“Toxic masculinity” has been cited as the cause of everything from the #MeToo sexual assault crisis to mass shootings.
But the phrase “toxic masculinity” is an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp. One thing refutes the other
Masculinity cannot be toxic. Maleness can be and unfortunately often is. Masculinity is a social virtue. Maleness just means being a male. Men who rescue those in distress, like we saw on 9/11, in the Houston floods this summer and those who ran toward the bullets in Las Vegas are masculine. Mass shooters, rapists, abusers, gang-bangers and sexual predators are not masculine. There is a world of difference between the two.
In fact, any male who shrinks in the face of serious challenge or danger of others cannot be called masculine. Nor can any man who uses his powers to hurt other people or enrich himself. They are merely males.
How is masculinity a character quality distinct from being macho or boyish? What does it mean to be a masculine man?
I explain these important questions in a new piece I have over at the Federalist. I hope it’s interesting and helpful to you.