Many conservatives have politicized the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts in order to demonize undocumented immigrants. Meanwhile, few have spoken about how toxic masculinity may have played a role in her murder — her accused killer, an undocumented male immigrant, allegedly stalked her while she was on a jog and then grew furious when she told him she wasn't interested in him.
According to psychologist Terry Kupers, toxic masculinity is “the constellation of socially regressive male traits that serve to foster domination, the devaluation of women, homophobia and wanton violence." Masculinity becomes toxic when it forces men to view a masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, sexually aggressive, and dependent on other similarly harmful behaviors. When a boy is told to “man up” because he is crying or when when we say “boys will be boys” when a man is violent, that perpetuates toxic masculinity.
In the above video, we break down toxic masculinity, how it can target women, and what we can do to help create a new version of masculinity.