It is not that often that I take to my site and speak my mind, it’s not that often that I have call to speak my mind if I am honest, but recently I find that there are have been a spate articles that are dehumanising and belittling men and masculinity. I tend to call it the Trunchbull Effect or the Matilda Syndrome, it derives from that saying “I’m Big, You’re Small…” or “I’m right and you’re wrong…” today I came across this notion of ‘Toxic Masculinity‘ and that was enough.
‘Toxic Masculinity‘ in a nutshell is another constructed form of gender stereotyping, where it is defining how masculinity is perceived and how a man should act in accordance with archaic societal expectations that are only perpetuated by Hollywood and the Media at large. Gender stereotyping is about as backwards as you get. That is of course unless you work in Social sciences, Print or Broadcasting Media, in which case gender is used to profile, stereotype and target sell to as much of the populus as possible but generally speaking it is as much use as a chocolate teapot!
Before I continue, I’d like to point out that I have never really had a male role model outside of family. I learnt how not to be masculine through the education system and also learnt that no matter how much I would have liked to have been supported at school and even college; it wasn’t going to happen because of the laws and by-laws that were inbuilt to the education system and also Scots Laws as well, and they would not be repealed until the turn of the century, but thanks to those laws and by-laws I learnt about how not to be a man of that time, and as I hold up a mirror and watch the reflections being cast, I see now that I have a lot of be thankful for even through the bullying.
Although I was told that I wasn’t a lot of things either verbally or non-verbally through being bullied, I also realised that it was just enough pain to forge the strength that I have now; that because of the by-laws and laws of that time, they did me a solid in that I learnt how to be my kind of human, and my kind of man. One with just enough of everything to be rounded and just enough ‘damage’ to be driven to move forward.
The only trouble was that until recently I never really fully appreciated the life lessons from these experiences. I was too limited in my view of my experiences; school hasn’t really taught me much, a great deal of my numeracy skills came from having to work with colours, perm lotions and peroxide strengths for a few years. As for my literacy skills they have come from writing dissertations for family, projects for college and the occasional NaNOWri or feature length story arcs on forums. True school and college taught me about reading, my dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia as well. However bullying at college level taught me about just how toxic femininity can be as well, its not easy being the only man on a hairdressing course and being turned into public enemy for no other reason than because I was male; however in 2017, it’s not permissible to suggest that just as there is a Toxic Masculinity there is also a Toxic Femininity.
What I find very troubling these days is that how much of a mirror I am witnessing, except this mirrored reflection is showing me that this ‘attack’ against masculinity is insipid, because it is two pronged; on the one side you have the ‘men did this’ meaning rape, murder, subjugation etc but also you have the ‘be a man’ where men have to be the providers, progenitors of the family line, kings, soldiers etc essentially men are told they aren’t allowed to have emotions. This is the type of message that I kept getting through school, college and even to some degree the career or working world. At no time was I told that I could have the career path that I am forging now. The concept of Toxic isn’t just limited to one gender it is a systemic flaw in the way society works, it is not about acceptance it is about fitting in, the tactics of the bully have just changed to fit the times.
It took a lot for me to rediscover myself, I’ve had to readdress the inner balance, hold myself into account for all my actions, both the best and the worst; I had permitted society to dictate my ‘normal’ and I believed that I was the worst, the worst driver because I wasn’t going as fast as others, the worst at being in business because I don’t use Facebook, Twitter or the many other platforms or because I keep my prices low, even though I know my worth. I also noticed that Society tried to dictate how I was supposed to love as well, and by that I was supposed to marry, have a child to a woman and so on, but as it happens I chose to marry a man and we intend to have children when the time is right for us.
This is where Gender Toxicity becomes Toxic Society, because the archaic ideals are being perpetuated by institutions that haven’t grown or evolved. Yes there are plenty of wonderfully fluffy or scary articles on the subject of human evolution or raising awareness but normally they are right along side those wonderfully targeted adverts for – INSERT ANY OLD BRAND NAME HERE – and they’ll excuse it because they need the revenue, umm no! If you were that evolved or that caring about your fellow human you wouldn’t have them. Let me clarify something before I move on, there are those who make their living from using advertising; that is a conscious choice made by an individual. The type of article I refer to are the clickbait, where it is a rehash telling of another article on another site usually owned by the same parent company…
It is not that surprising to me that as we progress, there is a need for connection on a realistic level; however we are not taught to connect neither at the human level or the intimate level; everything I learnt about intimacy was either through books, videos or pornography, yes that’s right more so when I wanted to learn how I should be with a man, I had to rely on How to Videos, Pornography and Women’s Magazines, we are not taught how to be intimate with others or even how to have a human experience with another, all that is out there is how to make babies and do it doggy style because that is how afraid the archaic system is of human connection.
Imagine what would be to feel and be in perfection with another? True perfection, at the moment we glamourise and sexualise practically everything, from sexualised Tarot Cards to sexualising children for the purposes of looking good while performance dancing and yet this is normalised and excused. There is nothing wrong with performance dancing, gymnastics or anything else for that matter I used to figure skate when I was a lot younger, the point that I am trying to get across is that as soon as you put out there on the Televisual media, as soon as you put it into a glossy magazine, they are looking to sexualise and glamourise it up so as to get ratings; it is no longer about a troupe doing routines it becomes about how eye catching and glamorous children as young as 3 or 5 can be for a television executive and their camera.
I didn’t start out writing this proclaiming to know all the answers, nor did I start out with the intention of defending all men; I started out with one aim, to point out the inherent flaws in clickbait articles, gender pigeon holing, stereotyping and also to point out that both genders can be just as toxic as each other but the Politically Correct brigade and their censorship police would rather men and masculinity be the problem rather than the society and the bully mentality that exists within it. The mindset is so entrenched in holding back the years, creating barriers to genuine connection, awareness of human sexuality and true intimacy that the whole idea of gender is become fluid, which in itself is awesome and scares the old guard, gender is just another barrier, holding the old ways in place.
Imagine what would be to feel and be in perfection with another? This is not about raging against the machine, anarchy or devolution of society, as some might think. The whole point is this – We have our laws to keep us safe, stifling though they are at times as long as we understand their place and value, we just get on with our lives in all their glorious technicolour; we drive at the right speeds, do business as we see fit and avoid the clickbait articles as much as possible. It is time acknowledge that there is a whole culture of sexualisation for profit and start moving on towards openness. If we are to survive then we need to move out of the past, give history its place and start forging a new mindset. Start by embracing this notion that sexuality isn’t dirty and it doesn’t revolve around gender, porn or glossy imaging; it is time to start stepping into our awareness that we are more than just a some of our parts and more than just parts to someone else’s ideology of society.