Toxic Masculinity is a rising issue


Michael Benedian, Editor-in-Chief

There’s an issue that young males are facing in this day and age, and that is the idea of becoming an “alpha male.” It’s an issue that has led to an increasing amount of toxic masculinity and young men who grow up to be misogynistic and sexist. Although steps have been taken to curve this growth, there’s no stopping this movement and it’s terrifying to see it happening.

To start from the beginning, the term alpha male refers to someone who tries to be a dominant force, a person that is seen as the leading man. It was often used to describe animals that were leaders of a pack. Like a pack of wolves or the social structures of gorillas. There was no negative connotation tied to its meaning and it was used exactly how it was defined. 

Until the early 1990s when the term was used to describe humans, who were mostly successful men in business. The different interpretations of the term alpha male always have something in common, and that is a level of dominance exhibited by males. While some interpretations are harmless, the idea that a dominant man who takes the lead gets all the ladies is damaging to not only women but young men also. There are many teens and young men who look up to figures of masculinity for guidance and while it’s not inherently a bad thing, there are most definitely men who should not be looked up to.

To make an example, you have definitely seen videos or at least heard of Andrew Tate, a former kickboxer and self-proclaimed alpha male. His topic and view on women is shocking to say the least. His disturbing statements proclaim that women are properties to their boyfriends, that it’s ok for a man to cheat on a women but not vice versa, and that women should have some fault when it comes to rape. Even Tate’s younger brother, Tristan Tate, has followed through with his brother’s ideals on women. Recently both the Tate brothers, but Andrew mostly, has been banned off of all social media because of the statements that he’s sprung onto the public. Even though this ban has gone into effect, it’s led to men who look up to Tate as a figure and take his statements to heart, continuing the cycle of toxic masculinity.

It’s not just Tate either, you can often see this happening with members of the National Rifle Association calling men who are against guns “beta males,” a supposedly derogatory term for men who are timid and more passive. You can see it in memes spread online but more importantly, you can see it happening with Donald Trump and his followers.

The idea that men have to prove their masculinity through their dominance is ridiculous. Yes, views of masculinity in the past were black and white; You can see it in our history with the narrative that women needed to stay home and listen to the men who put the bread on the table. Times have changed though and we live in a time where things aren’t like that anymore.

For what it’s worth, trying to prove your masculinity through dominance and fear just has the opposite effect and makes more people avoid you. People don’t just befriend you because you exert a certain aura, they befriend you based on your character. Someone who is more accepting of others is more likely to be surrounded by people than those who reject others that don’t fit his standard.

There’s nothing wrong with masculinity mind you, but trying to prove it to others shouldn’t be the main focus. In fact, you shouldn’t have to prove your manliness to others or even yourself for that matter. Once you start to let go of that belief, you’ll find life a lot more enjoyable.