Three of the manliest celebrities debunk the idea of rampant toxic masculinity with their tv shows and by being themselves.
USA Network TV series Straight Up Steve Austin has masculinity and emotional depth. While the WWE Stone Cold Steve Austin guzzled a beer inside the ring before a professional wrestling match, the real Steve Austin is different–evident in his bearing and conversation.
He asks guests questions like, “Was it hard to take yourself out of [auto] racing instead of being medically forced to?” and “How did you meet your wife?” His curiosity extends to the person, not just the celebrity, and they talk about feelings, fears, and dreams.
Although the show has a mostly male viewership, my daughters and I enjoy it too. Fans like the cool, guy stuff like throwing hatchets with WWE superstar Becky Lynch and driving a monster truck with country singer Trace Adkins.
Toxic masculinity is an inaccurate, simplistic description of men. Real masculinity combines:
- Being hard and soft
- Talking and listening
- Being brave and afraid
- Possessing masculine and feminine qualities
- Battling and nurturing
The opposite of toxic masculinity
Running Wild with Bear Grylls is another example of the natural juxtaposition of complex characteristics. Besides convincing them to eat bear poop and other yucky things, Bear Grylls has deep conversations with his guests.
“What was it like growing up in that situation?”
“Do you feel like you have to be a certain way because of your father?”
By putting the celebrity guests in unfamiliar, stressful situations, Grylls acts like an outdoorsy, extreme psychiatrist, helping them be authentic in a way their celebrity may not normally allow.
The popularity of both shows are proof people like to watch guys do crazy, fun shit, while also being introspective, caring, and coherent.
The People’s Champion
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a third manly man with a complex image who similarly avoids the toxic masculinity caricature. He recently championed and helped produce a film about female WWE star Paige. Her story emphasized her family and their support (especially from her brother) as the source of her strength.
Why “toxic masculinity” is false
Using the term “toxic masculinity” ties criminal and violent behaviors to men, manhood, and masculinity.
This is highly offensive and belligerent to non-violent, non-criminal men. It’s akin to calling women bitches and whores. It’s demeaning, inaccurate, and objectionable. Some women do display such negative behaviors, but it is not essential to women or femininity as SJWs insist toxic masculinity is to men.
When Zoey Tur threatened Ben Shapiro on national tv, I didn’t think, “Oh, that’s toxic masculinity in a dress right there.” (Okay, I sorta did) My louder thought was, “That asshole just threatened to assault a smaller man and everybody in the studio just let him get away with it!”
“Asshole” or “jerk” are more accurate descriptors of repugnant male and female behaviors.
Toxic masculinity is just a bright balloon blowing in the wind, attracting everyone’s ire and attention.
The only accurate part of toxic masculinity is the word “toxic” applied to accusers and the atmosphere they create.
Don’t accept this false term. It doesn’t define you or your reality.
Image from Safa Tuncel from Pixabay.