another generation of “Average’s” will carry on the correct and time-honored traditions of being nice to people and showing an act of chivalry every now and then.
I look at my normal day and I see many times that I being chivalrous and I don’t even pay attention to it. When my wife and I go anywhere, I usually drive and she is beside me in the passenger’s seat. She is a perfectly capable and safe driver. I often, unlock the house door and hold it open for her to enter the house. She is perfectly able to do it herself if she wants.
The one time we got home and the front door was open. I had her and the kids wait outside while I check it out. It seems we forgot to lock to close the front door when we left and it appears that the dog wanted to look out through the glass storm door. When it is time to eat dinner at home, I go last in line, allowing my wife and daughter to go first. There have been a few times that I didn’t get much food because of that, but I don’t mind and I also know I can lose a few pounds.
We were out at State Fair a few years back and my wife was cold so I gave her my jacket to wear for the night. About 5-6 times a year I will send her flowers unexpectedly. When we were teenagers and dating, I would walk her to the door and make sure she got in safely.
Alright, back to the Toxic part. I was searching online for some examples of what is considered ‘Toxic Masculinity’ and I ran across this short list:
- Unconditional physical toughness
- Physical aggression, fear of emotions
- Discrimination against people that aren’t heterosexual
- Hyper independence
- Sexual aggression or violence
- Anti-feminist behavior
Many people who identify as male can feel pressure to embody traits of toxic masculinity, which can lead them to act aggressively or violently toward others and themselves.
It seems that it is toxic or bad for a man to be physically tough. There is no consideration as to if this is natural, learned, or faked. Regardless it is bad and toxic.
Based on the above list, if a man is tough, say a cowboy, or maybe a firefighter, then that is bad. So I guess based on this list, and I’m a Marine, then I’m showing traits of Toxic Masculinity. I disagree with some of this thinking. I’m a firm believer that you should be the real you, but you do need to try to consider the people around you. If you are naturally loud, and in people’s faces, then you need to be aware of people’s personal space and tone it down, depending on the situation, there isn’t a need to be a jerk. And, yes, I have been around men that are Toxic, who are way over the top on all levels.
I’m not against people that aren’t heterosexual, but I do have a problem when someone has to shove it in my face. I can’t fly my Marine Corps flag without someone bitching to me about it, yet we allow this.
I just find it over the top and tacky. I don’t care that you are gay, you do you, but you don’t need to include me or impact my life. Fly your rainbow flag, and wear a rainbow hat or shirt. But for fucks sake, you do not need to walk around sucking your face with your lover in public. I can’t get away with it, with my wife, but you can because you are gay. To be honest, it offends people, many people, but they are too scared to ask you to please stop because they will get labeled as a bigot. I’m happy that you have pride in what you believe, but why can’t I be proud of what makes me happy?
You do and I will be me, and we both can do it without impacting each other.
Alright, I feel that I have beaten this one to death. Just remember, you don’t need to be loud and in everyone’s face, you do you, and be cool about it, please. No one likes the totally obnoxious asshole at the party.