Toxic Masculinity: 20 “Toxic” Traits that are Actually Healthy

Can you imagine if someone told you your gender is toxic? Instead of toxic masculinity, here are 20 things that make men awesome.

Toxic Masculinity

When I was a kid I used to watch Leave It To Beaver reruns and watch Barbara *Beaver’s mom of course*, run around waiting on everyone in her apron. It used to make me laugh that a woman would do that. What it didn’t do was make me angry. Nowadays, it seems like everything makes people angry. Hence the phrase, toxic masculinity, has been born out of this angry time in our culture.

Toxic masculinity is a belief that being masculine, or even having masculine qualities, is toxic not just to society, but to the world over. It isn’t just that masculinity keeps women subordinate, according to feminists, but it is the reason for world hunger, war, and everything aggressive.

The problem with the notion that being masculine is in some way toxic to society doesn’t make sense. We were created with inherent qualities to keep the survival of the species alive and to ensure that the least of us is protected.

Hold off… I am NOT saying that women are the least of us. What I am saying is that there are those who are stronger and meant to defend, and others less strong. And, YES, in need of protecting. Go ahead, call me a sexist, I can take it.

Toxic masculinity and 20 things that aren’t toxic about being masculine!

So, where have all the men in shining armor gone? They have been told that they shouldn’t be aggressive or competitive, or really anything they are supposed to be. Can you imagine? What if there was such a thing as toxic femininity instead of just toxic masculinity?

I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to tell me that I am not supposed to behave the way that nature told me to. That might actually make someone aggressive to begin with.

I am not negating the fact that men cause some real problems behaving macho, but I love men for their entirety. Created to be protectors, get their dander up, and sleep closest to the door to protect their sleeping wives, I will take whatever toxic parts come with their gender roles.

For those of you out there who believe men are responsible for war, aggression, and poverty *along with the long list of other world ills*, I am just going to put it out there that these are the best things about being masculine, which certainly aren’t toxic. In fact, they are pretty fantastic! [Read: Defining true masculinity – What does it really mean to be a man?]

#1 Competition. When I was in grammar school we were allowed to keep score, and the point was to beat the other team. We didn’t care if someone’s feelings were hurt by losing, or if someone felt bad that they didn’t get a trophy.

The reason that competition is good, and we are losing out by eliminating it, is that there really isn’t any reason to work harder if you get the same if you work hard or not. Competition is a good thing. It challenges us and makes us all the best us we can be. So, stop knocking it!

#2 Chests. I am sorry to say that there really isn’t anything better than laying your head down on a man’s chest at night, while watching the stars, or, let’s be honest here, anytime. If men are toxic, their chests were created to soothe a woman’s heart and to find refuge and comfort even at the most uncomfortable times. [Read: Where are the studs? Feminizing men kills our society]

#3 Chivalry. Being masculine means being chivalrous. At least it used to. Opening doors, driving the car, pushing in chairs, and covering puddles are all awesome things that used to be the norm. No, I don’t think that it is belittling to show respect to the women in your lives. In fact, I think it is pretty incredible.

I am sure men don’t feel disrespected when you pick up their socks at the end of the day or when you fold their shorts just the way they like them. We each have jobs in this world, and chivalry is a man’s way of doing his to show the women in a society that they are respected and valued, not demeaned. It is all mixed up now. [Read: Chivalry is dead because men are lazy]

#4 Driver and guide. There is nothing toxic about a guy always taking the lead. I know that when I head out for an adventure there is a man to guide the way. That isn’t toxic; it was created that way so that we survive.

The same is true of being the driver versus the passenger. I am totally okay with him driving all the time. It allows me to send my stupid emojis and text while he watches the road.

#5 Building. How many women do you know that can build a camp or even a campfire? Traditionally a masculine thing for a reason, men have excellent spatial abilities, they are stronger typically, and have better upper body strength.

I don’t know about you, but if I was stranded on an island and wanted a fort to keep me safe, I am damn sure I would want a man around to construct it for me.

#6 Fixing. Do you want to know what I picture hell to be? Sitting in a room trying to get little screws out, putting together furniture, or figuring out electricity. There is nothing toxic about a man’s ability to fix all the things that I can’t. Sure, there is YouTube to show me, but what takes me ten hours takes my husband ten minutes… so, what is the point?

