It is not about anything to do with maleness. Bits will not fall off if men stop being toxic.
It’s about status. Being toxic is the mark of high status. Being vulnerable or kind or nobody or pleasing is “not being a man.” Fighting off fifty storm troopers singlehanded while having a bunch of faceless naked women in the background gets you the unattainable Super Man card.
It’s all about the man card. It’s all about the social definition of being a man because it’s all about status. Biology has nothing to do with status. Status is 100% social. Playing the man card is not about being a man.
That’s good news and bad news.
It’s good news because if we really had to change what men are born with, something like preventing the development of testes, it would be impossible.
It’s bad news because changing people’s desire for social status is much harder than changing biological reality. It is physically possible, unlike ordering up a different biology, but it’s like pulling teeth without anesthetic.
However, and this is the point (I do have a point), if we understand what we’re actually trying to do when curing “toxic masculinity,” our efforts can apply to the real problem instead of the wrong one.
The problem is not maleness. The problem is the social definition of masculinity.
So, sure, it’s useful for men to stop toxic behavior. But that’s never going to stop the crap from regenerating bigger and worser than ever.
To cure toxic masculinity we have to stop having a top caste of men. We have to stop admiring it. It has to stop being in ads. It has to stop being in movies and videos and music and news programs and clothes and the pushing of a million products to get men to spend money to bolster their man cards. (Yes, the economy would crash.)
It means men would get 50% of the money and assets for 50% of the work instead of, as now, 90% of the benefits for 30% of the work. It means women would be 50% of government at all levels, and 50% of police and of the military at all levels. And … well, you get the picture.
There’s a lot of work to do. A lot more than men stopping their current bad behavior. A lot less than ending maleness.