The term “toxic masculinity” describes a set of socially regressive male behaviors characterized by strength and stoicism; it is often associated with wanton violence and the devaluation of women.
As defined by Tolerance.org:
Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status, and aggression. It’s the cultural idea of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly “feminine” traits – which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hyper sexual – are the means by which your status as “man” can be taken away.
When placed in a political context, toxic masculinity is associated with alt-right attitudes like racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny. Such behaviors stem from the fear that women and minorities are threatening the white man’s longtime supremacy in culture and politics.
“So often, we’re taught that to be an emotional stoic is the mark of manhood,” explains Scott Turner, founder of the Men’s Therapeutic Cuddle Group. “If you show any emotional weakness or vulnerability, that’s a failure to your title of a man.”
Turner’s cuddle club seeks to fight toxic masculinity and heal trauma by – you guessed it – cuddling. The men’s-only group meets twice per month to enjoy a variety of snuggly positions including hand holding and beard-stroking.
Perhaps the cuddle club would be a good outlet for former Vice President Joe Biden, whose affectionate behavior has been denounced by women as inappropriate (but not sexual).
“If Biden truly supports women and gender equality, he would step aside [from the 2020 election] and support one of the many talented and qualified women running,” argues Amy Lappos, a Connecticut woman who claims Biden rubbed noses with her in 2009.
Lappos’s accusation comes amid the #MeToo movement, which in my opinion has made everyone hyper aware of all contact between the sexes. Some critics have compared Biden’s affectionate touching to Donald Trump’s sexist treatment of women – and insist the Democratic Party cannot support Biden while condemning Trump.
In response to the accusations against Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged the former Vice President to be more conscious of others’ personal space.
“[Biden] has to understand in the world that we’re in now that people’s space is important to them, and what’s important is how they receive it and not necessarily how you intended it,” said Pelosi, adding that his inappropriate behavior should not disqualify him from running for president.
Editor’s note: We seem to have a split in the liberal philosophies, one side criticizes Biden because he is in touch with his feelings, the other side says men are toxic and need to get in touch with their feelings. Get the feeling this is more about the propaganda effects than any actual set of beliefs or values?