What do toxic masculinity or femininity really mean? A perspective on the background of the behavior that is labeled as such and how we can move forward.
Boys and girls learn ways to deal with situations that arise, ways of protecting themselves from actual or imagined danger. These are ways of going about in an attempt to decrease insecurities and getting a grip on this thing we call life. When those ways of protection are (self)sabotaging or hurtful to others, we call it toxic, no matter if it’s being conducted by a man or a women. There might me different reasons why boys or girls end up learning unhealthy ways of dealing with life (which I can elaborate on another time) but I prefer to look at the benefit of it. One’s sabotaging ways always get in the way of real happiness and therefore we are all always being confronted with them, until we learn new ways of acting.
New ways of being
The longing for security outside of ourselves, which is being reflected in ‘rules’ about how one should act, what a real man or independant women or worthy human being is, literally limits the amount of true happiness we feel. This expresses itself in our relationship with ourself and other. We are, consciously or not, always dealing with these limitations until we learn to recognise and see both these patterns and ourselves as we truly are. Let’s not focus on labels of toxic this or that too much, as it only polarizes and separates instead of integrating. To be who we are meant to be, we have to realise that the biggest battle is often in our own inability to see the bigger picture. Let us stand in all our glory, together. Tobias Mol