Dear Future President,
My name is Jack Foley, and I live in Saint Paul Minnesota. Minnesota is generally a more progressive, democratic state. Minnesota recently legalized same-sex marriage, and this was one of the best things to happen in the state. Unfortunately, even after gay Marriage was legalized, we still have homophobic people in our society. Lately I have been thinking about some of the roots of homophobia. I found toxic masculinity, and I think this is one of the worst things plaguing everyone in our country, because this affects everyone.
The problem here isn’t masculinity itself, like a lot of people think (Stef’s Cave). The problem is the need to be male. Men can’t show emotions, they always have to be big and strong, women are nothing without men. These are all some examples of the ways Toxic-Masculinity perpetuates sexism. Everyone has emotions and just because you’re a man doesn’t mean you can’t show them. I am not a big man. I weigh under a hundred pounds and am fairly short. My voice is higher than most kids voices at my age. Doesn't mean I'm less of a man.
Heteronormativity goes hand in hand with toxic-masculinity. Everything other than heterosexual is not the norm. Everyone should feel equal and safe, yet a lot of people struggle with being different. People shouldn't be scared of who they are. They should be welcomed and supported. toxic masculinity and heteronormativity also destroy creativity and self expression. It doesn't make a straight man gay if he chooses to wear crop tops or tight pants. There also shouldn't be clothing styles associated with sexuality. Everyone should express themselves the way they want.
In 2016 we have presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence. Mike Pence is the one of most homophobic people to ever run for a place in presidency (LGBTQNation.com). In fact many websites have compiled lists of his most homophobic moments. Donald Trump’s “locker room talk” is another example. People have fantasies, but that’s just it. A fantasy. Toxic-Masculinity promotes rape culture. A somewhat similar argument can be made for former president Bill Clinton (Hillary’s Husband). He was not faithful to his marriage and he cheated on Hillary. Many people think this is sexism (which is also part of Toxic-Masculinity). Even the world’s highest people partake in the practices.
People who think Toxic-Masculinity is a “myth” think it is a weapon created by feminists to deter the men. Its an attack they say (Stef’sCave.com). Stef also goes on to say that kids are being taught their masculinity is a problem. He also says the whole concept is sexist. I can disprove this statement by saying I once said these things. I used to throw many hurtful words around. Yes, kids are taught those words are bad, but they’re not really taught why (the word gay isn’t bad per say but it’s bad in the sense of someone using it to be mean.)
The use of strong hate language is everywhere, and it hasn’t really changed over time, despite many new laws. Today with the legalization of gay marriage though, we are seeing these words being used in more senses that just to be homophobic or sexist. They are also used to put men down, lower than average man.
I knew a kid once, and he would constantly just show off in front of me. And it wasn’t because he was better at one specific thing, he was just using his manliness as a means to show off. It didn’t make sense to me and it really angered me. The way he bragged about being a straight CIS male, as if anything other than that were bad. He would always say he supported members of the LGBTQ community, but I didn’t get the sense that he did. All he talks about now is working out, drinking protein shakes, and girls, as it seems he believes muscles equals girls. That just isn’t always the case.
Toxic-Masculinity is also bad because it puts men in a place where they believe they can’t do things. They’re put into this mindset that certain things aren’t allowed because of gender. It makes men scared of who they are. We shouldn’t be putting people’s ideas down, we should be supporting them. We shouldn’t single someone out because they’re a little different.
This is a problem that is nearly impossible to solve. It’s in the same vein as racism and sexism, where we just don’t see an end to it. We can do things to try to stop it. In school kids should be taught no matter what they’re equal. There should be more talk of it, I just heard about it last week. That isn’t ok. The only real way I can see this lessening is if people just talk about it more, and the dangerous effects. This is a real problem because it affects all of us. I wish the world was a better place, but I can’t see it ever improving.