Not sure if anyone follows Paul Carter on FB, but he weighed in:
"I’m going to cut the jokes aside here for a tl;dr. No one reads anymore but that’s fine.
I absolutely abhor the term toxic masculinity because there’s truly no such thing. Which I’m going to expound on, and have done so before.
If you were asked to bake a cake, and looked at the ingredients, you’d probably understand that in order for the cake to rise, and have a certain texture, and taste good, that it would need all of those ingredients.
If you remove any of them, then the cake is not a cake. It’s a “tried to be cake…almost a cake.” But it’s not a cake at all.
Masculinity is made up of a set of values or virtues, that for the most part, will transcend across any culture. It’s the usual ones like honor, courage, strength, etc. Yes, those are masculine traits. Women can and do have these at times too. Show me a woman killing it in business and I will show you a woman working in her masculine energy.
For a man, the deeper and more difficult part, is his own ability to face internal adversity, and be totally in control at all times. Not to allow his emotions to control HIM.
When a man loses this center, he’s not working from a masculine space. When the insecurities that stem from a man’s wounds control him, he’s not centered.
That is the battle. Right there. That is the battle that men have to awaken to, and become warriors against. That inability to remain centered in the face of internal adversity.
Men don’t need to be told “do better” or “be better”. Especially from women. That literally serves no good purpose.
Show me a man struggling with his past, who is constantly wrestling with his demons, and I will show you a man that wants to be heard, wants to be unbroken, and wants to not feel shame.
Show me a man who didn’t know his father, or never knew the love and admiration of his father, or never felt like his father was proud of him, and I will show you a man that consistently overcompensates due to those wounds. He will behave like a boy, because the child inside him, that needed the security, love, and strength only a father can provide, is in pain about it.
Women…men don’t need to be told how awful they are. I’ve written this a thousand times, if you want a man to find his potential, to feel amazing about who he is, then speak power and encouragement into him and his life. You will watch him become an extraordinary man. A man who embraces honor, courage, commitment, truth, and internal strength.
Here’s where other men are actually failing. When men tell other men they are nancy boys for having feelings (or writing about them), then it causes a lot of emotional restriction, and a wounded man is already suffering from that as is. He knows what he “feels” but is often embarrassed to open up about it, articulate and express it.
The single worst thing you can do, is to try and push away an emotion. That literally just causes it to increase in intensity, and exacerbate unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Wounded men don’t enjoy feeling the way they do. They engage is dog shit behavior because of the self loathing and shame and pain they feel. And men, unlike women, are often chided by other “men” when they express these things.
Centered men, who have spent time unpacking their baggage, and being vulnerable and open, honest, about their wounds and their pain, are the ones that can lead men out of those horrific places. Not by telling them “gosh you suck, do better.” But by connecting with them through the identification of adversity, pain, struggles, and how they overcame it.
When Knights were wounded on the battle field, they had no problem calling for help, and then formed bonds with their healers, who helped them return home to their families and loved ones.
That is where the connection is between men. The strongest resonator between two people, is identification.
Trust me, when you’re in pain and another man can sit across from you, and give you authentic empathy and say “brother, I’ve been there. But I got you. I’m in this with you.” that is an enormous source of strength for a wounded man.
I’ve worked with a lot of men this past year. Many of whom have come to me with what has been deemed as “toxic” behavior.
They knew they were doing it. And here’s the thing, they hated how they felt, how they couldn’t connect with their partner because of it. They hated that they had self sabotaged so many aspects of their life due to trauma of their past. They hated that they resorted to porn, unruly behavior, lies, cheating, and at times self abuse.
Each and every one of these men wanted to be heard.
Wanted to feel like their pain mattered. To someone. ANYONE!
Wanted closure on a difficult past.
Wanted to stop repeating their cycle of sabotage and abuse.
The last thing I was going to tell them was to “do better, you low life toxic dickhead.” Why would I say that? They already felt that way!
The last thing I was going to tell them was to stop being a nancy boy and toughen the F up. Their whole life, that’s all they did for every problem. Toughened up on it. They were exhausted. Exasperated. Spent. Empty. Hollowed out. They felt isolated and alone. And utterly depressed.
I know what it feels like to live in those places. Which is why my heart constantly goes out to these men, who are struggling to find their center,…to just come to a real understanding of their own worth, and to develop a healthy sense of self esteem.
To help them understand that a tremendous strength comes from suffering. And that peace eventually arrives through necessary perseverance. Through the understanding that completeness arrives through those factors.
It’s not standing around holding hands singing kumbaya. It’s about connecting through adversity. It’s about good men leading other men out of those horrific places.
It sure the fuck isn’t about a commercial telling us how we need to “do better”."