Filipino shuts down male Facebook friend over ‘toxic masculinity’

May 28, 2019 - 2:00 PM
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Young man in the shadows
Young man in the shadows. (Unsplash/File photo)

A female Facebook user slammed her male friend for criticizing her post on debunking male stereotypical behaviors and activities, particularly on the subject of wearing pink.

Facebook user Megan Aglaua shared a screenshot of her post that mentioned boys can “wear flowers, dance, wear pink, bake cakes, be scared, be artsy, be feminist, be kind (and) be a superhero.”

However, one of her male friends commented that it was a “list” of things he would not do.

Aglaua pointed out that he actually wore pink and shared a picture of it as evidence in the comments section.

The male friend replied that it was “salmon” in hue but Aglaua commented that it is under the color spectrum of pink and even linked a Wikipedia article to support her claim.

Aglaua shared a screenshot of the exchange on her Twitter account and captioned it with the following: “Toxic Masculinity: O, Me: 1”

Salmon is “pink with a touch of orange and just on the lighter side of coral,” according to a graphic design-tool website.

Pink, meanwhile, has long been associated with femininity and is perceived to be a girl’s color, even though it was originally considered “masculine” in the 18th century.

Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman maintained that pink was considered the color for boys while blue was for the girls before.

“It (the color pink) was related to the mother color of red, which was ardent and passionate and more active, more aggressive. Even though you reduce the shade level, it was a color that was associated with boys,” she said in an interview.

‘Toxic masculinity’ 

“Toxic masculinity” is a phrase that refers to distinct negative characteristics usually imposed on men.

Psychologist Shepherd Bliss wrote that traits considered “toxic” or dangerous to masculinity include the following:

  • Avoidance of emotional expression;
  • Overaspiration for physical, sexual and intellectual dominance; 
  • Systematic devaluation of women’s opinions, body and sense of self. 

An organization that aims to change the public perception of masculinity said that men who exhibit such behaviors often view stereotypically feminine traits—like being emotionally vulnerable— in a negative light.

An author about a book on modern masculinity shared that “toxic masculinity” may have sprung from men’s “attempt to claw back some sense of manliness” in the recent cultural shift toward attitudes on gender norms.

“The fact is, a lot of men seem to feel their place in the modern world is becoming less purposeful,” Jack Urwin said in an interview.

“So in an attempt to claw back some sense of manliness, a lot of them are perpetuating what we’d refer to as toxic masculinity – a sort of overcompensating form of behavior that has its roots in ideas of traditional masculinity – such as strength and stoicism,” he added.

“But because our understanding of these has become so warped and removed from context, they end up just being very unhealthy ways to act,” the author explained.