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Very good article by author Tim Winton about boys and masculinity and culture
[theguardian.com]

Faithless1 7 June 19
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Sorry, I refuse to read another article about toxic masculinity. Here is my response to the last one I encountered...

Toxic masculinity is a gendered slur. If you were to ascribe a behaviour to any other group you would be labelled a bigot. You wouldn't say black people are inherently violent, or that Jews are greedy.

Feminists also never acknowledge females role in perpetuating this behaviour. Females reward aggression with sexual access. Deer, Rams, Lions, gorillas, crabs, kangaroos, etc. all fight for sexual access. Do they do this because it is a socially-constructed behaviour? Are these animals succumbing to antiquated notions of masculinity as promulgated by the "patriarchy"?

0

Wow really good article...
I wonder how boys would grow up naturally without male peer group pressure and societal pressure to get in line and conform to male conventions..of slagging..bullying..chauvinism..sexism..risk taking.
Boys of a certain age are afraid to show perceived weakness..open affection..they repress everything that is not thought of as wholly and exclusively masculine...
That's such a pity...

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I found this article on modern use of ritual to help young men find their place in society in the U.K. It is used mostly to try to stop young criminals re-offending but it might have a broader application.

@Faithless1 I think so. My guess is that women have had their future cast for them as wives and mothers. Men’s positions were less clear and less constrained because of having choice in what role they might take. Men are in a difficult position nowadays as they struggle to find a role worthy of the name. As women’s roles expand to include bread-winning, men find their roles are contracting. Rites of passage determined what the roles of men were and promoted their importance in society. They might still have a role in our modern world.

@Faithless1 I see the man’s role in reproduction as minimal. I think breadwinning is the rock on which a foundation for a permanent relationship is built.
The problem for the role of men adapting to new circumstances lies in the fact that nature is not providing an answer so culture must step in. I think that is why culture has always stepped in. But it would be disastrous if our culture were to promote archaic notions of manhood instead of roles fit for purpose.

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I enjoyed the article and was intrigued by the idea that young men in society have little or no involvement is rituals anymore. I would love to know more about that - what rituals they used to have, what benefit they had for the individual and the society, how ritual might be reintroduced into society etc.

@Faithless1 I can't tell if the rituals in my upbringing had any influence on my role as a young man in Ireland. We had Holy Communion at age 7 and Confirmation at age 14 but they seemed to serve only to educate a young man in his obligations as a loyal member of the Church. We were utterly ignorant of social responsibility and knew nothing about women except they hated sex and we couldn't get enough of it so the objective was to fool them somehow into allowing sex.
Maybe some pagan ritual practices were more useful. I don't know but I will keep an eye out for any books that touch on the topic.

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I've read this too. It's very good

I think it avoids the issues of capitalism, misogyny and homophobia though. These are drivers.

@Faithless1

I disagree. I would argue that toxic masculinity is created and fuelled by homophobia and misogyny. They are the weapons used against men.

@Faithless1

I once overheard a girlfriend ridicule her boyfriend for being too feminine. She called him a "faggot" and laughed. I felt sick to my stomach. I remember looking at him. He just went quiet.

But this is how toxic masculinity is borne. It is fed by homophobia and misogyny. So long as men are hurt by such things then the defensive shell that is toxic masculinity will be built in defence.

It's why some men beat up women. To prove their masculinity. To be gentle and kind would open them up to ridicule and accusations of femininity and being gay. Women can be the worst offenders.

The next time you hear a mother chiding her crying son and using: "stop crying. You're like a big girl" you'll see how toxic masculinity is created.

@Faithless1

Yes. I agree. This is true. This is all true.

But this is an important issue. I believe the patriarchy, misogyny and homophobia all play their role and men and women are both involved.

I am passionate about feminism. I fight against misogyny constantly. I'm compelled to.

But what does this say... A conversation I once had with a female manager at work... She once said casually that she couldn't date a man who didn't show her who's boss every now and then (violence). She was an intelligent woman. So I was surprised. If she's communicating this to other men that she meets, then she is indirectly perpetuating toxic masculinity.

0

You guys almost make hit the link.

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