#7 Opening jars. I hate when I can’t get a jar open. After I have banged it with a spoon, on the counter, gotten out my little rubber tool to pry it open, what do I do? I find my husband who can open it in seconds. Not toxic at all. In fact, in my house, if my husband isn’t around, we don’t typically have spaghetti ‘cause I can’t get the jar open. [Read: The damsel in distress and why evolution has made them irresistible]

#8 Taking out the trash. Yep, hate it. That is just awesome about masculinity; they like the time outside when they take it out.

#9 Mowing lawns. No toxic masculinity around about the way a man creates patterns and straight lines on the lawn. When I am left to do our lawn care, it looks unkempt, and there are tire marks everywhere. If men weren’t around, all we would have is horrible looking lawns.

#10 Being the protector. When something goes bump in the night there is nothing toxic about the fact that a guy jumps out of bed ready for action. Whether it is grabbing the lamp post or a baseball bat, he is the first person out the door while I await his return patiently, safe and sound. [Read: Hegemonic masculinity: A perspective missed by sociologists]

#11 Hunter and gatherer. If there aren’t any grocery stores around, I for one, will pray that there is a man around. I am not comfortable with killing anything. When I take a bite of meat, I never want to know that I had a part in its being in front of me. Ignorance is bliss. I don’t think feeding the population is toxic at all.

#12 Being quiet. Guys don’t over talk. They are very good at calming a situation down and letting things cool off before it gets out of control. Do I like that my husband is always quiet? No. Do I appreciate it when it calms things down for me? Yes.

#13 Being non-emotional. Being able to separate yourself from your emotions is not a feminine quality. There are many times when being non-emotional is not only desirable but critical. If we are ever attacked, I want a man who separates his feelings and lets his brain take over instead of his heart.

Hearts are awesome, but sometimes when you go with your heart, everyone ends up getting hurt or killed. Although one of the reasons that people think there is a such a thing as toxic masculinity, it is the very thing most critical for us and our survival. [Read: Feminine men – 50 typical characteristics that make you one]

#14 Having patience. My patience is very limited. It isn’t just me, women are overly concerned and continually anticipating everything that will happen. That leaves us overloaded and on edge.

When it comes to patience and taking the time to do something, I take a man over a woman any day. They hold it together longer because their emotions don’t get the best of them and there is nothing toxic about that. [Read: How to understand the differences between men and women]

#15 Not caring about the small things. Women worry about everything. That is the way that we were created. Our job is to anticipate and plan for things that might happen.

Guys don’t think about the small things, which may seem cold and aloof, but it is very necessary for us all to function. If both genders were to sit around and care way too much about everything, we wouldn’t ever get anything done.

#16 Focusing on a single task. Okay, it might be irritating that when I give my husband a list of five things to do he only does one and comes back pretending it is all done, but being able to focus primarily on one thing at a time, is a good thing.

The way that guys block things out to get things done is an amazing quality. It isn’t so nice when the house is on fire, and my husband doesn’t seem to notice. When I give him something important to do, I know he won’t give up until it is done. [Read: 14 things women say or do that completely emasculates a man]

#17 The way that they smell. Need I say more?

#18 Being the disciplinarian. If my husband were not around my children would own me. I was not born to be the disciplinarian. I am the comfort, softy, hug ‘em-type. If it weren’t for guys and their ability to provide discipline, then we would all be running around doing whatever we want *like my children do when I am solo*.

#19 Working to provide. If men are so toxic then how come they work so hard to provide a roof over their family’s head and to give them the things that they not only need but desire? There is nothing toxic about the masculinity that drives a man to want the best for his family and work hard to get it for them. [Read: Avoid them like the plague: 16 guys not to date]

#20 Having a hard shell but a soft inside. The best quality about a man is that as tough as he is on the outside, he has a soft inner shell. From the most masculine man to the least, we are all the same on the inside with feelings, concerns, and cares. We just all display them differently and rise to the occasion in different ways.

If you believe in toxic masculinity, then this feature would be your superhero’s nemesis. I, however, believe that we are created equal, but not the same. There is nothing toxic about the position that men take in society, how they show respect, or the way that they protect what is theirs.

[Read: Male privilege: What it is and what it looks like in real life]

If we continue to brand men’s behavior and instincts as toxic masculinity and take away all the things that make men, men, what we will be left with is a very sad version of what we were created for.

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Julie Keating
A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined in...
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