so with all the craze over toxic masculinity, I just wanted to share my thoughts, however brief this may be. I agree with the thoughts that Jocko Willink submits on the topic: Article here
As a whole, he submits that there must be a dichotomy or balance, and that either side cannot be taken to the utmost extreme. Seems simple and clear enough, right? Not exactly, many even were up in arms about his article published by Fox news.
Here is a running definition, that I quickly searched for:
Toxic masculinity is one of the ways in which Patriarchy is harmful to men. It refers to the socially-constructed attitudes that describe the masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, sexually aggressive, and so forth. I don’t like this definition because it only shows one side, and simply says that men who are toxic/hyper masculine men, are not sensitive, or in touch with their emotions and or are emotionally constipated .
Okay, fair enough. Do I think that men who use violence and are emotionally abusive, for the wrong reasons are men? Not so much, because they are using those traits for the wrong reasons. There’re men in the world, who use violence in the dominating sense, with someone who is not on the same level as them, as a means to feel powerful. There’re men in the world, who are in fact, mentally and emotional abusive to others, so they can maintain a sense of control over others.
I don’t applaud this, as a man, and as a martial artist. There is indeed a time to use violence, as a means for good. For example, if I am with my girlfriend, and an evil man or group of evil men were trying to harm her in some form. You can bet your dying breath, that I would invoke as much violence needed to protect her, or any other loved one for that matter.
Now, do I go around puffing my chest out looking for a fight? No, that’s a stupid and horrible way to live. People that do that, are simply empty and lonely on the inside and using violence as a means of fulfillment. Which is horribly wrong and there is no excuse for that. Martial arts has taught me, to live at peace with others and myself. And only use my skills as last resort.
We as society are missing out on this lesson so much. To a degree, this needs to be reformed not only in our children and even full grown men. My nephew, who is very tender, is something that I want him to keep all his life. At the same time though, I want him to be brave and warrior. I want him to be a defender of the weak. On the other hand, I want him to be able to express emotion and other various emotions at the right times.
As Jocko says in his article, if you are too emotional at times, in the wrong context. People can use that as means to their advantage. Especially, if we are dealing with one who has an anti-social pattern of living. The Bible says to guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life. If we don’t protect our hearts, with shields and barriers, then we will constantly let the wrong people in. And that will only do us more harm.
We must learn to find a way of balancing both, when we do this we will find a more fulfilled life and purpose. As I once heard a pastor say ” A real man is tough and tender.” And we need not look to anyone other then Jesus Christ. Who was the very definition of that. He was tough, in that he stood up against injustice, he fought for the oppressed and outcasts of society. He was tough (and masculine) by trade, being a carpenter, the dude probably had a lot of muscle. He also knew when to make good use of his anger, which took a great deal of time for it to present itself.
He was also tender in the sense (and as I have already said) with the outcasts of society, he wasn’t afraid to touch the people who were “unclean” by the standards of that time. He wasn’t afraid to cry either, but again, it was in the proper context. He is the man, that all men should strive to be like.
Agree or disagree, these are my thoughts!