Fighting Against Toxic Masculinity, One Skirt At A Time

Toxic Pressures of Masculinity in Today’s Society.


Isabella McAllister, Newspaper Editor-In-Chief

I feel like for the past couple of months “Toxic Masculinity” has been surfacing on social media. I’ve seen people use this trend in many different ways. People are defining men by the way they choose to dress, speak, if they paint their nails, or if they are society’s version of masculine. 

I was scrolling through Instagram one day and watching the stories one by one. I came across this one of a kid I used to go to middle school with. It was a picture of a quote that he had reposted from some guy on Instagram. The quote pretty much said that men are losing their masculinity due to the majority of teachers being women and the number of single moms is higher than it used to be and that this is ruining today’s men, making them less masculine, and from being a real man. I was so taken back by this my face became burning hot. 

The fact that this boy had the audacity to post something like this when so many people would feel offended. A lot of people are often offended by things like this as well, just like people are offended by a man’s version of his own masculinity. But, how does a woman’s influence change the fate and path of an individual? How does a woman’s influence make a man less masculine?

If a woman becoming a teacher is having such a great influence on a male’s masculinity, why aren’t more men becoming teachers? A lot of women are left to being single mothers because their partner at the time is either not in the picture out of choice, or they become separated. I myself was raised by a single mother who had to be both mom and dad. My siblings were also raised by a single mother. My brother specifically was raised by a single mother. He has watched my mother work a good-paying job by herself. She pays all of the bills and makes sure we have almost everything we want that she can give us. She has taught him how to treat a woman with respect, how to love someone, and love yourself, nothing like my own father ever did. She is helping put me through college without the help of a man, and she has done it all on her own. If anything she has taught him how to be himself and to be an individual. 

Some people would say that a high impact on women decreases men’s masculinity. While in some cases sure, yes this could be the case, it is not true all of the time. Men are told to be “a real man.” But what really makes a man a real man in today’s world? We live in a world where so many things are changing so often. If it is sexuality, rights, trends, etc, men are still told to be a man. Men should be able to support women, just as women should be able to support men. 

If a man wants to paint his nails because he likes it, why is it wrong? Society tells us what we are supposed to look like as a man or a woman, but often women do not get hate for dressing more masculine, but a man gets hate for dressing more feminine. I don’t get how clothes can completely define someone’s masculinity or femininity. 

Men are told to have a deep voice, be tall, you cannot be too scrawny, you have to dress the part, you have to be with a woman. Some people are saying that men cannot be men without hitting these standards. It sparked when Harry Styles decided to wear a dress on the cover of Vogue. The move he made was bold only to the fact that a large chunk of society cannot accept the fact that a man can wear a skirt or a dress. If a man is confident enough in their masculinity, why can’t they wear a dress? Why is that any of your business? It’s not. If a man wears a skirt or a dress, why does it make him less of a man? 

A lot of people believe that there is one way to live, and that is all due to how they were raised, their religious beliefs, and political beliefs. But times have changed so much. Society has changed drastically. But the real problem is people cannot move on from their own opinions and be more accepting of newer, less traditional aspects of life. 

Society’s beauty standards are overwhelmingly harsh, and that will always be apparent. Men and women will always get hate if they choose to dress more feminine or masculine if it doesn’t go along with how others believe, and that is the sad part. People can be good people whether they date the same gender, wear skirts, or paint their fingernails. But people just do not see the problem is not a man wearing a skirt. The real problem is the people who are sitting back and judging these people for being themself. If his skirt is not on your body, why are you commenting on it?