Perpetuating Toxic Masculinity
“Small Dick Energy”
“This is why you’re single”
“Good luck finding a partner”
These are the types of comments people from normally progressive backgrounds make towards men they disagree with or who offend them.
We can argue about specific situations and who was right or wrong but really it’s irrelevant who is correct. Often it’s just a clash of experiences. But that’s not the point of this post.
We all live in this patriarchal society where we’re taught to fulfil gender norms (good and bad), or risk the ridicule and wrath of those around us. Part of the social expectations of men, particularly cis men, is that they prioritize sex above all us and therefore are always available and willing to engage in sexual intimacy: especially with women. Much of the energy of a “real man” is supposedly spent on pursuing sexual intimacy with women or lamenting the absence of sexual partners.
This core belief is what motivates people to immediately attack men in ways they perceive to be emasculating. They speak about their penis, their (assumed lack of) relationships/sex/intimacy. They assume that their value of what makes a “real man” or the goals of “real men” are universal.
During what they perceive to be a “verbal/written castration”, the emasculator obviously believes themselves to be correct in their perspective. They objectively may be correct. And this is an important point, because it positions their response as a “social punishment”: “you annoy me with incorrect things and I will emasculate you by questioning your sexual prowess.”
The “progressive” men who are guilty of this betray their thinking by trying to counsel the “incorrect men” and assure them that intimacy with women will be the “reward” for doing the right things. Strangely, I often see women step up to agree that indeed they will be rewarding the men who do the right things in that way. This reinforces that men chase sex and women provide it.
When you use this against the wrong men, for example, assume a gay man is interested in intimacy with women, or accuse someone who is sex repulsed of being on a desperate pursuit of sex, it’s a display of your own ignorance and values. Toxic masculinity and (internalized) misogyny is what leads you to say those things or believe they are relevant and important. Probably because they are to you and you project that onto others.
It’s not about who is right or who is wrong. If my partner betrays one of our agreements, it doesn’t give me the permission to become abusive towards them as a social punishment for their misdeed. It’s about our tendency as humans to resort to the type of harmful behavior we call out when aggravated.
Think about how you interact with people you believe are wrong. Do you resort to toxic shaming twenties you learned from the Patriarchy?