Following the conventional norms of manhood can bring social and professional rewards to some boys and men. But it's not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
So when people are telling everyone that real men don't express emotion openly, that they have to be "tough all the time", that anything other than that makes them "feminine" or weak, there's a problem. They're putting others in a box. Scratch that. They're putting half of this world's population in a box.
Showing just how often that happens online, the Twitter account Hot Masculinity Takes accepts submissions from folks who find the absolute worst opinions about men on the Internet and reshares them on its wall. Sadly, judging by the number of entries, there's no shortage of these instances.
The person behind Hot Masculinity Takes wanted to remain anonymous but they told Bored Panda that the point of this account is just to post the takes and let people draw their own conclusions.
"I will say that it’s not purely about 'toxic masculinity,'" they explained. "I do draw a lot from the manosphere but a lot of the takes are from women speaking about men, and I include left-wing hot takes too."
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), these cultural "lessons" have been linked to “aggression and violence,” leaving boys and men at “disproportionate risk for school discipline, academic challenges and health disparities,” including cardiovascular problems and substance abuse.
“Men are overrepresented in prisons, are more likely than women to commit violent crimes, and are at greatest risk of being a victim of violent crime,” the American Psychological Association (APA) wrote.
Societal pressures, expectations from family, friends, and partners, and even expectations of religious identities can be burdensome to a man seeking out his masculine identity.
While some social, political, or religious groups may provide a set of guidelines for a healthy form of masculinity, experts say it is better for an individual to stick to their own definition, so long as it does not harm themselves or others.
Note: this post originally had 48 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.