• karand

Simping ain't too bad- a lowdown on Toxic Masculinity

''Ah you send her good morning messages every morning-dude you're such a simp''

Usually my quotes highlight something said by other people to illustrate what is wrong with society. Unfortunately, this time that aforementioned person was me in 2019. A friend of mine was and still is in the most caring, loving relationship, and he once said that he would wish his girlfriend 'Good morning' in a very sweet way- to which I scoffed and called him a 'Simp. To my utmost embarrassment, when said friend met my girlfriend later on in the year and reminded me of what I said in front of her, I could simply cringe and accept the loss. Toxic masculinity is here people, and here in the best of us!

I remember the days of dating - you would date someone a couple of times, and think the world of them, look forward to the next one. and BAM!! You're hit with the most (un)subtle assassination of your character-

''Awwww, you're such a sweet guy but you're too nice for me. I need someone that keeps me on my toes''

''You're great but you're too emotionally available. I like the chase''

Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion and choice of men. If you are at the receiving end of this, you have two choices-

1) Stay true to yourself and stay the nice guy

2) Shed your morals, become a fuckboy and reap the 'rewards'

Furthermore, those who are on TikTok, have probably seen the trend over women dancing unenthusiastically when referring to nice guys and then more excitedly when referring to those who treat them like shit. You see relationship blogs telling men to keep problems to themselves, as women see emotion as a sign of weakness. You see men being called 'simps' for just behaving in a respectful manner. Both men and women from around the world are spouting this nonsense that being 'nice' gets you 'friendzoned' and makes you 'finish last'. Then you subsequently see this 'All men are trash in relationship' movement as well. So what are men? Too nice, which makes them 'updateable' or 'trash' which also make the 'updateable'? The truth is that social media just highlights the worst in society. Most women that I know are with or would like to be with genuinely nice men or women. The sad fact is that these desires are not shown in contemporary, more popular mediums, such as social media- where impressionable young men can take heart from the fact that there is a lot to be gained by just being a nice person.

From personal experience, I have found that I can adapt myself fairly well. I have male friends who exhibit both this 'stereotypical' masculine behaviour, and men that don't. I also have a number of female friends, which I believe has really helped me understand how toxic masculinity is construed by the opposite gender. For example, I have two extremely close friends who are both female and when I am out for a drink with them- it is fairly common someone asks me if I was gay, friend-zoned or trying to sleep with them. The notion that a straight, platonic relationship between a man and a woman is still sadly, fairly far-fetched for some people. I am not a BTS fan, however I see the hate they get for not fulfilling the 'macho, masculine' stereotype. From a bunch of keyboard warriors, who are unlikely to achieve a fraction of what these impressive young men have in their still blooming careers.

I get the frustration of young men on social media, who are smart, compassionate and transparent being told that their behaviour is a sign of weakness- by other males and females. What I will say to that is, that for every one guy or woman that says that- another fifty would say the opposite. Be the person you would want your best friend/sibling to be with, not one that social media urges you to conform to. If somebody you like turns you down for being too 'nice', there are fifty better people out there who will appreciate you. This where respecting women comes in nicely. Under no circumstances is treating women badly should be seen as 'attractive' or 'sexy'. There is nothing 'sexy' about misogyny.

I also urge men to open up to those they are close to. Whether it is your girlfriend/boyfriend, your family or your friends. It is not a sign of 'weakness'. Sure it may go against your 'toxic masculine' stereotype, but who wants to be toxic anyway? Men aged 45-50 have the highest suicide rates in the world. Yet, they are encouraged by facets of society to keep these feelings to themselves. How would this ever end well?

So what would I tell at 16 year old lad scrolling through Tik Toks, seeing videos of a woman dancing around excitedly at the thought of emotionally available men treating her like crap? Don't be the person this girl is dancing about, but be the good person that you want to be. Someone will appreciate you for the 'King' that you are, and that someone is all you need. Validation comes from within, and treating other men or women like shit may get you some external results, but that 'battery of fulfilment' within you will never be 100%- and who likes waking up to a phone charged at anything less than 100%?

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