DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
These spoken words explain my feelings on masculinity and its toxic concepts. 

Dear toxic masculinity,

I am writing this letter to tell you how I feel

You rattle my bones and tear the skin from my body

But not for all the reasons you may think


Not only because I am queer

Because I will not bend to your ways

Acting as if every person is like a binary computer code

Made of the same numbers



Putting our friends, family

Sons and lovers into closed up boxes

With no breathing space or room for escape

Teaching boys - don’t cry

Don’t complain

Toughen up

Fight with your words and your fists

That it is okay to bare your naked body

But if a woman does the same, well she is a fool

A harlot and a whore


You swoop people up with your facade

Of being the perfect man

But what does being the perfect man mean

When it is dusted in violence

In loneliness

In the sordid inability to connect with anything

Unless it means putting your genitals into it


See, I just think it’s funny how

You can act like you are all encompassing

That your lands are open spaces for all men

To walk through hand in hand

When in actuality

What you mean to say is

Your lands are for the white man

The straight man

The cis man

The white, cis, straight man


Someone once asked me

“How would you define masculinity?”

I said

“Where do I start?”

Do I begin by saying that

A man never has to fear for his life when walking down the street at night

If he can blend in with the walls

That encompass him like a 4x4 panic room

The only thing keeping him alive a flame

That stays lit from the ashes of all the fellow men he has put down

With his words

With his fists

Banging on their faces like a mantra



Do I begin by saying that

A man’s actions will never be equated to what’s in his pants

He will never be called a bitch

A whore for not returning a kiss

Needy or clingy or “too sensitive”

That he will never feel the burning of eyes on his back

A hand up his skirt

A breath on the nape of his neck that makes you want to burn yourself alive


Do I say that

He will wake up every morning

To find that men exactly like him

White, cis and straight

Are in his newspaper while he is drinking his coffee

Taking up so much time and space with their words

Commenting on things they know nothing about

That he will turn on the TV

Play a video game

Open up any history book

Seeing only a mirror image of himself


Why is it that

You act like a weight on my chest

Even though I am not a man

Is it because I bare your repercussions?

Because you teach a man

That it is his responsibility to tell me how to feel

So when I walk down the street

I have to resist the urge to slit the throat of the person who said

“Smile, baby! You’re too pretty to look so down!”


Why is it that

When I scream and shout

I am a shrew

A “bitch who needs to get fucked hard”

But you are just a person

Taking charge



Men say that women love masculinity

They love a manly man, one who can take care of the family

Pay the bills

Put in the bare minimum effort for his kids

Not beat his wife

Forever for his consumption

A man who knows how to take charge

But what I would love

From all men

Is to be left the hell alone


Kivel, P. (2009). The Act Like A Man Box. 
 Deutsch, B. (2009). The Male Privilege Checklist. 




DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.