Hyper-masculinity can be loosely defined as a psychological term to describe male stereotypical behaviour with emphasis placed on physical strength, aggression and sexuality.
Boys don’t cry. We’ll start off with this one. One of the biggest myths taught to young boys who eventually become men to define their masculinity and differentiate between themselves and women. The problem with this lies with the fact that it juxtaposes feminine and masculine qualities for the purpose of dividing and labeling. The denial of the perfectly human act of releasing emotion is seen to be feminine and therefore opposed to masculinity.
Black men in our history have been converted into hyper-masculine beings that show no feminine traits. Any signs of such feminine traits render us “not a real man” and even as far as a “bitch”. This thought process is essential to the upkeep of idea and the continued unrealistic standards that black men alone have to carry.
This sort of behaviour leads to many of the social problems we face in our societies today. Rape, rape culture, violence against LGBTI community, anyone seen not to fit this bill of the ideal man with these strong masculine qualities is then ostracized and abused.
This hyper-masculinity has lead to a break/discord in the connection between men and women because this aggression and over-assertiveness that men feel they have to display leads to unfavourable outcomes.
Toxic masculinity has trapped black men in a mould that does not fit them and therefore has them doing things out of their character to fulfill these stereotypical expectations. Toxic masculinity is as a direct result of the patriarchal nature of the world and expresses itself through physical and psychological violence. The idea that showing any feminine traits means you’re weak and not a real man are what is destroying the fabric of society by cutting out traits and characteristics in them that balance the masculine ones.
Fader Magazine did a cover story of the rap duo Rae Sremmurd in which the cover of the magazine was a picture of the two shirtless brothers with one resting on the other’s shoulder. A nice intimate photo with nothing sinister to it. The cover however got a disturbing response with remarks like “are they gay”, “why they so close” and “why aren’t they wearing shirts”. This goes to show the extend to which hypermasculinization of men has entrenched itself within the black community. Two brothers cannot even innocently embrace one another for a photoshoot because men have been made to feel so insecure about their fragile masculinity that if there is even an small amount of femininity present, they are seen as weak/gay.
Toxic masculinity denies the opportunity of platonic relationships between men and women because of the supposed differences which make sexual interaction the “only” option. The idea that being in the “friendzone” with a girl/woman is a disadvantage or burden rather than an opportunity to make a friend is also a product of toxic masculinity.
The insertion of a “no homo” whenever there is any sort of interaction between men that is not violent or in passing. This particular one amuses me because a lot of men who are such huge sports fans have no problem watching their favourite sportstars embrace each other without feeling the need to put a “no homo” disclaimer. They themselves will do the same when celebrating wins or goals but can never show such embrace in any other part of their lives. Could this possibly be a reason why so many men use sports to “escape” real life boxes and stereotypes? To have time without the weight of a burden enforced by a patriarchal environment and society?
Is it so wrong to like flowers? or the colour pink? To be romantic? I don’t think so. Everything in the world needs a balance including ourselves. We do not need to live up to what we are portrayed as in media and entertainment like movies, TV shows and sports fields. Black manhood should be defined by ourselves by striving ourselves to have balance in our lives. The Kemetic principle of Ma’at prescribes, amongst other things, balance of everything in the world and your life including masculine and feminine energies. This acceptance of femininity might be a start to us appreciating our women more and the first steps towards unity.
Hug your bros.
Nfr Sa Ma’at