Toxic Masculinity (Toxic Masculinity)


A relatively young term introduced by feminist socialists: toxic masculinity or, to put it another way: toxic masculinity.

Toxic Masculinity. This term appears more and more frequently in online discussions about the gender debate as well as in national and international mainstream publications. A clear definition of what this term actually means and which characteristics or behaviors of a person fall under this term remains unclear in most cases. Even a simple Google search does not lead to reliable sources, nor to an answer to the initial questions. But as the saying goes: “If the mountain does not come to the prophet, the prophet has to come to the mountain”, and with this in mind, I went looking for a serious and scientifically validated definition of the term Toxic Masculinity and I am there came across the following report published in the Journal Of Clinical Psychology in 2005.

The author Terry A. Kupers analyzes in his article:
“Toxic Masculinity as a Barrier to Mental Health Treatment in Prison” is the term used in connection with the treatment of mental illnesses in prison inmates.

In the course of the introduction, Kupers gives the following definition of the term Toxic Masculinity: Toxic masculinity is the constellation of socially regressive male traits that serve to foster domination, the devaluation of women, homophobia, and wanton violence.

In other words: Toxic Masculinity is the interaction of “socially regressive male traits” which promote the emergence and existence of dominance, the devaluation of women, homophobia and criminal / willful violence.

Connell defines hegemonic masculinity as the dominant notion of masculinity in a particular historical context (Connell, 1987). In contemporary American and European culture, it serves as the standard upon which the “real man” is defined. According to Connell, contemporary hegemonic masculinity is built on two legs, domination of women and a hierarchy of intermale dominance (Connell, 1987; Jennings & Murphy, 2000). It is also shaped to a significant extent by the stigmatization of homosexuality (Frank, 1987). Hegemonic masculinity is the stereotypic notion of masculinity that shapes the socialization and aspirations of young males (Pollack, 1998). Today’s hegemonic masculinity in the United States of America and Europe includes a high degree of ruthless competition, an inability to express emotions other than anger, an unwillingness to admit weakness or dependency, devaluation of women and all feminine attributes in men, homophobia, and so forth (Brittan, 1989). Hegemonic masculinity is conceptual and stereotypic in the sense that most men veer far from the hegemonic norm in their actual idiosyncratic ways, but even as they do so, they tend to worry lest others will view them as unmanly for their deviations from the hegemonic ideal of the real man [Hervorhebung nicht im Original]

Obviously, we also need to take a closer look at Connell’s remarks about Hegemonic Masculinity to understand where this term comes from and what supports it. Connell writes the following in her 1987 book Gender and Power: Society, the Person and Sexual Politics:

Your concept or your theoretical frame of reference of the Hegemonic Masculinity is therefore not based on proven causalities. Instead, she bridles the horse from behind, looks at the fact that the supposedly globally dominant masculinity has not yet erased all other identities and then concludes that there must be a “balance of power” because of this. The dominant form of masculinity would rather suppress than destroy. Why, why, why … that doesn’t matter. The fact that there are other forms of masculinity and femininity in addition to the supposedly dominant form of masculinity does not prove that such a dominant form of masculinity even exists. After this brief and disappointing trip back in time, let’s get back to Kuper’s article. He also writes the following about the concept of Toxic Masculinity:

The term toxic masculinity is useful in discussions about gender and forms of masculinity because it delineates those aspects of hegemonic masculinity that are socially destructive, such as misogyny, homophobia, greed, and violent domination; and those that are culturally accepted and valued (Kupers, 2001).

Toxic Masculinity describes a subset of the Hegemonic Masculinity; the term specifically describes the negative or socially destructive characteristics of masculinity. Kupers then repeats:

Toxic masculinity is constructed of those aspects of hegemonic masculinity that foster domination of others and are, thus, socially destructive. Unfortunate male proclivities associated with toxic masculinity include extreme competition and greed, insensitivity to or lack of consideration of the experiences and feelings of others, a strong need to dominate and control others, an incapacity to nurture, a dread of dependency, a readiness to resort to violence, and the stigmatization and subjugation of women, gays, and men who exhibit feminine characteristics.

The question as to why all these characteristics or traits cannot also apply to women or femininity naturally remains unanswered.

In summary: Toxic Masculinity is an unproven concept, which is based on the unproven concept of Hegemonic Masculinity. With this, negative traits that can occur in every human being are arbitrarily assigned to a “form of masculinity”. However, this is neither validated nor can the entire theoretical frame of reference be falsified. And that’s what is called science. In reality, the socialists are concerned with completely destroying masculinity and femininity as well.

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