“Kids today are faced with many challenges. There is a great disconnection but mainly they don’t know where they fit, and many don’t have a role model to trust, so they use the Internet and friends from social media platforms for advice. One thing is for certain: they are hurting and isolated.”
Male and female, masculinity and femininity, gentlemen and ladies—so far the mental images of these various references to the two sexes are clear. What immediately muddies the water is attaching a negative expression to these neutral identities and creating combinations like “toxic masculinity”. Immediately, the entire male population—or to be more specific, those with the principle hormone testosterone running through their veins—is quickly transposed into another light. Now that neutral image in your mind has been changed, and in this altered state we begin to add the layers using videos of things repulsed by society with the underlying message of masculinity being toxic. This is a proven brain washing technique and if the message is delivered from those trusted by society, it quickly becomes registered as fact.
We must consider the mindset of society today and how messages like these are being delivered and received. In the USA but also worldwide, you have most folks plugged in with both ears stuffed with headphones, while doing finger exercises called texting. Most of these folks in the matrix are temporarily out of reality while flooding their minds with the latest news. Our newsletters are an attempt to wake them up and to see the issues.
Brainwashing propaganda has been considered as one of the classic tools of dictatorships and as we know from the history, it was used successfully in the past. Today, with the constant presence of the media, it has reached broader platforms than ever before. The media reports what is buzzing, with professional commentary to lend credibility and added perspective. If you look at the division in the US, you can clearly see this in action: one’s a hero and one’s a villain—this analysis is true and beyond any reasonable doubt. But should it be this way?
You may have heard about the attack by Gillette referencing to “toxic masculinity” by showing fights, racism or bulling and trying to tie it into the Me Too movement, so basically identifying what is known as masculinity with all the negative connotations. “Is this the best a man can get?” This question resounds as men — black and white, young and old — peer at themselves in the mirror. Well, you can answer yourself. The same is happening with femininity, since it’s also being linked to toxicity.
When interpreting the situation from a healthy point of view, you could say that the generally negative personality qualities have been used in order to create this distinction between “toxic” and “non-toxic” genders. In other words, terms like aggressiveness, manipulation, disrespect or arrogance are now used to represent the dark side of masculinity and femininity, when in fact what we are really talking about here is human behaviour: negative patterns clearly working without any gender specification. A lot less fancy for propaganda purposes, I know, but still the same thing.
How can a healthy picture be built? You would maybe think that psychologists and physiatrists and all other mental health professionals in general could be those who would work on prevention, find the best treatment and ways of communicating the problems. Unfortunately, based on the APA GUIDELINE for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men from the American Psychological Association (APS) released in August 2018, this is really not the case. How we could get here you might ask. According to the formal president of the APS Robert W. Levinson “The vast majority of clinical psychologists are now trained in programs in which science plays only a minor role. In the epistemology embraced by many of these programs, the primacy of scientific evidence is rejected, and students are trained to use methods of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention that have little or no scientific support.” Probably this was a reason that the guideline mentioned above presented facts and statements that are unclear, not backed by science and research, misleading and very damming to the minds of boys and men.
Young people today are faced with many challenges. There is a great disconnection but mainly they don’t know where they fit, and many don’t have a role model to trust, so they use the Internet and friends from social media platforms for advice. Statements and questions like “I don’t know what sex I should be” or “how should I act? I am misunderstood” appear on SM platforms every day. One thing is for certain: they are hurting and isolated and many are depressed, which is leading to suicide. The numbers are really drastic, according to a Psychology Today article “suicides among young males are four times more common than among young female, and they are occurring among ever younger males, some in their early teens.” So where should we be looking for the answers? As the author, Miles Groth Ph.D. says “I am convinced that men’s centers on college campuses by their very presence raise awareness of the challenges young men face—not only at institutions of higher learning but in contemporary culture as a whole.”
Those suffering with depression, anxiety, or sheer panic, natural nutricutical medications are available to help through these difficult times. They are well researched and dependent if under chemical drug medication, side-effect free; seek medical advice before taking. Medication may not be the answer but they are very helpful when coping and dealing with your current situation.
References and Further Readings:
- Groth, Miles, Ph.D. 2013. Young Men Who Commit Suicide. [cit. 02.08.2019] https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/boys-men/201308/young-men-who-commit-suicide
- Peterson, Jordan B. 2019. It’s ideology vs. science in psychology’s war on boys and men. [cit. 02.08.2019]
- Stanley-Becker, Isaac. 2019. Gillette ad takes on ‘toxic masculinity’ in #MeToo-era rebrand, provoking a backlash. [02.08.2019]
- Singh, Asavari. 2018. Women vs Women: ‘Toxic femininity’ is Real, And it’s Time to Talk About it. [02.08.2019]
- Gillette video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPmuEyP3a0 [02.08.2019]