Toxic Masculinity

The American Psychological Association warns that “traditional masculinity ideology” is associated with negative effects on mental and physical health. Men who adhere to traditionally masculine cultural norms, such as risk-taking, violence, dominance, primacy of work, need for emotional control, desire to win, and pursuit of social status tend to be more likely to experience psychological problems such as depression, stress, body image problems, substance abuse and poor social functioning.

WikiPedia states,

Toxic masculinity refers to traditional cultural masculine norms that can be harmful to men, women, and society overall; harmful effects of conformity to certain traditional masculine ideal behaviors such as dominance, self-reliance, and competition.

Feminist author John Stoltenberg has argued that ALL traditional notions of masculinity are toxic and ultimately reinforce the oppression of women.

Our WorldView

We recognize that men are prone to sin and that all positive traits of both male and females are problematic when out of proper balance. However, today’s culture is toxic to men and manhood, deriding all traditional masculine traits as bad, if not evil.

The truth is that

  • Men and women are created differently, both physically and emotionally
  • G-d gives humans differing roles based on gender
  • Patriarchy preserves society
  • Fathers are necessary role models

Scriptural Perspective

  • Fools quarrel, while honorable men steer clear of strife. (Proverb 20)
  • Men are not to be fearful and fainthearted, as it poisons the fortitude of other men. (Deuteronomy 20)
  • Men of violence are an abomination to the Almighty. (Proverbs 3)
  • A man without self-control is not a man at all, he is a giant toddler. (Proverbs 25, 1 Corinthians 13)
  • Men are called upon, during war, to be warriors. (Joshua 10)
  • Men are expected to have an honorable reputation that protects society. (2 Samuel 17)
  • Men strive to be blameless and upright, fearing G-d and turning from evil. (Job 1)
  • Men are expected to step up, standing in the breech to defend moral values and honor. (Job 38, 1 Corinthians 16)

How Did You Die?

Did you tackle the trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, I trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn’t the fact that you are hurt that counts, 
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there – that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you‘re licked that counts,
It’s how did you fight – and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die?

Edmund Vance Cook