Toxic masculinity is one of the ways in which Patriarchy is harmful to men. It refers to the socially-constructed attitudes that describe the masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, sexually aggressive, and so forth.
A well-known masculinity/men's rights movement that is not mostly anti-feminist has yet to appear. For a silencing tactic used to discredit patriarchy's harm to people who are not men, see Patriarchy hurts men too.
- The pervasive idea of male-female interactions as competition, not cooperation.
- The pervasive idea that men cannot truly understand women, and vice versa--and following, that no true companionship can be had between different sexes.
- The expectation that Real Men are strong, and that showing emotion is incompatible with being strong. Anger is either framed as the exception to the rule, or as not an emotion.
- Relatedly, the idea that a Real Man cannot be a victim of abuse, or that talking about it is shameful.
- Men are just like that: the expectation that Real Men are keenly interested in sex, want to have sex, and are ready to have sex most if not all times
- The idea that Real Men should be prepared to be violent, even when it is not called for.
- Though not reinforced much in fictional media, in real life it is widely expected that a man would abandon his pregnant girlfriend, being incapable and/or unwilling to take responsibility, feeling little to no attachment to an unborn child, and expecting pregnancy and motherhood to not only change but ruin the girlfriend and the relationship.
- The myth that men are not interested in parenting, and are inherently unsuited to be single parents.
- discourages men from becoming involved in the lives of their children.
- encourages household inequality, which hurts all involved.
- assumes that in case of divorce, children will go with their mothers, instead of examining each situation individually.
- Emasculation: the idea that there is a range of feminine interests and activities a Real Man would not hold, and that disprove a man's masculinity regardless of his other actions:
- interest in one's personal looks, cosmetics, dressing up, fashion
- being emotional, expressing emotion, crying
- appreciating "frivolous" things such as sugary "girly" drinks, romantic styles, cute animal videos, romcom flicks
- understanding women, being sympathetic
- being silly, giddy
- needing help, not-knowing
- and so on.
- The German have a group of informal compound words for "wimp": Schattenparker ("one who parks their car in the shadow"), Sockenschläfer ("...sleeps with socks on"), Handschuhschneeballwerfer ("...wears gloves when making snowballs"), Warmduscher ("...uses warm water when showering") and Frauenversteher ("...understands women"). These are used in contexts that imply decisive lack of guts, but the words themselves "humorously" imply that anything less than weapons grade machismo would indicate a decisive lack of guts.