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Men Are Sharing Examples Of Toxic Masculinity They've Faced Personally And It's Eye-Opening

Why in the hell are men taught these things?

According to dictionary.com, toxic masculinity is defined as "a cultural concept of manliness that glorifies stoicism, strength, virility, and dominance, and that is socially maladaptive or harmful to mental health."

Morsa Images / Getty Images

Basically, it's this pressure men face to act "traditionally masculine" in ways that are pretty negative to themselves and others.

Well on Friday, Reddit user u/TacoHellDriveThru asked, "What's a form of toxic masculinity you've experienced in your life as a male?"

A tailgating football fan pointing at his baseball cap which has a shark head on top and holding a Solo cup
Sean Murphy / Getty Images

Here are some examples of what people said:

1. Wearing safety gear:

"I got made fun of for wearing lifesaving safety gear on job sites. There are people now who can't taste, smell, or hear properly because they were too stubborn to put on earplugs and safety glasses, since it's 'not manly' to protect yourself apparently."

u/YikesWazowski_

2. Wearing a seatbelt:

"I always wear seatbelts in cars, but every so often, someone will scoff or poke fun that I put my seatbelt on when we share a cab or an Uber. I don't feel like smashing out my front teeth if the driver gets into a fender bender."

u/SnooFox5

3. Wearing purple:

"My favorite color is purple. I've tried to wear purple, and nope, too many dumbass comments."

u/raymondspogo

A man buttons up his purple shirt as he looks at himself in a mirror
Compassionate Eye Foundation / Getty Images

4. Looking up to non-male athlete:

"My earliest memory of toxic masculinity was when I was on my first grade basketball team. We got to pick our jersey numbers. I chose 14 because it was my aunt's number, who was a D1 college player at the time. When I told them this, the coaches laughed at me. Apparently looking up to a non-male athlete was frowned upon, even though none of the coaches made it past high school."

u/TacoHellDriveThru

5. Feeling sad or tired:

"My mother-in-law told me to stop whining and 'man up' when we were new parents and I was working nights. The only thing I said was that I was tired. It's stuff like that. I'm actually clinically depressed, but I never talk about it because I'm 6'3" and masculine, so I'm not supposed to feel sad or tired."

u/DarkPasta

6. Not caring about cars:

"Growing up, I got shit for not knowing about cars. Like, because I’m a dude, I should have the knowledge of a mechanic?"

u/FullMetalDuck89

A man looks out the driver's side window of a car at night
Adam Hester / Getty Images

7. Or sports:

"Getting shit on for not caring about sports. I'm sorry, I just don't want to spend my time watching people run around a field. And no, I don't want to play sports video games either."

u/ChrisIsaPrickX26

8. Not being "in shape":

"My old roommate was the definition of toxic masculinity. He told his parents the other night that all other guys who go to the gym are 'betas,' while he is a 'biological alpha' and then proceeded to make fun of out-of-shape people at the gym."

u/Billiesoceaneyes

9. Being sensitive/submissive:

"I grew up in a culture with a lot of toxic masculinity, so it's not easy to get rid of these ideas, like that I am not allowed to be sensitive and submissive to my wife, which I am."

u/badthoughts87

A couple embraces as they stand in front of a house
Momo Productions / Getty Images

10. Painting nails:

"I paint my nails, and oh boy, the downright ignorant comments I would get from people at work astounded me. Like, why? Assholes."

u/connorjacobz

11. Watching women's sports:

"I remember in high school (I went to an all-boys school), I would go to watch my older sister play hockey, and I’d get made fun of. I never understood what the problem with going to watch a women’s hockey game was, especially one where my older sister was playing."

u/SharkPerson

12. Watching certain movies/listening to certain songs:

"People would make fun of me for watching certain movies or listening to certain songs that had a woman singing. It got to a point where I was so self-conscious."

u/Sadboi225

Man listening to music
Westend61 / Getty Images

13. Being expected to drink a lot:

"I was expected to be able to chug alcohol and just keep on going. I just can't. I have a low threshold. I can't have, like, five shots of tequila and go about my business. I'll be a mess."

u/trappd_under_ice

14. Cooking:

“When I told someone I was a chef, they told me that career path was for women.” — u/I_dont_even_care1986

15. And finally, "manning up":

"Every guy is told 'to man up' at some point. I still don’t know what 'manning up' is."

u/Salty-Tortoise

In conclusion, stop pressuring/raising/enforcing men to be molds of what you think they should be! Raise them to be good people, PERIOD.

A group of men embracing on a basketball court
Hinterhaus Productions / Getty Images

Have you ever experienced toxic masculinity? I'm sure you have. Let me know about it in the comments below!

Responses have been edited for length/clarity. H/T: Reddit.

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