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Toxic Masculinity

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Masculinity, a seemingly simple concept. Yet, when examined more closely, it is clear that masculinity is constantly changing in its definition as well as in its most basic essence. Throughout the years, one can see this evolution firsthand by looking back at the men who have been portrayed in popular media in the United States of America. From the suave Don Draper types of the 1950s to the more casual, educated, and easygoing men- with perfectly chiseled abs, of course- that are portrayed in media today, the difference is clear. This drastic, yet unsurprising, shift in ideals, as well as the exponential increase of media consumed every day, has led to a change in how “masculinity” is perceived, as well as how it is enforced by society in the modern day. Alarmingly, this trend has led to the birth of so-called “toxic masculinity”, a bastardization of the original ideas behind masculinity which has created an enormous, detrimental effect on society as a whole. As defined in the article The Difference Between Toxic Masculinity and Being a Man, toxic masculinity is “manhood as defined by violence, sex, status, and aggression. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything… where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured,” (O’Malley) This is a clearly displayed truth, and it’s astounding to see how even from a young age boys are taught not to show emotions other than anger, conditioned to believe that being “like a girl” is the worst possible
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