I am not against healthy masculinity. However, toxic masculinity is harmful for men too.
I will give some everyday examples and some extreme examples.
In everyday life, men don't feel comfortable talking about their depression, anxiety and stress. This was pointed when Prince William spoke about mental health with footballers.
People also expect men not to cry even if they watch the ending of Titanic, men are not allowed to have emotions. Men are dehumanized everyday with these little expectations that shapes them as a person. This is why even in funerals, men stand quietly whilst women cry loudly and express their sadness.
I also observed that men don't ask for directions when they are lost. Men don't like asking for help. Every time, my dad was lost, he refused to ask for directions and I used to ask for directions on his behalf. Even in a shop, if he can't find someone, he refuses to ask a staff member and the same thing happens in a train station. Sometimes, when girls are in a car with a guy driving, he will drive for an extra 30 minutes but he will not ask for directions. One girl once said that every guy who gave her a lift did this.
Men also refuse to accept that they also feel cold because they think they are supposed to take their jacket off for a girl.
Now, I will talk about the extreme examples.
The Asian community is a very patriarchal community. There is a pressure on men to be patriarchal with their women to prove themselves as men, something which dehumanizes them. In a patriarchal society, women are expected to submissive in every aspect of their life including the way they dress, education, career and even marriage. The society is constantly judging and shaming women, and men control women because they don't want people judging their women.
For example, a man might not let his women wear what they want to because people will start judging him. As a result, women are not considered individuals, they are only considered someone's daughter, sister, wife and a mother. Women are expected to live their life in a certain way to maintain the image of their conservative families.
In my Asian community, when a girl is liberal, when she wears what she wants to, does what she wants to, falls in love with whoever she wants to, people start saying things like, "How come her father doesn't say anything?"
If father doesn't say anything, he is shamed by the society for not controlling his daughter. Even brothers and husbands are also shamed for allowing their women to wear what they want to and for allowing their women to do what they want to.
People shame those men by questioning their masculinity. This is where toxic masculinity comes. The society dehumanises men who are sensitive and caring, by shaming them for not wearing pants in the house.
Those men who give freedom to their women, who are sensitive and caring, are called cowards, weak, unmanly and slaves of their wives. People are like "he is his wife's slave that's why he doesn't force her to stay at home 24/7 and be covered from head to toe."
Therefore, the patriarchal and conservative society encourages men to be strict, controlling and dominating to prove that they are men.
Parents feel pressurised by the society to be strict with their daughters because of the line, "What will the people say?" Sometimes, the opinion of people matters more than the happiness of their children, because it is all about the image of the family.
The society turns a father against his daughter, a brother against his sister and a husband against his wife, by judging their women in front of them.
Those men then take the anger out at their women for bringing "shame" to the family, which means somebody said something to them when they were on their way home or over a cup of tea.
This whole concept of trolling, shaming and judging women even causes honour killings as a reaction from male family members.
In Qandeel Baloch's honour killing case, a brother killed his sister for wearing short clothes and social media pictures, but he blamed the society.
He told the police that every single day for years, his neighbours used to shame him for allowing his sister to wear short clothes and post pictures on social media.
Every single day people told him that if he can't control his sister, he is not a man. This is toxic masculinity. After being shamed for years, he killed his sister in the name of honour just to prove that he is a man and just to shut people's mouths, who complained about his sister's clothes and pictures for years.
He told the police that he couldn't leave the house because of the people judging his sister and shaming him, he couldn't live a normal life.
He was treated like an outcast. In this case, the guy was also a victim himself because of the mental stress that the society gave him. The society influenced him to kill his sister by judging his masculinity.
Faryal Makhdoom is a big victim of patriarchal society. She is Amir Khan's wife, who is a boxing champion. She was constantly attacked by her Pakistani community for wearing short clothes and for posting pictures on social media. She was also bullied by her own in-laws. Her mother-in-law and father-in-law constantly told her off for not being modest enough, they constantly told Amir to tell his wife.
Their relatives constantly judged them for allowing their daughter-in-law to wear short clothes and for allowing her to put pictures on social media. In cases like this, the family shouts at the son, who then goes on to shout at his wife.
It is like a cycle, the society, the relatives judge the in-laws, the in-laws tell their son off, who then tells his wife.
In some cases, relatives judge the parents by talking bad about their daughter, who then shout at their daughter, instead standing united against the relatives.
The society causes the family members to start fighting against each other, even though they should stand united.
The society and the in-laws were pressurising Amir to be strict with his wife and they even encouraged him to divorce his wife over short clothes and social media pictures.
From that picture, shaming language, negative female portrayals, objectification and unrealistic standards of beauty are a big issue. In Bollywood and Pakistani films, white women are portrayed as objects and men drool over their white skin. White women are portrayed as pieces of meat and a second class citizen. This is they always have white women in bikinis in the background, instead of making their women wear bikinis.
Sometimes, a white woman in a bikini pops out of nowhere. Those films tell men that if a woman wears revealing clothes or if she is white, then she is up for sex. As a result, uneducated men don't really understand the concept of "consent."
In Asma Aziz's domestic abuse case, people refused to believe she was forced to dance just because she was a party girl and a video was leaked where she was dancing in a party. People failed to understand that just because a woman danced in a party on one day doesn't mean she can be forced to dance the next day when she doesn't feel like it. They also failed to understand that it is wrong to force a party girl to dance. It is justifying the rape of a prostitute.
The entire people were shaming her for being a party girl, for having male friends, for having a 6 month relationship outside marriage, for drinking alcohol, instead of saying it was wrong to abuse her and it was wrong to force her to dance when she didn't want to.
Some people called it a divine punishment for breaking conservative values. In one case, when a 8 month pregnant singer was shot dead for refusing to dance, people didn't feel sorry for her. They began judging her character instead even though this was way of earning bread.
People of the patriarchy community use shaming language against women. Shaming languageis even used against victims like Qandeel Baloch, who is a victim of honour killing and Asma Aziz, who is a victim of domestic abuse. Asma Aziz was shamed for being a party girl and for having a relationship outside marriage for 6 months before getting married.
Pakistanis refuse to feel sorry for those women just because they didn't live and dress according to conservative values. This is where victim blaming and shaming comes. This is done by women too.
Pakistan shames liberal women, who say "my body, my choice," because that goes against their conservative values.
Shaming language was used against Faryal Makhdoom and actresses including Mehwish Hayat, Mahira Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Sana Javed.
Mehwish Hayat was trolled on social media for receiving a national award on Pakistan's day. People think an actress didn't deserve it because acting is considered a taboo, and people thought women who wear revealing clothes and dance should be treated like an outcast. People kept saying giving an actress a national award was against Islam and they even accused her of sleeping with someone to get the award.
Mahira Khan was badly trolled when her pictures with Ranbir leaked, where she was showing her arms and back, and she was smoking. Can you believe this, in the 21st century, a woman being trolled for showing her arms and back??? When she attended an awards function, she wore a sleeveless dress and was trolled again for showing her arms. LOL at my community.
Sana Javed was trolled for her romantic song called Beliya. That song had no lip kiss or bikini. In the song, she was wearing a sari and hugging and people thought it was too provocative. lol.
Now I need to post it because it is time for me to open my fast, it is 8:45pm and my mom is calling me. I don't even know if this mytake makes sense, just had to take my frustration out. This is like me crying a diary that everybody gets to read. Writing with a pen is too much of an effort. I feel like one mytake could have been about toxic masculinity and the other about toxic patriarchy.