9 PM Curfew For Toxic Masculinity
Posted by BroadBlogs
Years ago when Israel faced a rape epidemic someone suggested putting women under curfew until the country was safe again.
Prime Minister Golda Meir thought better: Men are committing the rapes. Let them be put under curfew.
I thought of that when Danielle Muscato wondered on Twitter,
What would you do if all men had a 9 pm curfew?
The thought experiment was not a serious proposal, but plenty of men didn’t get that. And one of my male readers fretted about dismissing male victims and placing all men in the same box. “I’d feel a whole lot safer if all men (except me) were under curfew,” he mused.
So I’ll rephrase: If toxic masculinity were put under 9 PM curfew, what would you do?
I was struck by how safe I suddenly felt with all that poison safely contained. I could go anywhere, anytime and feel safe.
(Unfortunately, the most dangerous place for most women is actually in their homes because too many women are in relationships with men who are filled with that toxicity.)
Toxic masculinity isn’t all men
Many confuse “toxic masculinity” with “men.” They aren’t the same thing. Toxicity arises when men behave in ways that hurt others because of the way we socially construct masculinity. How masculinity is understood actually varies from place to place. And how men fit these roles also varies, with some good and some hurtful.
Here in the United States masculinity is commonly associated with four characteristics, with varying degrees of harm:
- Men must always there to support others. That’s a positive human trait and not part of toxic masculinity, unless a man feels like he can’t seek any support himself.
- Men must achieve status through power, money, and sex. Not necessarily bad. But because this is such a heavy part of the male role in America, men who fall short may put others down (often including emotional and physical abuse), diminishing those they hurt in hopes of raising themselves up by comparison. Toxic.
- Men can’t be sissies leaves men out of touch with their softer side. They can’t be compassionate or express feelings other than anger. “No sissy stuff” is not a healthy attitude toward the feminine side of human nature (held by women and men, alike).
- Men must be tough, proving masculinity by scaring people, gang rapes, dangerous deeds to “prove” fearlessness and superiority. It creates hell on Earth. The definition of toxic.
It sure would be great to put toxic masculinity on 9 pm curfew. Better yet, ban it completely.
About BroadBlogsI have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.
Posted on October 22, 2018, in men, rape and sexual assault, violence against women and tagged 9 PM Curfew For Men, social construction of masculinity, Toxic Masculinity, violence against women. Bookmark the permalink. 82 Comments.