When we hear the term TOXIC MASCULINE we usually think of an angry man who is power hungry and has no regard for peoples emotions. They grunt through life, leaving chaos in their wake. Ah yes, the caveman that we now refer to as TOXIC MASCULINE.
I call BULLSHIT! I heard something yesterday that summed it up perfectly, so I will quote him here: (@oneguysopinion TikTok)
What does being a man mean? It means I am presumed the villain, that I am guilty of things other men have done that I’ve never done and that they have not done in front of me for me to be able to stop them. It means that at 18 I have to sign up for the service; to be sent off to a war that I may not agree with by a president I didn’t vote for. It means I’m supposed to provide, work long hours, work overtime, work in dangerous conditions and that my life is expendable. It means that I am supposed to protect and respect woman but I am told “that’s not enough” just to be a good guy. But in order to stop bad guys, that would require leadership, competitiveness and aggression. Things Im told are signs of TOXIC MASCULINITY. It means that I address women as “Ma’am” even though I am told by a woman in her 20’s or early 30’s that that’s insulting, that Im calling her old. Even though I call 4 year old girls Ma’am. It means I open doors for women and that I carry heavy object for them. But I’m told that’s being misogynistic, that I’m demeaning her as a woman and implying she can’t do it for herself. It means growing up I was taught almost nothing about raising children, and that even if I’m in my 30’s and 40’s and have children of my own my competency as a parent is questioned. That spending time with my own children is called babysitting. It means that kissing BooBoos and giving affection to my own child or checking for a dirty diaper could be misconstrued as sexual. It means, in divorce Im almost guaranteed to lose custody of my children and that my role as parent will be boiled down to providing part of my income. It means one of the main ways I am measured as a person is by how much I can earn, which can result in severe depression when I find myself unemployed or unable to earn enough. Depression and feelings that as a boy I was never taught to express. I was told to “Toughen up! Man up!” and that it was considered “girly” or “weak” to show those emotions. And despite all those hardships I am told that I benefit from a patriarchal society. A patriarchal society that I no more helped build than the person saying that to me. The examples I am given to show we live in a patriarchal society is that the 531 members of congress are majorly men, and that every president has been a man, or that the majority of billionaires are men. But all those men added up is less than 1000…and I’m not a billionaire and I’ve never been a member of congress. And those 1000 men have very little in common with the other 160 million men in this country. But most of all, what it means to be a man is that all the things that I was taught to be… strong, a leader, a protector are now referred to as TOXIC MASCULINITY by women. This confuses and troubles me greatly because everything I was taught as a young boy, of what it is to be a man, was taught to me by my mother. This was also true for my friends who were lucky enough to have a father in their life growing up, but they were raised by their mothers.”
So, females, please think about this next time you throw around the term TOXIC MASCULINITY. Stop shaming our men, and start raising our boys better.
Let them play with dolls. They could learn how to be great fathers or amazing uncles.
If their feelings are hurt, let them cry and talk about it. They just may grow up to be more considerate of others feelings and emotions.
Being emotional is not a female thing. It is part of the HUMAN experience. Emotion is Energy in Motion. Everyone is full of energy and everyone has emotions. Let them be expressed. So lets stop creating toxic masculinity, and start encouraging our boys to have a human experience instead of telling them to “toughen up to be a man”. Lets value our fathers more in divorce. Lets stop forcing men to not care by expecting them to not care. Lets love on these men, the good guys. The ones just trying to be the best man they were taught to be.
Behind every crazy bitch, there’s a man that made her that way! …..I can’t stand this common quote.
I work primarily with men who suffer from intimacy issues, trauma and sexual dysfunction. I can tell you that I hear stories day after day about men being abused. It breaks my heart. Men suffer from sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse in heterosexual and same sex relationships. I tend to work with heterosexual men, so although this blog applies to both relationships, I am speaking about my experiences with men in my work.
As I sat across from my client, I listened as he told me about the verbal and sometimes physical abuse he endured during his 10 year marriage. He was called an Asshole on a daily basis in front of his children. She would scream at him and sometimes throw things at him when she was enraged. She would go months without giving him any intimacy. When they were intimate, she’d make comments if he didn’t “perform” for her. Now that they were divorcing, she tells the children horrible things about him.
He had already ended up in the hospital twice from high blood pressure, and he was only 41. He was probably all of 6′ and was in decent shape. Not a “weak” looking man by any means, but his body language was that of a fragile beaten boy. His face was aged beyond his years from the sadness and stress.
We don’t hear much about stories like this. Men suffer in silence, fearing what people would say. Fear of looking weak. Fear of people not believing them. What would your reaction be? As a society we are just starting to address men’s issues but more can be done.
