Reconstructing masculinity is crucial to our survival. Smashing the patriarchy is not just a slogan for a shirt, it is an absolutely required step for the survival of humanity.
School shootings, terror bombings, military occupations, transphobia, gay bashing, rape culture, poverty, police brutality, mass incarceration, and so many other violent social phenomenon are propagated, largely in part, by a patriarchal conception of masculinity.
We call this ‘Toxic Masculinity.’ When we look at these violent actions, we can see just how fatal toxic masculinity can be when manifested. Cis men commit the vast majority of murders and mass violence. Cis men wage the vast majority of the wars. Violence is heavily tied to masculinity. If we are to begin to address violence and create safer societies, then we need to look at masculinity seriously; and begin to reconstruct it.
Toxic masculinity is killing us. We can no longer ignore the death and destruction caused by toxic masculinity. We need our allies to have these discussions with people in their lives. We need to address and be critical of toxic masculinity everywhere. Continuing to be silent in the face of oppression is to be on the side of the oppressor.
Men deserve better than toxic masculinity. We all deserve better than toxic masculinity. And if we are to survive as a people, then we must work to dismantle toxic masculinity and create masculinities that are radically inclusive. We must always work to create more socially just and equitable communities.
“We must dare to face the way in which patriarchal thinking blinds everyone so that we cannot see that the emotional lives of boys cannot be fully honored as long as notions of patriarchal masculinity prevail. We cannot teach boys that “real men” either do not feel or do not express feelings, then expect boys to feel comfortable getting in touch with their feelings.”
― bell hooks