By Ludo Gabriele
Can we finally do away with the phrase “toxic masculinity”? In 2020, it should be evident: Masculinity is not toxic. What can be toxic is the mainstream culture of masculinity: the rigid set of expectations, perceptions, and definitions of “manly” behavior, aka the man box.
In his memorable essay, “Why Calling it ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Isn’t Helping,” Mark Greene, an author and editor at the Good Men Project, observed: “Masculinity is not toxic; our culture’s narrow, conformist, violent, bullying, man-box version of it is.” Making the distinction, he notes, is critical; one blames and shames, while the other invites men to understand how we are all victims of man-box culture.
So in the spirit of Greene’s essay, I suggest practical, positive steps men can take to challenge our norms and help create a better, healthier and more inclusive culture of masculinity.
- Examine your unconscious biases.
- Take a genuine interest in the experience of others.
- Take a stand.
- Be public about your flexible working.
- Be transparent about your health with other men.
Originally posted on Catalyst, Inc.