Toxic Attitudes

May 20, 2021

Yes toxic attitudes exist.

Toxic attitudes to work, exercise, dieting, romance, dating, love, education, family, social media, relationships, sex, coffee – anything.

The important note to remember is that the *attitudes* toward these things are toxic, not the thing itself.

And so let’s look at toxic attitudes toward femininity – society’s sexist expectations for women to be small, quiet, fragile, submissive, innocent… and the word we use for this is often ‘misogyny’.

Yes these toxic *attitudes* can be, and often are, internalised and played out by women themselves.

And this happens to men, but with the reverse set of sexist attitudes and expectations.

Society expects men to be big, strong, dominant, powerful, invulnerable, successful and heroic.

But as we always do… we blame our men and boys for these internalised ideas of themselves – calling it “toxic masculinity!”

I hate it.

Because masculinity is not toxic, but our *expectations and attitudes* toward it are.

And people are desperately holding onto this word.


Because if we can get people to start staying ‘toxic *attitudes toward* masculinity’, then this whole charade will fall down.

Men will no longer be seen as the authors of their own pain, but rightly viewed as victims of it, as they are.

This is the thread that we need to pull, to unravel the hate and painful rhetoric that envelops men.

It’s the first step of a journey, to reframe men not as inherently bad, or as deserving of punishment, or as creators of their own suffering - but as people in need of our help.

So step one: let’s start saying toxic *attitudes toward* masculinity.

Image by shi-min-teh


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