Thoughts On “Toxic Masculinity”

April 28, 2022

Toxic! A word that deprives men of compassion and dignity.

A word that stops us seeing men’s distress as the product of society, for which we are all responsible, and makes it the fault of the man himself. It hides distress, obscures true cause, and illuminates exactly nothing.

For we don’t see the terrified father losing his child in court

We don’t see the quiet man who was raped in adolescence

We don’t see the angry bullied boy hiding beneath the bed.

We don’t see the suicidal abused men, left out in the cold.

We don’t see the lonely school boy who’s education we’ve failed.

And we don’t see the survivor of sexual abuse, that our own laws have betrayed and excluded from justice.

We only see one thing: “TOXIC”, spat it these men’s face.

So, the words we beg the man to share, are crammed back into his mouth by emotional philistines and bigots.

And haven’t we been here before?

Isn’t this what we did when we accused distressed women a century ago of ‘female hysteria’, and subjected them to the same bullshit ideology, public shaming and corrective pseudoscientific nonsense?

Will we look back at our own actions and words, right now, with the same shame ten or twenty years from now?

Can we be on the right side of history, and make our future self's proud?

Can we be part of the solution?

Special thanks to @gogoelrojo for the inspiration!

Images by Max Van den Oetelaar, from Unsplash


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