All the amazing things you can experience once you escape toxic masculinity
No one likes the alpha bell
Despite the regular derision of how P.C. everything is becoming nowadays, there have been many tangible benefits to a softer, kinder society, in which it is less acceptable to be a racist, homophobic, slab of gammon.
One of these benefits has been the addressing of male mental health. Following years of emotional repression leading to alarming suicide rates, men are finally (slowly) beginning to feel like they can open up. Despite this progress, problems remain. There are still thousands of men around the country that are yet to escape from the prison of toxic masculinity.
Officially, toxic masculinity describes the narrow, regressive ideas associated with the male gender role. Less formally, it is the factor that causes many men to feel they must constantly behave as the alpha, macho, laddy legend (dickhead) that society expects a male to be.
Not only does this greatly dampen the personality of the imprisoned, causing all around them to suffer, it also harms the afflicted through what it prevents them from doing.
Here we document all the marvellous things you can get up to once you embrace your inner metrosexual.
When one of your top concerns on a night out is keeping up your alpha image in front of fellow club goers, your movement doesn’t go far beyond a head nod, and occasionally twisting your neck to see if anyone’s disrespecting you enough to start a fight that’ll make you look dead hard.
Once you’re not quite so insecure about your sexuality, however, you can start to wile out in the darnce (added 'r' intentional).
Actually dancing in clubs may also help when it comes to those girls you’re currently attempting to grope and grind upon unsolicited. Treat yourself to Dominic West’s dancing scene in Pride if you don’t believe me.
Drinking pleasant drinks
Some beer is nice enough, but I’m not having it for one second that the huge proportion of men using it as their go-to drink while out actually have it top of their list.
There is inevitably, however subconscious, a social norms aspect to the dominance of the pint amongst males on an evening out.
Stop worrying about what your friends will say, hop on the espresso martinis and G&Ts – bit of orange peel in there, lit stick of rosemary as a fragrant garnish. Lovely.
Personal hygiene and grooming
Arguably the most effective illustrators of how farcical toxic masculinity is are the male versions of day-to-day grooming products.
How insecure do you have to be to only buy black and silver bottles of shower gel, daubed with words like "extreme", "ultra" and "I don’t want anyone knowing I cry at night"?
Change your ways and your smooth, glowing skin will smell like peach blossom in no time.
Shower gels aimed at men are always rank. Fuck my masculinity I wanna leave the shower smellin like vanilla and rhubarb not burnt wood and casual racism
— lou (@lou_tredaway) September 10, 2018
Having a tasteful Instagram aesthetic
Toxically masculine males rarely venture beyond four different poses when it comes to Instagram photos. These tend to be gun fingers, pointing to the person next to them, and the occasional pull on an item of clothing when they want to show off their best jawns.
If they’re feeling particularly jolly, they might allow themselves to be seen smiling, or with an arm around a mate – but you can’t be having that nonsense too often otherwise people will start asking questions, right lads?
Join the rest of us, take some pics of brutalist buildings and red skies at night, it’s great.
Not eating red meat until your cholesterol and climate change are at deadly levels
Look, this isn’t vegan/vegetarian propaganda – I love cheese. However, there is definitely still a stigma around being vegan or vegetarian of it being soft, see the phrase "soy boy" for evidence.
You’re not killing the cow yourself, and there’s nothing brave or alpha about eating a steak, yet it somehow has managed to develop an image as a macho food. Stop thinking having blood dripping down your face makes you a big man and go eat some lentils, you goon.
Watching Queer Eye
Imagine denying yourself the adventures of Antoni, Jonathan, Karamo, Bobby and Tan (correct ranking that, btw) just cause you reckon it’s soft and your mates will rip you.
This attitude doesn’t just restrict toxic males from seeing the inspiring transformations of straight males; it rules them out of countless shows they may otherwise enjoy. See: Love Island.
Wearing decent clothes
I think the horrific dress sense of most "lads" partly stems from the fear of anything somewhat unique within their style risking them being ostracised by the pack.
Their mocking of anything remotely individualistic, or any active attempt to dress well, highlights this. They probably still reckon shopping’s for girls – stop letting your mum do all your shopping down the local high-street, lads.
Not having depression
Thought this article was all bants and trashy? Think again.
In all seriousness, whilst all these issues seem trivial, they are indicative of the wider expectations many still have of males in society. The sad irony is that the males themselves are the most likely to hold these expectations, whilst those around them wouldn’t bat an eyelid were they to deviate from a traditional alpha persona.
There have been positive strides in terms of male mental health, but empty tweets telling people to open up aren’t quite enough when restrictive gender norms are still firmly entrenched within society. Drink a cocktail, boys.