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Rethinking Masculinity

Authentic Men's Group podcast

Rethinking Masculinity

General Outline:

  1. Why toxic masculine norms need to be challenged and masculinity redefined.
  2. What are toxic masculine norms
  3. How AMG is challenging toxic masculine norms and redefining masculinity​.

Why Toxic Masculine Norms need to be challenged and Masculinity redefined.

There are multiple movements going on right now seeking much-needed equality from racial, feminists, and LQBTQ communities as well as many others. These movements are not exclusive to men. I dare say that as a society when we rethink what it means to be a man and challenge ingrained toxic masculine norms, huge strides will be made in these movements. This is not saying that men are the sole problem... so please do not misunderstand the point I am trying to introduce. I think healthy men and women are the solutions to the equality problem! And women are much more likely to seek health than men. I think the views that we as human beings hold towards masculinity are a big part of the problem. Author and advocate Liz Plank sums it up well when she writes, “... there is no greater threat to humankind than our current definition of masculinity.” With statistics showing that 80%% of suicides are male and 67.5% of the homeless population are male, I can’t help but see a huge need for men to have a place to be authentic. A place to ask for help without being shamed.

What are Toxic Masculine Norms

We as men and boys are socialized into conforming to a definition of masculinity that encourages being tough, showing no emotions outside of anger, and to be reliant solely on ourselves. Basically Toxic Masculine Norms are any definitions that we hold about what it means to be a man that keeps us from being authentic. If a boy hears the toxic masculine norm that “men don’t cry” enough times, they will likely hide their inevitable emotional problems as men when they grow up. These toxic beliefs leave most men emotionally stunted and aggressive. Another example is in how we treat teenagers. Toxic masculine norms tell us that it is a sign of masculinity if a son is wild in high school and has sex with multiple girls. We would stereotypically say “boys will be boys”. But in reverse, if a daughter is that way she is quickly labeled as a whore or loose. As fathers, we may tell our son that he is just like his old man and laugh. But if our daughter were to come home bragging about the same thing we are reaching for the gun to find the boys responsible. These toxic masculine norms not only hurt men but the ones we love too. Our partners... our kids... Society at large.

How AMG is challenging Toxic Masculine Norms and redefining masculinity

We want to have some honest and authentic conversation around what it means to be a man if we are to challenge these toxic masculine norms. AMG is where this is happening. AMG is a place where men can practice authenticity rather than being stoic and emotionless. We get to practice empathy rather than aggression or passiveness. And the best news is you won’t lose your “man card” if you do.


Society subtly teaches men toxic masculine norms that leave men hiding their emotions, going at life alone, and ultimately living a less fulfilled life. It is not only affecting men but the ones we love and society at large.

If you are a man, get with a safe group of other men where there can be an authentic discussion about these toxic masculine norms and how you are defining masculinity. If you are a woman listening to this podcast, first off thank you for listening and caring about the health of men! I want to encourage you to challenge toxic masculine norms when you hear them.

● Do you know of someone that is hurting or living a less than fulfilled life because they are trying to live up to a toxic and unrealistic definition of masculinity?

● What are some of the toxic masculine norms that you have heard?

● Have you ever had an authentic conversation with another man about what it means to be a man? Was it a healthy definition or did it have toxic masculine norms?

05/15/20 • 24 min

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