In some circles, the word “masculinity” is a toxic term. The American Psychological Association even called traditional masculinity “harmful,” and Hollywood isn’t shy about showing its disapproval either.
In fact, new movies like “Barbie” have been giving the side-eye to old-school masculinity.
According to a recent Politico poll, 36% of Americans feel like entertainment and culture make it hard to be proud of being a traditional guy.
Missouri’s Senator Josh Hawley recently spoke out on Fox News Digital, saying that American men have lost their way. He thinks technology’s made us complacent, and policymakers shipping jobs overseas isn’t helping. To top it all off, there’s a loud progressive narrative going around, painting men as the big bad “oppressors.”
Hawley also thinks the left’s been sending men in this country a harsh message for ages now – calling them “trash.” “They’ve heard it,” said Hawley, “and some of them have actually started believing it in some way or another.”
Comedian Tim Young says the media portrayal of masculinity is either dumb or toxic.
“Instead of bringing everyone together, they choose to be all divisive and put men down.”
Young also went on to say that the same people who hate on men in the “Barbie” movie will be the first ones to accuse you of being a misogynist or toxically masculine if you dare point out their bias.
However, it’s not just “Barbie.” Media has been doing this for years. Hawley pointed out how sitcoms have been painting men and fathers as complete idiots or bad influences for decades now.
“It’s a real problem,” he says.
In sports, the trend continues. Riley Gaines, OutKick host, and former NCAA swimmer, noticed how being masculine is seen as a negative thing for many modern men. They’re scared of being rejected, so they try to distance themselves from anything that might be considered traditionally masculine.
“We’ve lost sight of what it means to be masculine,” said Gaines. “We’ve labeled it as toxic and undesirable. Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.”
It seems that the media and society have some serious misconceptions about masculinity, and it’s affecting how men see themselves and how they’re portrayed in various forms of media.
It’s worth noting that Riley Gaines made headlines in 2022 when she spoke up about competing against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas. The situation wasn’t easy for her, as she had to share a locker room with Thomas, which got her fired up about protecting women’s sports.
According to Gaines, the last time we had a culture full of strong men was back in the 1940s during World War II. But now, she thinks we’re in a phase where weak men are causing tough times, and films like the “Barbie” movie, which rip on masculinity, don’t help the cause. Whether or not this is true, it’s a topic big enough for serious discussion, and whether or not society will have this debate is unknown.