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This Twitter Conversation Is Sparking An Important Discussion About Toxic Masculinity

Toxic masculinity is a construct of patriarchy which refers to the 'normative' performances of hegemonic masculinity i.e you must like football, provide for your family etc. As with most things to do with patriarchy, this construct affects men and women alike, and is one of the reasons we see patriarchal norms as a double-edged sword. 

In this day of unlearning harmful constructs and enforcing forward motion, discourse is important. This is why Twitter user @Iamforbes has sparked up a conversation about toxic masculinity, imploring the men on his timeline to talk about how it's impacted their lives negatively.

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The responses to this tweet have been truly heartbreaking. On one very petty hand, we're a bit hesitant to feel sympathy for them as this is a result of a system they reap benefits from to the detriment of women. However on the other more reasonable hand, we know that it's a nightmare to have to succumb to what society dictates, with no regard for your own personal preferences or desires, so we fully get it. 

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The responses varied from boys being berated for not enjoying 'manly' activities, not being allowed/able to express emotions 'as a man' to not getting verbal shows of affection. When we talk about the harmful effects of toxic masculinity, and that men are trash, we are not just criticising men or licking wounds from past hurt, but are also calling out the patriarchal system they cling so closely to.

This conversation is important firstly because men only listen to other men, so perhaps this could be the starting point in dismantling these harmful norms and letting everyone heal. Secondly, we can then begin to pave the way for a new generation of boys/men who reject these norms. 

Patriarchy hurts men as well as women by breeding selfish, violent, disrespectful, misogynistic men with no emotional depth or maturity. These men continue to pose threats to women and the LGBT community around the world and from this conversation, we can see that it's a problem for them too. We wish all of them healing, and implore them to join us in our fight against patriarchy because even though they're suffering, women have an even shorter end of the already short stick. 

Check out some of the ways toxic masculinity has negatively impacted some mens' lives right here: 

Being Effeminite

Showing Emotion

Toxic Parenting

Peer Pressure

By Damilola Animashaun, published on 29/06/2018

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