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How Toxic Masculinity Shackles Men to Misogyny

"Boys and young men are so routinely expected to betray their better natures, to smother their consciences, to renounce the best of themselves and submit to something low and mean. As if there’s only one way of being a bloke, one valid interpretation of the part, the role, if you like. There’s a constant pressure to enlist, to pull on the uniform of misogyny and join the Shithead Army that enforces and polices sexism. And it grieves me to say it’s not just men pressing those kids into service." About the Boys, Tim Winton.

"What are we left with?" asks Winton. If you are not part of a culture that celebrates coming of age into adulthood then the rite of passage is about drinking beer and getting laid. 

Political climates now reveal that nothing else is expected of a man but to be one of the boys. Which I think means non-judgement, right or wrong, of the tribe. What's said or done in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse. 

You can understand how the instinctive feeling of reflection or self-questioning would be seen as high-treason girlishness. 

School bullies, alpha males, can rely on absolute loyalty beyond the point of torture, to death. The witch hunts, the gang rape, the ridicule of women's bodies, all demand loyalty to the group.

No matter how violent or hurtful the words or the acts, the policies or the demands - no-one must be allowed to comment or judge.

But this sounds fine for Chimpanzees, Ghengis Khan's army or the Mafia, however,  whether we like it or not, our brains have evolved. This is why PTSD is so prevalent. Winton points out how boys are punished for having a conscience, how they must not under any circumstances say what they feel or even acknowledge what they feel. 

Women also learn to do this too if they want to stay employed in the group. It looks like this is an example of how power works in our society. 

In this age of nuclear weapons, pollution, endless wars and inequality, it is a disaster, another disaster waiting to happen.  

On the grave of our humanity we could write "forgive them Mother - they knew not what they were doing".


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