When Alwin started painting his nails and skipping football sessions, we were afraid and were in a situation where we doubted his acceptance in society and platforms he appears and lives. We were afraid other students would make fun of him. We wanted to help and protect him.” (-Erica Joseph, mother of Alwin and other two children)

What makes the term 'masculinity' 'toxic'? Toxic masculinity is a concept that already was prevailing in our spaces before. But then it started acquiring its presence evident everywhere.

Will you praise or appreciate your son going to buy groceries or doing dishes, or even helping you with household chores? If your answer is 'no,' you will have to rethink what you do now.

The term "toxic masculinity" describes the negative aspects of exaggerated and manipulated masculine traits. A possessed man by toxic masculinity will always be in need to aggressively dominate and compete with others. They are also involved in the devaluation of women and foster violence.

"By far the worst thing we do to males — by making them feel they have to be hard — is that we leave them with very fragile egos."

-- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author

All of these norms that we see today do not make any sense, and they are not normals. Teaching them no role is gender-specific is vital for their well being and also social development. Assigning tasks like cooking, cleaning to take care of little siblings should not be based on gender.

Today, boys and men are affected by social 'sickness,' and they've been taught to do essential 'being man fundamentals' like;

* They must show no emotion or control them.
They must always win an argument.
They are naturally more prone to anger and violence.
The tendency towards glorifying violence.
They need to dominate or control others.
They can show shallow empathy.
Hyper competitiveness.

Renewing cultural policies based on masculinity is required to cure this disease. And to save young children from this social conditioning is to educate ourselves about the situation and facts. Checking the presence of toxic masculinity in your son or dear ones should be done to avoid a variety of issues, such as:

Risky behaviors
Substance abuse
Psychological trauma.
Jail and prison times.
Lack of friendship or other genuine connections.

Always maintaining to have an appearance of hardness is not human. And human suppressing emotions and distress are not natural at all. Men are not naturally violent. But in culture, masculinity equates with physical power. Anything that comes out of that is considered as "not a man." Doing 'macho' things are entirely illogical, and it's totally fine and natural for any boy to like arts other than sports, normal to chose music other than video games. Manhood depends on a lot more different matters other than appearing to be hard and masculine.

Usual Sayings like "Boys do not cry," "that is a man-thing," "man up," "toughen up," etc.. are thrown around, which creates enormous impacts on your son's behavior.

Culture brainwashing generations into misogyny and aggression is so clear, but re-education into facts is not happening. Break norms and encourage boys and men to get in touch with their feelings and to let them make happen "progressive masculinity" real. Helping them to explore themselves is something to be done.

Assure them being kind, loving art, skipping sports or athletics to read or dance is completely fine, and it has got nothing to do with "being a man."

Doing their actions with kindness, empathy, love, and tenderness is not less than "manhood," or are "feminine." Seeing human beings without prejudictions but equality is essential.

What you can do to promote healthy masculinity

Teach them to express a full range of emotions and make them feel validated
Talk to them about human vulnerabilities and help seeking situations that are independent of gender.
Teach them to treat people equally and respectfully.
Demotivate concealing their emotions and stress, and let them open up whenever they want to.
Make them understand courageous people cry, get confused, love, be gentle, and are understanding.
Asking for help when necessary is normal, and shouldn't hesitate that.

We should work to attain a more acceptable social and individual life for boys and men by reframing all the societal norms built that look down to the expectations of how a boy should live. Hence, it is more problematic and is learned behaviors rooted in a negative aspect of traditional masculinity that pressures boys to live up to unattainable manhood.

Healthy masculinity and being a man have got a broader aspect of fruitfulness and happiness. Restricting them out of no valued reasons but out of traditional practices and concepts are against human ethics and need to be stopped.

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