Last Sunday was International Men’s Day, and so I thought it would be appropriate to look at a subject that’s at the heart of many problems faced, and caused, by men: toxic masculinity.
Whether it’s burying painful feelings to avoid appearing weak, doggedly adhering to outdated gender roles, or even lashing out in violence, toxic masculinity is ubiquitous in society and in fiction. You’ll see it in everyone from literary fiction to weekly tv shows. Yet it’s a subject that has rarely been openly exposed and address. It’s only in recent years that popular fiction has been given the opportunity to confront it, so there’s plenty of scope to explore.
Regardless of whether you want to depict the harmful behaviour that comes from this mentality, or subvert it through a shift in tropes or themes, you need to understand what toxic masculinity is, and how it can present itself.
1: What is Toxic Masculinity? – Paging Dr. Nerdlove is an excellent blog, aimed at helping geeks and nerds alike navigate the world of dating without turning into complete creeps. In this article, Dr. Nerdlove examines toxic masculinity and the challenges in exploring it.
2: 10 examples of Toxic Masculinity that Ruin Society – That first article was quite dense, so here’s a selection of stripped-down examples of how toxic masculinity presents itself.
3: 3 Types of Toxic Masculinity to Leave Behind in 2017 – Here we get to see three specific examples of toxic masculinity studied more closely, along with their impact and how they can be given up.
4: 11 Books About Toxic Masculinity, Gender Norms, and Feminism, Written by Men – Intentionally or otherwise, many men simply will not consider the importance of a subject unless it is presented to them by other men. It’s also important to see how toxic masculinity can be represented in fiction if you’re going to write about it. This is an excellent list of books from a range of male authors digging in deep on the topic.
That’s all for this week. Happy writing.
(c) Paul Anthony Shortt