It is not enough to declare that “toxic masculinity” is the cause behind all the mass shootings, police killings, and continued rise in homicidal mayhem by men in our country.
Toxic masculinity is being talked about more and more. Here’s a sampling of recent articles linking toxic masculinity as cause to the Orlando shootings, the Stanford raper, the risk of fraternities, the manifesto of Eliot Rogers, and knee-jerk responses of manning up. However, toxic masculinity is the blatant symptom of the socio-cultural auto-immune disease that has infected the United States (and nearly, the entire world).
Educate yourself on the real subject, the actual disease, that undergirds all the recent violent deaths of black men and women as well as the Dallas shooting-murder of five police officers. That subject is patriarchy.
The time for continued ignorance has vanished.
Patriarchy—a quick definition
Patriarchy is a societal structure that deeply privileges males, but because it is also racist, it privileges white males most of all. Because it systemically privileges males, patriarchy is fundamentally structured around sexism, misogyny, and making women the primary Other. Patriarchy is also highly vested in classism—hierarchies that are based upon creating and maintaining social, cultural, and economic classes, i.e. the 1% of the 1%, the upper class, the (now invisible) middle class, the lower class, the poor and destitute. These classes center upon how much control, money, force, and social influence (often mislabeled as power) each individual or group can access and wield.
A social structure that is based upon oppressing others through sexism, racism, and classism, invariably uses violence, force, domination, control, intimidation, slavery, and more. Patriarchy seeps into every part of our American culture. As I stated last year, patriarchy is the underlying cause for the 142nd mass shooting.
Toxic masculinity is taught throughout our culture.
We can stop teaching this crap! We can stop learning it. We can stop living it.
But we can only do that if we educate ourselves thoroughly on recognizing the pernicious, destructive, deadly construct of patriarchy.
Here are some resources:
- Read The Creation of Patriarchy by Gerda Lerner
- Read Allan G. Johnson’s work on his website and/ or his book The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy
- Start small by examining your favorite video game or action movie for patriarchal male tropes by playing:
- Read my post on Patriarchy and its stories to get an understanding of patriarchy’s longevity.
- Check out the primers on feminism and patriarchy on geekfeminism.
- Start divesting yourself of patriarchal attitudes, privileges, and habits. Each time you do, think of it as a solid gold investment in humanity’s future.
Keep Educating Yourself.