Stop Threatening The Boyfriend

Toxic masculinity hurts everyone (once more for those in the back)

Defining toxic masculinity against wholesome/regular/normal masculinity seems to have left too many men (and women) baffled, as if ALL masculinity (and ALL men, and ALL lives... we ALL know the drill by now) is threatened. I really hope these people are able to discern the difference between malignant and benign tumors. Once you can identify what's toxic and what's not, it's easy to see how, while men can benefit from some toxic masculinity (in a way that makes others sick), we ALL actually art hurt by it in the long run.

One way we are hurt by it is the continuous bullying of boyfriends, especially of teen girls, by their fathers, uncles, brothers and other male relatives. While this was recently treated as something humerous on College Humor (and is often joked about), it's toxic behavior that not only robs our daughters of their own agency, saying that we don't trust them to make good decisions in their mates, but also reestablishes the stereotype that "all boys are after one thing," and "I know what it was like to be a boy back then and that's not good enough for my daughter!" Ew.

How about we instead raise boys to not only feel welcome in our families but expect them to be better young men? We're not giving them much to live up to if we treat them like criminals or threaten them with shotguns, which only points to even more toxic masculinity in our culture. My own husband was bullied by an uncle of mine this way when we were young and the uncle, who was married into the family, barely even knew me or had anything to do with me other than to hold my husband's (then boyfriend) head under water at the lake! This is NOT acceptable behavior and it needs to stop. My own teen was recently approached by another almost married-in person about "having a talk" with their boyfriend.

Have you witnessed or experienced this kind of bullying? How did you deal with it?

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