Tackling Toxic Masculinity

The term “toxic masculinity” has caused divide between people in the past year. 

In some cases, the term has been used to put men down, but overall it has sparked a much-needed conversation. What does a good man look like? 

Toxic masculinity is defined as a cultural concept of manliness that glorifies stoicism, strength, virility and dominance. This behavior was considered normal, but today it is finally being called out for what it is: harmful for men’s mental health. 

When asked if they have ever been labeled as toxic most students said no, but none of them had a clear answer to what a good man looked like other than someone pleasant and transparent about who they are as a person.

“I think a good guy is someone who is not a jerk,” said Christian Miranda, junior. “Someone who doesn’t think too highly of himself. Just overall a nice person.” 

The term eventually made it to celebrities who instantly started pointing the finger at whoever they deemed toxic, which influenced the younger generation to misunderstand it. 

“Social media causes the definition of someone being toxic to be complicated and having a lot of different meanings,” said Maria Pustizzi, junior. “It’s okay to label someone as toxic to help communicate to yourself and others that a person isn’t safe to be around.” 

It is important to address the subject to become better but many did not even realize what they were taught as children were bad in the first place. Almost like an unspoken rule amongst families. 

“It is an unspoken rule. I was taught not to cry. The last time I cried emotionally was the second grade,” said Frantz Balan, junior. “My dad taught all my brothers and I that since we were little.” 

Students suggested that men should just be themselves. 

“They can unlearn mistakes and behaviors if they truly want to better themselves, communicate and take the time to,” said Pustizzi. 

Toxic masculinity sure has come a long way, but the discussion is much needed. The counseling center is free and available to all students, call (561) 237-7237. 

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