Cover Story -Rajesh Yagnik
When Ranveer Singh comes to a party wearing a skirt, what a commotion there is in social media! From ‘Hi Hi, Ranveer has taken these disguises!’, ‘He came wearing his wife’s skirt’ to sexual comments can also be seen and heard.
You go out wearing a pink color shirt and someone comments on why you chose such a girl’s color? Why, maybe someone from the family can make such a comment. If a boy comes home crying, mom says, ‘What a girl, sit down to cry!’, many men must have heard this many times since childhood. This is the toxic masculinity prevalent in society.
Toxic masculinity is the pressure that forces men to think and behave in a certain way, including social and cultural pressures. It not only affects thought and behavior but also influences their dress and emotions.
Being thin, being soft (in body or mind), being emotional is considered not a sign of a ‘man’. Certain colors are chosen only by women, such a body belongs only to women, men do not cry with four hundred tears, etc. etc. Such things speak to men of their natural feelings, manners, language, dress
Suppresses things. As a result, a person can become psychotic. It doesn’t
Not only for himself, but also for his family and society can prove fatal.
What is Toxic Masculinity?
Toxic masculinity doesn’t just mean behaving ‘manly’, rather, it involves extreme pressure. Forcing men to behave, speak, dress, walk or have a certain body type. Which can prove to be really harmful to some men. In fact, before the society and the family, the man himself becomes its victim.
‘Mard ko dard nahi hota…, hard work belongs to men…, son is necessary to carry on the lineage… only man runs the house…, woman is servant and man is her master… and I don’t know how many such things and the supremacy of men. Claiming such ideas are accepted in our society even today. In 2018, during the Khayagyna movement, this idea was called ‘toxic masculinity’. The word toxic means ‘poisonous’.
Toxic masculinity is a set of behaviors and attitudes that are culturally associated with or expected of men. A man is defined in a way that emphasizes strength, virility and supremacy to assert power. In simple language it is the idea of making women weak and men strong. The term ‘toxic masculinity’ originates from society’s patriarchal definition of ‘masculinity’. It states that men should display their masculinity in a way that appears assertive and anti-feminist. Men often have to undertake difficult tasks, especially compared to women and other genders who are considered ‘weak and emotional’.
Masculinity itself is not ‘toxic’, but certain socially regressive (yilayitatshadaya) properties known as ‘masculinity’ affect men and society at large, an expression of what leads to ‘toxic masculinity’.
There are many definitions of ‘toxic masculinity’ that appear in research as well as pop culture. Some researchers agree that toxic masculinity has three main components:
A belief has been inculcated that men must be or become physically and emotionally tough, aggressive, combative.
When it comes to harshness, harsh or rough behavior from men, masculinity or masculinity is considered in the society. A husband should deal harshly with his wife, a brother with his sister. If the daughter complains, the mother explains to her that it is a boy. Boys are like that! To such an extent that if a loved one dies in the family, he is forbidden to cry freely!
Here, not only woman as a person, but all things considered ‘feminine’, be it colour, behaviour, dress, feeling, anything, must be renounced. For example expressing one’s feelings easily or accepting help from others.
Any man who is physically supple, thinly built is said to be ‘feminine’. If a boy or a man is gentle in speech or behavior, calling him ‘like a byala’ creates a feeling in his mind that he is not like a ‘man’. So in a way it means that being a woman or female is a deficiency in you.
Tenderness can be eaten directly into vulnerability, crying can be eaten into emotional weakness. For years, the belief was taught that women should not do certain things. For example, being a policeman is a work of strength and power, that is, of men. Girls should be shy, boys should be ‘Bindas’.
And yes, the sense of superiority over women, the belief that women should be subservient to men, the idea that women should live in ‘limits’ are also true.
Shakti or Power
An assumption has been made that men should work towards gaining power or status (social or economic) so that others will respect them.
Be it home or government, power, decision, management should be in the hands of men. Because, women have to follow men only. He is also not afraid to torture others by using his strength to prove himself powerful. A man looks like a ‘man’ only if his body is healthy! He must be strong. It should dominate. Society views the ‘masculinity’ of a man who cannot show his strength or dominance with suspicion.
Apart from this, we will discuss other aspects of toxic masculinity and what men who want to overcome it should do in the next issue.