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A recent paper  examines the impact of the “toxic masculinity movement” on men. It argues that the emphasis on identifying “toxic” male traits and practices has been an important factor in “reducing the sense of male violence and male vulnerability” in the US and abroad, increasing the stigmatization of masculinity, and “marginalizing the male experience” through “unacknowledged, unintended, and sometimes inappropriate” harmful behaviors. However, this critique has implications for women as well.
This article summarizes research on the “toxic masculinity movement”, the attitudes that it has encouraged, and its impact on men. This is an important part of the research agenda, because some of the negative effects on men and women are potentially harmful to both men and women. It is also important because research has begun to suggest that the “toxic masculinity movement” is harmful for both men and women. In this paper, I critically review research on the toxic masculinity movement itself, analyze how, where, and why it has come about, and discuss possible policies to address it. I also offer some suggestions for how social policy could contribute to these problems and the possible solutions.
The Toxic Masculinity Movement: An Overview
The toxic masculinity movement is a loosely organized effort by self-described feminists and feminist allies to “reduce the sense of male violence and male vulnerability” and increase the “disproportionate representation” of women among government officials, legislators, media outlets, and other prominent social and political leaders. It has been called, most recently, “The War on Men.” The effort has resulted in what some have criticized as a “gender caged movement.” In the last decade, organizations have emerged in the US and Europe that support the movement’s objectives, including the Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) network.
The toxic masculinity movement is also known for its focus on identifying and undermining male and female behavioral patterns, especially those that reflect “toxic” traits . It claims, among other things, that “transgender identity” is a threat to men’s safety and well-being, and that the proliferation of so-called “trans male” (TMM) programs has contributed to an epidemic of abuse against women. The movement rejects
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