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What Is Toxic Masculinity?

Asking for a Mom Raising Boys: Me.

by Olga Rosales Salinas

(SFBAM Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series on toxic masculinity. If you have questions or advice please comment below)

We’ve all heard the phrase “toxic masculinity.” Most of us have experienced some form of it, or maybe even participated in it. Growing up, I experienced it by way of my father’s machismo. There were also male teachers who assumed I wouldn’t be able to grasp math, and pastors who policed my wardrobe, imploring that short skirts or spaghetti straps caused my male counterparts all sorts of preventable sin.

These are examples of what toxic masculinity might look like, but what does it actually do to men—to society? Moreover, how is it caused and how can I prevent it? As a mother raising two boys, I simply don’t have the luxury of ignoring the issue. The hard truth is that my understanding of men in general plays a role in the way I parent my boys. Gone unchecked, I am in danger of perpetuating the cycle of toxic masculinity that I’ve come to understand as a cisgender women and mother. I refuse to pretend that I can somehow be above the concept by will alone. The work is in taking toxic masculinity apart as a concept.

Read the whole article at San Francisco Bay Area Mom Collective here.


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