by Ankita Jain

Kushal Goyal
Interior Architect, Evolve Design Studio

Issues with and interpretation of masculinity is an ingrained problem in a culturally patriarchal society like ours. Preconception of gender traits weaves our social structure. This escalates the issue of toxic masculinity to many levels. I am, however, happy that the current generation is tearing those notions. Men are evolving in our society and men are being able to break out from gender dogmas without judgement. This is the generation of change.

Anjil Maskey
Photographer, CEO of Evotique Nepal & Co-founder of Mahuri Organics

For years innumerable men and their aggressive behaviour were usually the way that power was used to dominate people around them and for patriarchy be kept upheld. In today’s educated society, this has somewhat toned down, yet it exists in several forms and is stated generally as “toxic masculinity”. It also involves some socio-cultural pressures for men to act in a certain way. However, we should understand that there is no right way to be a man. Not just women are the sole victims of toxic masculinity, men can be affected too. Not all fit a standard mould of strong manhood. And masculinity itself is a dynamic term. Many men might also be struggling with their sexual identity, or not be physically strong. The idea that men need to act tough and avoid showing all emotions can be harmful to their mental health. We should build sustaining connections and equitable relationships with both men and women.

Varun Sjb Rana
Architect & Director, Baber Mahal Vilas, Baber Mahal Revisited

I think fundamentally, the inability to accept, acknowledge and deal with the feminine gives rise to toxic masculinity. When we start to consider the masculine and the feminine as an inseparable part of humanity is when I feel, we as a human race will have overcome “toxic masculinity”. Much can be delved and discussed on this subject but I would like to take this opportunity to discuss the ways we can overcome toxic masculinity, and an easy way to wrap oneself around this subject would be to read about the term “Ardhanareeshwara” in the Hindu religious texts and mythology. It basically says that the equal combination of the female and the male energies constitutes the being, or lord. Delving just a little into this concept and understanding it in its various contexts, I feel, will give us a way to reduce this toxicity in the masculine.

Aashutosh Barahi
Comic Artist

Men should be superior to women – this idea has been passed down to us from generations. Whether men should be bold, men should not cry, men should not wear this or that, and men should not be emotional and more, the list goes on.

We all are the victims of toxic masculinity directly or indirectly. Talking about myself, I’ve been called “keti jasto” as an insult because I have always been an emotionally expressive person. I shed tears and being emotional was taken as an insult to patriarchal rules of what a man should be. I never realised it as a toxic masculinity until I learned about it on social media. It was common and normal to me before. As I think of it now, it is not only saddening but harmful to our mental health and can cause serious consequences such as aggression, violence, depression, anxiety, low empathy and poor social functions.

Eliminating toxic masculinity will not happen overnight but we cannot deny the fact that people are opening up to their preferences and personality without letting the judgment of toxic masculinity affect them. I am really proud of myself and others for being positive about it and I hope it continues.

Pratik Jalan
Executive Director, Ramesh Corp

There is a term that has being tossed around these days. The term is “toxic masculinity”. It does not exist. It’s not real. And to perpetuate the term is to do injustice to what it means to be a man in the first place, which is probably why it is pushed with such a heavy hand.

I think there is a growing movement to undermine masculinity and the term “toxic masculinity (and others like it)” is just one way to spread the propaganda that somehow masculinity is bad, or evil, or toxic. It just isn’t the case. Masculinity, by its very nature is good. It’s strong, assertive, productive, caring, compassion and charitable. And I even go so far as to say it’s loving. A man can either be “toxic” or “masculine”. Not both. The term “toxic masculinity” would be like saying “It’s light outside but kind of dark.” Or “My boss is a really nice, jerk.” Or “That guy is really wealthy but in a poor kind of way.” They’re polar opposites and cannot possibly work in harmony or unison. Sure, all men have the capacity to be both. I have been an arrogant, prideful ignoramus at times in my life and separately, I have used masculine virtues to create productive outcomes for myself and those around me. But never once have I displayed “toxic” behaviour while simultaneously utilising my masculine virtues. They don’t work together.

‘Toxic Masculinity’ is a lie. It is just another brick in the wall the Leftists are building to further divide us and separate us from the truth, from rational thinking, from nature’s order and design.

Samir Lal Shrestha
Proprietor, Unnati Food products

“Boys will be boys” is a saying that is used as an excuse to let boys get away with things that girls could possibly never get away with. When I was a kid I never questioned it but as I grew up, I discovered that there is so much more to this statement than just four words.

The idea that strength, aggression and toughness are typical to men has resulted in the creation of toxic masculinity. This set of standards that our society holds for men is damaging their and others’ lives. By pressuring men to dominate women, not express feelings, and making it compulsory for them to be strong, the society is missing out on all the other incredible aspects of life that should be obtainable for any human, irrespective of gender.

While talking about negative effects of toxic masculinity, I am not deprecating men in any way. I am only pointing to the unjust standards that men are compelled to follow and how they are also affecting others around them. In many societies when a boy falls, he is told to man up and is often said “boys don’t cry.” It pressures them to hide their feelings, other than anger. A study by Social Psychological and Personality Science has proved that suppression of emotions is one of the causes that lead to aggressive behaviour. This leads to another effect: violence. It refers to “the socially-constructed attitudes that describe the masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, sexually aggressive and so forth”. It restricts the kinds of emotions and characteristics that are socially acceptable for boys and men to express. According to traditional toxic masculine values, a male who does not display enough of these traits may fall short of being a ‘real man’.
Overemphasis of these traits may lead to harmful imbalances in someone trying to live up to these expectations. Some examples include: aggression, needing to dominate or control others, isolation, a tendency towards or glorification of violence. In fact, acid attacks are also the result of toxic masculinity.

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