I can't confidently say that men who are part of an established group of friends have really figured themselves out yet. I've spoken before on the dynamics of friend groups, or tribes, and how they influence the propagation of toxic behavior, but my current thoughts extend that idea out even further. Even if it's not every guy and the friends they hang out with, the ones who are very clearly biased, homophobic, sexist, and those who harass others in the workplace and in public fall into this category very nearly 100% of the time.
I always wondered if there would ever be a time when I would want to write this. A couple reasons for this included: the way I viewed masturbation was, as a male who found pleasure only through his penis, that a solo handjob was going to be about as good as it gets because anything more than that was just the same thing, but with extra steps and a higher cost. Secondly, I didn't think there was anything significant to say about it, or at least nothing that we don't already know about male masturbation. I felt guilty because so many great bloggers and educators are out there right now trying to start a conversation on female pleasure, orgasm, and understanding how the vulva and clitoris work. And you should definitely be listening to them because they're out there giving away free information on how to be a better lover, so why not take it?
Often regarded as the most defining feature of masculinity, whether it be toxic, fragile, or otherwise, all centers around a man's ego. At its simplest of definitions, the ego is the internalized creation of the self. It's literally what defines who we are and governs how we react to certain situations, and how we interact with people. The male ego is often associated with toxic masculinity or fragile masculinity but is not limited solely to these archetypes. To really understand the role it plays, it's essential to understand how it works, and how it's not just limited to men.
The last several years have seen a rise in social media speaking up about fragile masculinity. Jokes have risen up about men needing to only get products or services that cater to traditional male stereotypes. A lot of men feel the need to defend their masculinity with acts of violence, abuse, or a display of logic that is relevant only to him; as if that would prove them right. But I think it's time for all of us to have a serious talk about how damaged the perceived idea of masculinity really is. I'm not one to say 'This is how things are, and this is how we should treat it', But I would like to open up a dialogue with all of you about the issue of masculinity. Because whether directly or indirectly, all of us are involved in how it's defined.