toxic masculinity: two current problematic narratives

in the last few months, i’ve heard two narratives repeat that i just want to write out here. they have only happened in spaces that were segregated by gender and the space was assumed by most present parties to be all men.

women are out to get me (specifically to get me to cheat on my partner)

i hear this one over and over. the story underneath it goes something like “yea, man. she was coming onto me really hard even though i made it clear that i had a girlfriend/wife. i think knowing i was unavailable made me even more attractive to her. she started hitting on me harder after i told her i was taken. she was really trying to get me to cheat! thankfully, i’m strong and didn’t do it, but if things with my wife/partner ever get rocky, i know there are women trying to come at me from all sides.”

i don’t want to be a “me too” guy

the story here goes like: “i’m so scared of getting me tooed! it’s like i can’t even express my interest in a woman anymore. i have never put my hands on woman if she didn’t give me permission so i’m not worried about that. but it seems like guys are getting in trouble for doing less and less… just telling a woman you think she’s attractive is apparently a BAD thing now! that’s crazy!!! but still, i am a good guy so i really want to do what’s right by the women around me. i’m just so unsure of what’s ok and what’s not these days. and i DEFINITELY don’t want to get suckerpunched with a ‘me too’ situation where i thought i was doing everything right and then i find out later that she thinks i assaulted her. i don’t know what to do now…”

i don’t have time to dig into these today (gotta get to working while my morning brain is still good) but the assumptions embedded in each of these narratives are wicked. they point out, so obviously (to me at least) how limited men’s imaginations are about (a) what could occupy their time and (b) how to develop oneself as a fully liberated human on this planet. what do men have to believe about ourselves in order to think these narratives are true? what realities might those beliefs be obscuring? what might happen in those realities were interrogated (be they true or false)?

yikes.

words / writing / post-processing
357w / 11min / 5min