Towards Non toxic Masculinity

Oct 8, 2021

Toxic masculinity is at the core of many problems that affect men, families and communities around the world. In my work as a counsellor I see, on a daily basis the harm done to boys and men by what we have come to call "toxic masculinity". Aspects of femininity can be "toxic" as well but that will be a topic for a future date.

In our times toxic Masculinity is about ...

  • Showing no emotions except anger
  • Showing no weakness
  • Always winning  (The man who dies with the most assets is the winner)
  • Showing no need to depend on others
  • Suffering quietly, not showing pain
  • Trying to be tough
  • Entitlement to sex
  • Hyper competitiveness
  • Public shows of dominance over others to achieve status
  • Rejecting any household chores seen to be "womens work"
  • Denigrating Gay men, men who dont look "masculine enough"

Consequences of Toxic Masculinity

  • Stress
  • All the addictions
  • Depression and Anxiety disorders
  • Very stilted social functioning
  • Avoidance of regular medical checkups leading to earlier death
  • Men are 3 times more likely to suicide
  • Lack of real role models and friendships.

Can you identify with any of the above ? Perhaps you were you raised around this toxic masculinity or had no male role models.  How acceptable was it for you to express your emotions.  What did you learn about being a man ?

Here are some of the characteristics of good role models ...................

  • They live passionately. Other men and boys notice this, admire and emulate it
  • They have steady values, habits, honesty, reliability, empathy ......
  • They are just as focused on their community as on themselves. they give freely of their time and energy.
  • They have overcome obstacles without compromising beliefs and values becoming better men. They are confident.
  • They can be accepting of difference
  • They are equally interested in helping another person regardless of the persons background.
  • These good role models often are extremely influential and charismatic in a low key way. Inspiring rather than trying to dominate. Leading by example.

If you feel like you missed out it is never too late to make new friends, to find a tribe to belong to.  To belong to a group and to be appreciated for who you are are deep human needs.  To begin to feel and express your emotions can turn a grim, black and white world into colour and transform your relationships.

If your emotions have been shut down for years you may well not know how you really feel or what you want in life.  

Counselling can be a place to roll back the effect of toxic masculinity in your life.

  • Begin telling your story, to get used to opening up to others
  • Break the isolation
  • To explore your identity, your priorities, your options.
  • Work on addictions
  • Learn new ways of dealing with pressure
  • Learn how to fit into your tribe whee you can belong and be appreciated.

Nothing is worse for Mental Heath than isolation.  With toxic masculinity you can be around people constantly but feel very alone. Are you ready for change ?

I work with Men who are moving on from the kind of toxic behaviours that harm themselves and others. See my contact tab below. Comments welcome.

Here in New Zealand you can also join groups such as

Essentially Men

Man Kind Project

#toxic masculinity #counseling auckland

Martin Fraser, B.A. (Hons) Psyc. Dip Counselling.

Particular interest in enhancing resilience in my community against Depression, Anxiety, Isolation and Addictions. Member of NZ Assoc Counsellors.

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