Men’s abuse is a serious problem. It causes high blood pressure, obesity, depression, anxiety, digestion issues, liver and kidney issues, erectile dysfunction as well as many other health problems. Yet, some still don’t see anything wrong with abusing our men. Sometimes, doing it without even realizing.
As for my client, we were able to start working on the root issues and began bringing love and joy back into his existence. My methods work! You can read about a few examples in my TESTIMONIALS or CONTACT ME if you relate to this blog. Feel free to comment as well.
The following is a letter to my abusive ex husband and father of my kids. My daughters are all in their 20’s now and have read and approved all the things mentioned about them before posting this. I use the word “MY” when referring to mine and his daughters and granddaughter because he’s been disowned and doesn’t deserve me using the word “OUR”. So its not a grammar error. The feeling expressed are personal feelings shared only between myself and my ex husband. They are in no way, a representation of my children’s feelings. This letter is for the purpose of expressing myself and where I have been in my past. Thank you for reading.
As I sit enjoying time with my 3 daughters and my granddaughter it crosses my mind just how much you are missing out on. But you did help me get here. You really were the biggest driving force for me becoming the woman I am. Real gratitude comes when something has been taken from us and we must work to get it back.
When I was 13, I gave my virginity to you, and you showed me nothing but a dull pain. Once we got married at ages 16 and 20 it was never about my pleasure and sometimes you even took it while I had tears in my eyes. And when I tried to find ways to bring pleasure into the bedroom you would shame me and make me feel dirty or turn it around to be about you again. After leaving you it took so long to bring pleasure back into my sex life. Once I found it, I was never so grateful. So, you taught me what NUMB felt like. But it allows me to be so grateful for the pleasure I am capable of now!
I remember, at age 20, sitting in the living room of our single wide trailer trying to rationalize with you why I wanted out of our 4 year marriage. You just laughed at me “you think you’ll make enough money on your own to take care of yourself and 3 kids? And no one will want you. You are worthless”. I didn’t feel the pain of those words then. I was already so numb to your abusive behavior; I didn’t feel anything anymore. But those words stuck. At 20 years old with 3 babies, I had no clue how I was going to do it. I just knew it needed to happen. So, in that moment, you taught me how to have HOPE. I had to have hope that something better was in store for me and that DID NOT include you.
When I found a way to support my children as a stripper, no one shamed me more than you. You called me a filthy whore, nasty slut, hooker, prostitute and many more names. I’m sure it pissed you off to see me making it without a single bit of help from you. But I had no choice and although it was hard to admit at the time, I enjoyed that work. So, I had to learn how to continue even with adversity. Thank you for teaching me TENACITY. I kept building my life with you nipping at my heels the whole way.
Remember that night, 2 years after we split, that you came to my home intoxicated? You couldn’t control the rage in you. You used to be good at pushing me around, spitting in my face or holding me down without leaving a mark while we were married. I never thought to call the cops on you because it didn’t register that those things were physical abuse. But this night, 2 years later, you lunged at me, not knowing a neighbor was taking the trash out. You pushed me to the ground and were throwing me around when he came to get you off me. I ran in the house to keep me and the kids safe until the cops showed up to hull you off my lawn. It took 6 cops to arrest you, they had to hog tie you and put a spit bag over your head. You taught me that night that I had RIGHTS. Those police officers and my neighbor showed me that I had the right to stand up to you and not be assaulted by you. It was so nice having you gone for a year knowing I was safe and sound with you behind bars.
You calmed down over the next 10 years thanks to the lessons from jail and the poor woman who chose to be in your life. She obviously had her own issues, but she was good for you and the kids liked her. We were able to be cordial to each other. I saw you as a dad that was trying, and I supported you starting over again. You started paying child support and having the kids every other weekend. I still hated you, but my children deserved to have a father in their lives if you were trying. You taught me MATURITY. I had to be the “bigger person” for my kids. My love for them and their mental well being had to come before my distain for you. As time went on you became more and more stable…so it seemed.
Then there was a night Angela came home from an after-school program about sexual abuse. She came and told me a story about something that happened when she was 4 years old (right around the time of the attack). She said it happened just the one time. The pain of thinking that 10 years ago my little 4 year old daughter would be exposed to sexual perversion was heartbreaking!! Of course, child services got involved and said it appeared to maybe be a confused memory. I knew 10 years ago you were drinking heavily, and I had learned drugs were even present then. Was it possible you did something that hurtful in a drug induced stupor?? So, I was confused as to what to do. Here we were 10 years after the incident and the kids are all saying nothing has happened at all since then. I asked Kimmy and Breanna and they had no feeling of discomfort around you and had no memory of any sexual abuse. I learned how to ASK FOR HELP. I asked friends and service workers what I should do. They said to just keep an eye on you and open communication with the kids.
