Here at Gurl, we talk a lot about BS gender norms that hurt girls and women. You know, judging our worth based on what we wear or how many folks we’ve hooked up with, expecting us to be docile, demanding that we remove any and all body hair that is deemed unladylike…you know, that kind of garbage. But men are also expected to stick to rigid rules and regulations in the name of masculinity: Being super dominating, avoiding vulnerability, suppressing emotions that are seen as weak. Honestly, these unrealistic expectations hurt all of us. But while it’s pretty common for women to accept the fact that compulsory femininity can be a pain in the ass, it seems like many men are reluctant to admit that masculinity can be toxic af.
Why? Because…admitting that aspects of masculinity are oppressive and effed up isn’t very masculine. To some, that kind of observation is weak, whiney, and every other negative trait that’s usually assigned to femininity. Hmmm, funny how that works.
The lengths that cis-gender straight men will go to seem super manly would be funny if they weren’t so sad. Toxic masculinity leads dudes to freak out when a woman won’t accept their advances, it tells boys not to cry, and it makes sure that a dude can’t compliment another dude without adding “no homo.” WTF? For a deeper look at just how effed up masculinity can be, check out these 23 killer tweets.
1. [Insert basic product that everyone uses and enjoys] FOR MEN
— ˗ˏˋ blige ˎˊ˗ (@THECAROLDANVERS) September 23, 2015
2. This is just…next level ridiculous.
— georgina (@monetgrrl) September 23, 2015
Oh, and in case you were wondering what this was a reply to:
3. Never settle for a dude who can’t handle holding a damn purse for a few minutes.
— Sarah Misandrist (@sazza_jay) September 23, 2015
4. How dare a woman not be interested in dudes?
#MasculinitySoFragile that if a woman does not identify as straight, men think it's bc she hasn't "met the right man yet."
— SocialJusticeFlower (@anthoknees) September 23, 2015
5.Proven by all of the pissed off dudes in the hashtag.
#MasculinitySoFragile men haven't learned how to separate criticism of masculinity as a construct from criticism of them as individual men
— Bailey (@the_author_) September 23, 2015
6. “Boys don’t cry” is a BS concept that encourages dudes to be emotionless robots. NAGL.
#MasculinitySoFragile little boys are told to stop crying and man up even if they've hurt themselves. B/c "boys don't cry."
— Janelle MoBae (@SorahyaM) September 23, 2015
7. Why is this even still a thing?
#MasculinitySoFragile that men cannot show affection to their fellow men without adding "no homo" to the sentence
— ˗ˏˋ blige ˎˊ˗ (@THECAROLDANVERS) September 23, 2015
8. Apparently “real men” don’t enthusiastically support their partners.
— MK (@mk_cancerian) September 1, 2015
9. *Side eyes Drake.*
#MasculinitySoFragile "Is that a world tour or your girl's tour" became the most memorable line in a 2015 rap beef.
— michael wave (@Flames_Baldwin) September 23, 2015
10. T R U T H.
#MasculinitySoFragile You feel threatened by women taller/bigger than you because that's all you think masculinity is and can be
— nailah (@naidivine) September 23, 2015
11. PLEASE TELL ME THAT THIS IS AN EXAGGERATION. Unfortunately, I can see it being true, though.
#MasculinitySoFragile you can't even eat a banana in public
— Whitney C. Prins (@WhitneyPrins) September 23, 2015
12. And whether we reject nicely or harshly, we’re still susceptible to being hurt or killed anyway.
#MasculinitySoFragile that it's more important to teach women to reject men politely than it is to teach men to accept rejection peacefully
— jamilah (@JamilahLemieux) September 23, 2015
13. Good question.
Why is #MasculinitySoFragile that some men have to prove their masculinity through violence, homophobic language and aggression toward women
— Life of a lesbian. (@Lezzielips) September 23, 2015
— sky (@christymaccc) September 23, 2015
15. If I could insert multiple fire emojis here, I would.
#MasculinitySoFragile Guys have to say "no homo" when showing affection to another guy, which is like saying "no Oedipus" when u hug ur mom.
— Brandon Evers (@BrandonEvrs) September 23, 2015
16. Holler if this has happened to you before.
#masculinitysofragile a man will call you attractive then scream unflattering obscenities at you the moment reject him
— BlackMajiik (@SappRHOofLesbos) September 23, 2015
17. Some dudes are really invested in being able to abuse women in the name of equality.
#MasculinitySoFragile that discussions of equality quickly devolve into, "Does that mean I can hit women?"
— Marquis De Sarcasm (@dyrbert) September 23, 2015
18. Important reminder, just in case you think that toxic masculinity only hurts women:
— Jason L Bauman (@EclecticHonesty) September 23, 2015
My little brother doesn't kiss our baby nephew because he thinks it's "gay" #MasculinitySoFragile
— hoe of color (@fatalitiess) September 23, 2015
20. Even fitness is gendered. GREAT.
#MasculinitySoFragile boys laugh when asked to join yoga or pole fitness classes at my university gym
— Samar (@SamarSaysSo) September 23, 2015
21. Enough said.
— Hannah Giorgis (@ethiopienne) September 23, 2015
22. Unreal… a little boy can’t even watch a show about a girl without his masculinity being challenged.
My 3 year old nephew isn't allowed to watch Sophia the First b/c he likes too many "girl shows" #MasculinitySoFragile
— justice or die tryin (@londonbabyyy) September 23, 2015
23. PRETTY MUCH.
#MasculinitySoFragile….it's wounded by a hashtag.
— Olivia A. Cole (@RantingOwl) September 23, 2015
Which of these tweets resonated with you the most? What other awful things are done to prove someone’s masculinity? Tell us in the comments!