How toxic masculinity makes women feel unsafe

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Toxic masculinity is one of the ways in which Patriarchy is harmful to men. It refers to the socially-constructed attitudes that describe the masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, sexually aggressive, and so forth.

I was reading Paging Dr Nerd Love on the tube during the time I was in London for Mozfest (blog post coming soon), I actually missed my stop by one. I was engrossed in listening and reminded me of the blog post I wrote a while back about Toxic masculinity.

There is so much to say but here’s some of the key parts…

Following Trumps grab them by the pussy comments

It’s ok to talk about women this way, as long as women don’t overhear it. It’s guy talk, meant for other guys and thus women shouldn’t be offended. The problem isn’t what Trump said, it’s that what he said escaped the privacy of the “locker room.” Nobody should take it seriously, because it’s not that big of a deal. And besides, women shouldn’t be shocked; all guys talk like that. Right? Right?

Get ready for the cringiest “Yeah boiiiiiii” ever.

The constant refrain of “it’s guy talk” diminishes the impact of what’s being said. It turns the description of sexual assault into mischievous behavior by a puckish rascal, something we should find charming in a roguish sort of way. The chuckles and encouragement offered by Stern normalizes, even encourages, this behavior. Insisting that “all” guys are like that is part of how we excuse the behavior with a knowing laugh and a wink. Boys will be boys after all. Of course guys are going to act like this. Everyone knows that guys are dogs.

It absolves men of any responsibility for their action or the need to control themselves. After all, it’s just “how we are”. And in doing so, we teach others that this expected, even desirable behaviour among men. After all, how awesome is it that this guy just goes up and starts kissing beautiful women? Who among us wouldn’t want to do just that? Why shouldn’t we try to get as much action as we can?

I recently one night was talking to a few people during Mozfest and made reference to the quote from Hackers (yeah it comes to something when you are quoting hackers), but its stuck with me for many years.

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God gave men brains larger than dogs’ so they wouldn’t hump women’s legs at cocktail parties

Unfortunately it seems a large number of men want to over-ride their evolutionary process; and like Dr Nerd Love points out… Why wouldn’t they try to get as much action as they can?

There’s a lot more interesting points but the one which really got me was the confronting toxic behaviour. Its something I have tried to do but sometimes its really hard, so bloody hard. I don’t tell men that I approve but as Dr Nerd Live says…

Everything that isn’t a refutation becomes validation

I certainly have been accused of white knighting and who could forget being called a traitor to the male race for exposing harmful/toxic behaviour. But this is makes a lot of sense…

That ongoing silence from others serves to isolate people who disagree. You don’t necessarily want to speak up only to find yourself alone with your metaphorical dick flapping in the wind. This is why it’s so important for men to speak out – not just publicly but in those “male-only” spaces where men like this assume that everyone agrees. Open dissent sends a message, not just to the assholes but to the others around you – they’re not alone. They have support. They can speak up too. And those men, once empowered, signal to others that they aren’t the minority.

Just as importantly, it sends a message to other men that they don’t have to pay lip service to bullshit ideas of manhood. It encourages men to be better, instead of allowing the default state of man to be “asshole”

Absolutely!

I need to personally, be better at cutting off toxic behaviour and calling attention to the nonsense. We all do! In the Dr Nerd Love’s words…

It’s time to start being better than we are

Islington Wharf isn’t on fire…

Islington Wharf, Manchester

The Manchester evening news broke the story today that people in Islington Wharf Mews are being told that they will have to leave their homes for a good part of a year.

People are being forced to move out of a brand new city centre apartment block – because it breaks fire safety rules. Many of the residents in Islington Wharf Mews, on the edge of the city centre, had only bought their waterside properties last year.

But it soon emerged that their newly-built homes were not properly fireproofed. The M.E.N. understands they now have to move out for up to 10 months while the defect is fixed.

Yes ISIS waterside development hadn’t fireproofed the new apartments to the safety standards required by law!

This is frankly not only shocking but a total disgrace; putting many peoples lives in danger. I’m glad this was discovered or revealed before something happened and people died!

Of course as a home owner of ISIS waterside’s Islington Wharf (phase 1) I’m happy to finally see some press attention about the on going shocking state of the heat gain problem in the apartments. This was not taken lightly, with the worry about the affect on property value of course.

Meanwhile the same developer – ISIS Waterside – is also embroiled in a row with people living in the first phase of the development next door. People living in Islington Wharf, which was built in 2008, say they are considering legal action because temperatures soared to more than 35C in their flats every summer. The developer is planning to replace the windows and temporary air conditioning units have been handed out.

This is also pretty much true, its the number one reason why people leave the apartments. We have seen reports of things melting into sofas and temperature reports with photographic evidence of closer to 40c a few years back (we have them backed up). Yes its nice not having to put the heating on in winter but at least my flat is liveable in summer. Some residents have rooms with no chance to open windows!

There have been many tests, and I even had some equipment in my flat testing the heat in the past. Every-time, they (ISIS and others) all pretty much agree something needs to be done. However the proposals to the committee (which I am a part of) have been poor, short-sighted and full of holes.

The air conditioning units were/are temporary till a sustainable long term solution is found. The committee will not be pushed into a solution which ultimately is bad for everybody involved (we have meeting minutes also backed up), but we have been working very hard to make this a reality.

Its worth saying a few things…

The heat problem affects roughly half of Islington Wharf, I’m not affected as my flat faces the sun in the morning and evening only (by pure chance not by design or choice). Islington wharf has had many problems in the past including the terrible communal boiler system, but things have gotten better with a new management company, Revolution.ISIS have been granted approval  to build the 3rd phase of Islington Wharf, very much against the Islington Wharf committees support and many of the residents.Its my view that, their track record across Islington Wharf Mews, Granary Wharf (I remember their was a serious problem a few years back, but cant find anything about it now, maybe results have been removed?) and of course Islington Wharf. Should be a clear sign to put the 3rd phase on hold till the other issues are actually sorted out and the residents are happy. No matter what Nigel Franklin, Director of ISIS Waterside Regeneration thinks or says…