But, in late 2013 it had become apparent in my life that I had an alcohol problem and I needed to get help. I had the kids go live with you so I could get sober and get my life back together. I had some bumps in the road, but July 17th, 2014 was the last time I took a drink. I began rebuilding my life and my children couldn’t have been happier.
In 2015 they expressed that they’d like to come back to live with me. This upset you and you wouldn’t allow it. That’s when the kids started sharing with me all your rules. They couldn’t go to friends houses, they couldn’t walk to the park down the street, they had a very heavy load of chores and many more very restricting rules. My free spirit side was screaming inside but I respected that you were just trying to be a protective dad. Until the day Breanna called me via facebook video messenger. When I opened the video chat she was there with a finger over her lips to tell me to just listen…..I was horrified! You were screaming at Angela. The things you were saying were intended to make her feel stupid about her math homework. I could hear her crying. I messaged Breanna to tell Angela I was on my way, to have her run out of the house in 8 minutes. She had just turned 18, so although you kept holding it over my head that you now had custody of them, she had just become an adult.
I pulled up to the house and Angela ran out. You came out screaming like a lunatic, and in that moment a calm came over me. You didn’t scare me one single bit. You were no longer my abusive ex husband. You were just an angry idiot. I got to really learn what HEALING can do. I had finally begun healing from all your bullshit so now you didn’t scare me anymore. That would practically be the last time you saw Angela. The fight began, I was now aware that your emotional abuse would soon turn uglier and I was going to get the kids out of there. Since Breanna and Kimmy were under 18, I had to fight for custody. But we never made it to court.
Soon after that, as I was on my way to pick the kids up from school, I got a call from Kimmy. She was crying. It was a panic cry. The kind of cry that turns a mother’s blood. She said to hurry up because when I get to the school, we must leave fast. She was begging me to hurry with no explanation but somehow, I knew. She came out about what you had been doing to her for the last 2 years. YOU SICK FUCK!!! And the reason we had to hurry? Because you were on your way to the school since you found out that the kids were ratting on your sick abuse. As we drove away, we passed you walking toward the school. I saw the look on your face, the angry walk…. I had gotten them just in time.
Now you got to teach me one of the biggest lessons of all time. I was in a fit of rage! I wanted to drop the kids in a safe place, go find a gun and do the world a service by taking you out of it. But then Id leave my kids with NO parents if I was in jail. We called the cops and I chose to go with legal justice. None was found, it was the same as in Angela’s case, his word against hers with no physical proof. The process took the span of a week giving testimony, detectives conducting interviews and so on. But 3 days in I learned that huge lesson. As I was home alone, I walked to the fridge in a fog. As I opened the fridge, I realized what I was doing. I was going for a drink; I was searching my refrigerator for a bottle of wine that wasn’t there. In that moment I was again at a crossroad. The same crossroad I had been at 2 years prior the day I put down the drink that nearly killed me. I could’ve gone and bought liquor or reached out for help, because in that moment I wanted to be numb. I made a phone call to my sponsor and kept my sobriety intact. The kids would’ve legally gone right back to you if I drank. You taught me EXACTLY why I need tools for staying sober. I later learned that the reason my daughter hadn’t told me earlier was out of fear I would drink again. You taught the kids they could trust me that day. You taught me COURAGE, STRENGTH AND THE POWER IN FRIENDS. I got to stand up for my girls the way I wish I had stood up for myself.
You fucked with all of our lives but I’m happy to say that Angela, Breanna and Kimmy ARE their mother’s daughter. They have also learned how to heal from what you’ve done and become better and stronger because of it. So, we are forgiving the hurt soul inside of you. You weren’t born that way. Someone fucked with you at some point to turn you that way. I’m sorry for the little boy inside of you that got hurt so badly that he became the disgusting lump of skin and organs you call a man.
I got to celebrate all 3 girls as they graduated High School. I got to be there to witness Breanna’s marriage to that sweet boy you wouldn’t let her see. I got to support Angela when she left an emotionally abusive relationship and went on to be promoted to a mechanic at her work. I got to be there when my granddaughter was born. I got to babysit her when she was only 4 days old. I even got to see her take her first steps. On December 15th I get to walk Kimmy down the isle to marry the same man that gave her the support and courage to tell on your abuse. So, although there was no jail time for your abuse to the children, I’m feeling confident you have created your own jail for yourself.
