It is a curious phenomena that despite being overwhelmingly privileged in many areas Men are poisoned by toxic masculinity as much as anyone else.
For instance, as a white hetro-normative male, I will rarely, if ever find myself under the boot of police discrimination. (unless of course I am poor, the western world’s new serf class).
However, I may find myself looked at strangely if I express even a passing interest in say the education or entertainment of children.
When I was a substitute teacher for k-6 children, a job I adored, Teachers and parents alike eyed me with keen suspicion. By all accounts, the culture dictated that if I chose to work with children there must be something wrong with me, as that was not a Man’s place.
Now not all saw me this way. Many teachers were absolutely thrilled about the prospect of a male teacher joining the fray, but the attitudes of the other teachers made me think twice about becoming an Elementary school teacher. (that and the atrocious work load dumped on the most passionate people.)
Men are overwhelmingly jailed, under/unemployed, and depressed. This is not to say our ancestors did not construct a world where they did these things to the less able. It is the legacy of hundreds or thousands of years of sexism.
But there comes a time I wonder if the efforts of our culture to eradicate sexism have become more about punishing past wrongs.
To show emotions is to err. To be well spoken is to be a snob. To stand up for ones self is seen as aggression. To kowtow to the mob is weakness. It seems that for many less educated men, they cannot seem to find the correct footing that will grant them access to the culture.
It is in this isolation I fear. In isolation and shame grows hate, and as the hate grows, the frustration, I see a rising tide of men who see themselves with nothing to lose. That is a scary thing, a man who thinks he has nothing to lose, and with no other outlet often will seek violence. They cannot see of course this violence will do nothing but further fragment and isolate, but in that moment of social pain they cannot do anything but double down on their own toxicity.
I am not trying to evoke pity. I am not attempting to justify the horrors that ancestors past, and some men currently perpetuate, I am simply questioning the rhetoric, and the end goal.
What is the cultural end goal for the modern man? Where are we to go? What are we to do? We are human, and many of us don’t believe in the zero-sum, rule or be ruled ideas of the past.
What is a modern man to do? I wish I knew.