Toxic Masculinity

How Toxic Masculinity Promotes Mental Health Issues?

Over the rise of feminism, we have often heard the term “Toxic Masculinity.” While many assume it is used to ridicule masculine traits, it aims to highlight characteristics that are harmful to people.

Where toxic masculinity poses a dangerous threat to women, their safety, and their independence, it can also adversely affect men’s mental health.

It becomes especially problematic when men start conforming to the aggressive, anger-ridden, and selfish role that society has created for them.

In this article, we will understand what toxic masculinity is and how the risky side-effects of it need to be highlighted during men’s mental health month.

What Is Toxic Masculinity?

Toxic masculinity is a term that defines the unhealthy and traditional traits of men that urge them to adopt toughness, anger, selfishness, and power to be seen as manly.

It promotes the culture of men being the breadwinners and leaders and how they need to be power-hungry, narcissistic, and violent to maintain these roles.

Toxic Masculinity includes these core beliefs;

  • Toughness –Men are strong, aggressive, and emotionally hardened.
  • Anti-Femininity –Men reject all feminine traits, including most emotions, accepting help, and domesticity.
  • Power –Men are worthy only if they have money, power, status, and influence.

Toxic masculinity examples include men using physical abuse to show strength, men becoming sexually aggressive towards women, men refusing to complete household chores not to seem feminine, or men constantly trying to control the women or children- those they consider weaker than them.

Our culture and society play a huge role in training us to follow these gender roles. It is how we learn what is expected of men and women. However, urging men to be unemotional and conform to these stereotypes promotes unhealthy and unrealistic expectations of men.

It puts them in a position where they are shamed for showing love or care, nurturing their kids, or providing service as a form of love.

However, as our knowledge has increased, we have recognized many toxic behaviors that are often normalized. Hence, we collectively work towards ending them to promote men’s mental health.

Toxic Masculinity

The Stigma Around Men’s Mental Health

Men’s mental health month is celebrated in November. Awareness regarding their mental health is promoted, men are encouraged to seek help, and new methods of supporting them are researched.

For the rest of the 11 months of the year, we do nothing of the sort. There is so much stigma around mental health because we always push men into being tough. We shame them for reaching out for help when required.

How often have we heard the term “man up,” where we openly reject empathizing with their struggles and pain, reminding them that showing emotions is weak?

We refuse to give them space to show fragility, pushing them into consistently living an independent lifestyle. We only support their career/life goals if it ensures income.

Even from a young age, we tell boys that they can’t cry, they can’t play with dolls, or they should ‘hit back’ when bullied, making more men toxic masculinity examples.

Men who refuse to give in to violence and choose to be gentle, we refuse to see them as men at all. We use terms like ‘sissy,’ ‘mama’s boy,’ and ‘beta-male’ to ridicule them.

It is usually assumed that other men promote the stigma, but more often than not, women urge this type of mentality and behavior to continue.

Side Effects Of Conforming To Toxic Masculinity


Toxic Masculinity

Lack Of Social Relations 

Toxic masculinity urges men to remain in control. In relationships, this prevents them from becoming cooperative. They expect their partners to do as they say and are not open to discussions on complicated matters, assuming they know best.

When women are not treated as equal partners or are treated to be inferior to men, they tend to find others who would treat them with respect.

Relationships nurture mutual love, care, and respect, but toxic men refuse to show emotions. They won’t show their love to their spouses, kids, or friends, which comes off as uninterested behavior.

In return, their spouses stop putting effort into them, their kids refuse to respect them, and their friends distance themselves and stop inviting them to social gatherings.

These habits make it difficult for them to maintain social relations since people in today’s society refuse to be treated as lesser than others and end toxic relationships immediately.

Promotes Substance Abuse 

Our society pushed men into living an independent life and showing no emotions. When we put them in a situation where they are refused to rely on any other form of comfort, they tend to find a distraction or comfort in alcohol and drugs.

Many substance abuse counselors have found that individuals who end up relying on drugs are incredibly lonely people, lack happiness, and are looking for an escape.

Substance abuse evaluation shows these individuals have a lack of support in their lives, no sense of purpose, and high levels of stress that they are hoping to subside.

Our stereotypes regarding men’s role in society are so damaging that we end up pushing them into putting their lives in danger.

Develops A Dangerous Society 

Toxic masculinity examples include men showing aggression and being violent. This promotes sexual crimes, gun violence, and physical abuse.

Society becomes dangerous for women to exist when they don’t know what kind of attack to expect from men. Toxic men won’t care about jumping women on the streets because, in their opinion, it just goes to show how ‘powerful’ they are.

Moreover, gun violence can lead to many unsafe situations where innocent people or spouses are murdered over minute matters.

Having guns in the household also makes it easy for kids to get their hands on these murderous weapons- leading to frequent events like school shootings.

How To Help Men?

Men can do better than remaining in their toxic masculinity. Women can do better than promoting it to their sons and brothers.

It is essential to understand that toxic masculinity is not just a hazard for men but is the downfall of society as a whole. Here’s how we can help struggling men;

Provide help and promote receiving help

Remind men that their exhaustion, unemotionality, and self-hatred are not impressive to anyone. Remind them that they have to be better for themselves before anyone else.

They have to prioritize themselves before anyone else. They deserve as much love, care, respect, and consideration as anyone else. Hence, they should seek help when they know they need it.

Moreover, they should help other men struggling with similar issues when they see someone drowning; they should throw them a lifeguard. It will save their lives and help you develop a rich and meaningful relationship.

Water your garden

Strive to build your personality, personal growth, and ideals. Let other people know who they are without critiquing, condemning, or wanting to humiliate them.

Tearing people down to alleviate your concerns and fears and striking out in sadness is futile. The way to success is to address your difficulties.

Similarly, stop regulating behavior. Being intimidated by other people’s beliefs, attitudes, and choices reveals your anxieties rather than their unacceptability.

Become models for future generations

Teach children and young men how to show their emotions healthily. Remind them that it is okay to feel and express feelings; it is okay not always to know what to do or to ask for help.

Open them up to the range of emotions that humans can feel beyond the emotion of anger. Help them acknowledge various feelings and teach them how to manage them in healthy ways that benefit their growth, social relations, and family.


It is okay to be a protector or provider. Having manly traits and growing in your masculine energy is okay. However, there is a fine line between respecting yourself and assuming that you are superior to others.

It is high time for men to work on themselves to become ideal individuals and women to stop perpetuating toxic masculinity to fulfill their dark desires.


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