We are all so close and have lives full of love and support for each other. I admit there is still anger in me for you but I get to use it as fuel to propel forward in life. Oh and you know how you said I’d never be able to support 3 kids, no one would want me and I was worthless? I could go on to tell you just how amazing my life is, but I really have nothing to prove to you anymore. So, I’m just going to return those words to you. I don’t hear them anymore.
I’ve done some deep work. I’ve taken hard honest looks into who was, and who I am. I have turned my anger and resentment into compassion and forgiveness. I did it for me and to be an example to my children. I know ONE man was responsible for this abuse, not men as a whole. I will to continue healing through love. This is who I am, and what I do.
** This blog is based on my perspective as a young girl. I feel most religions have great teachings and hold a good place in the lives of many people.
I was raised Jehovah’s Witness. I was taught that women had their place in the home and in ministry. Here’s a scripture that used to scare me when I was only a child. Even then I knew I couldn’t be this. Was I born defective? Was Satan himself pervading my soul? I have highlighted the areas that made me feel shameful of who I truly was.
1Peter 3: 1-22 – Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands
Yes that was what I saw and what I was taught, Be perfect, be beautiful, be quiet and do what the man asks of you. But read that scripture again, it also states that if my man turns “bad”, its my job to woo him back into goodness. WTF! This repulsed me even at a young age but soon enough it would start to seep in and contaminate my wild thoughts. I became tamed. I submitted and went with it.
I recall, while recently doing inner child work, just how awkward I felt among the Jehovah Witness people I knew. As a JW, you were not allowed to associate with “worldly” people. They made the world outside the religion seem scary, almost like a war zone. But of course, it wouldn’t be a religion without the fear. The women were submissive, small and quiet. The men were dominant and the rulers. Women still are not allowed to be anything but pioneers in the religion. (Those are the people knocking on your door Saturday mornings).
I’m going to state it here for my whole family to see, if they choose to look. I am a Pagan Witch! In the world of the JW’s, that’s basically me saying I’m the devil himself. But, this was not a conditioning due to turning my back on the very religion that turned its back on me. This is me returning to the human I was born as, before all the conditioning. If I am an immoral sinner for my ways, then it is you who birthed an immoral sinner, because my heart has yearned to be this woman I am since the day I was born.
Let me state exactly why I say I am a pagan witch. Pagan- because I believe mother nature, the stars and sky are my god. Witch – because I use energy work in what I do to help people. Wow, I’m such a sinner! HAHA
I wish I could say that, at age 16 when I chose to no longer participate in the JW teachings, that I was free and began living my true authentic self. But no, the way I was taught was there corrupting my strength and my voice. For the next 20 years I would continue to find partners that would make me feel small and insignificant. I was attracting my match because, even though the desire to be who I am now existed, she was buried by my biblical training.
Its taken 23 years to undo the 16 years of training. I tried to drink it away, smoke it away, fuck it away. It wasn’t until I found my god, the god that raises goddesses up to be honored, that I would finally find my way out of the jail inside of my head. The jail created by religion. I do not have a hatred for religion. It works for many people. It allows them a feeling of belonging. It gives them a community of like minded individuals to feel safe and comfortable with. Religion does save people. But to think it is one size fits all is where I will argue.
Let me rewind to where I said I turned my back on the religion that turned its back on me. When you are baptized (thankfully this is a choice you make somewhere around the teen years if you where raised JW) you make a promise to live a biblical life. If you sin from a long list of certain sins, you are disfellowshipped. This results in your family and friends not being allowed to speak with you or even be at the same events as you. I remember seeing disfellowshipped people as the plague. In order to repent and be forgiven by the religion, you must prove your loyalty in silence. You would be trapped between worlds, not allowed to be part of either. Everyone you loved and knew ignored you.
I was never baptized so I was never disfellowshipped. But I was the child of 2 parents that became disfellowshipped. At age 15 both my parents were cast out of the only world I was allowed to know. As a result, so was I. My friends parents cut off the friendships and many family members abandoned us. This was an awful way to gain the freedom to leave but so be it, I was finally out!
Thank you Jehovah’s Witnesses! You taught me to be shameful of myself, to feel guilty for the slightest imperfection, fear abandonment and to be untrusting. You gave me ZERO tools for navigating the world. But I forgive you. Even though you can only forgive me if I crawl back begging, with a quiet heart and submissive mind….. No thank you! I may not be up to par for your promised “Paradise on earth at the time of the end, when god destroys the worldly people” but I am at least able to live in my own heaven right now. Being the woman god created me to be, unaffected by the labels created by fearful men of religion. I am perfect just as I am.
** This blog is based on my perspective as a young girl. I feel religion has a good place in the lives of many people.