« Back on campus: James Hatch on learning from (and with) today’s college students | Main | On the ballot: Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Meredith Conroy on representation in elected office »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Gabby Perez

My initial thought on Tony Porter was taken aback when he stated, "I’m supportive of the term ‘toxic masculinity’ because it keeps the discussion alive and engages people in this conversation in new ways." because my initial thought of it was that he supported men who acting in toxic masculinity although once he began to explain his opinion, I was more at ease with his response. Kalimah Johnson had viewpoints on how Black men do not feel as if they need to support women who claim to have been raped or sexually assaulted because they feel as if they are always under attack and I believe that this point of hers is one that could be used to justify the way men see women in these situations. Kendrick Sampson also made a point of the society we live in is dominated by white supremacy and that our nation's history of white supremacy where as most of the women address toxic masculinity to be the main problem. I believe that both have major parts in the disregard in the #MeToo movement. In the 2019 Gillette ad "We Believe: The Best Men Can Do," they show toxic masculinity to be men supporting or disregarding violence between boy and the actors in the ad saying throughout it that "boys will be boys." As well as men sexualizing the women around them. The ad proceeds as the narrator states that men should be held accountable and the attitude of the men in the ad begins to change. The men stand up for the boy who is being bullied and show the sons who are fighting that violence is not allows the answer. A man interferes with the man who is sexualizing the woman on the street. Most of these women's opinion on men is to hold them accountable but also show them they can be vulnerable like Sady Doyle when she stated, "We have a really weird culture, wherein men and women don’t actually sit down and talk to each other on a deep level, unless they’re about to get married." She bring attention to the fact that men do not open up about their feelings and later states that this is one of the problems we need to address with men so they can listen and support those women affected by sexual assault and harassment.


I believe this article makes some assumptions that need to be addressed from the start. First, they assume that all men are bad guys and commit some amount of "toxic masculinity." They also assume that this discussion involves everyone, like everyone is talking about it. I believe they have some good points but I also believe that they need a common consensus on the topic among all parties before coming to conclusions and solutions.

Luke Murphy

Throughout the article, nine people were all asked the same question ““What is men’s role in the #MeToo movement, and what does a new or nontoxic masculinity look like?'' After reading the article, one particular response stuck out as being provocative. Kendrick Samson, a political activist and a famous actor had a pretty intelligent response to the answer, calling out men to participate and to amplify the voices who have faced sexual harassment. After answering the question, Samson starts to talk about white supremacy in the national anthem, I feel if this is counterproductive, when talking about toxic-masculinity because one can relate white supremacy to sexism, racism, and other issues in America but it doesn’t help his argument at all. Just angers the more conservative readers of this article by attacking yet another thing that's wrong with the country.
In the article a very productive discussion happens, although some ideas may not exactly line up, they still combine to agree on some topics and have a nice discussion on what they believe. Throughout the article, not many of the activists agree on how to fix the issue at hand, some of the people take more of an attack on men saying they need to listen better, while others offer a solution which makes men feel more comfortable and less vulnerable when talking about things like sexual assault or harassment. This disagreement helps convey to the reader the complications behind the “toxic masculinity” in the U.S and how it can’t just be fixed with a snap of a finger. It takes discussions like this to solve issues like these.
I think the author included the sketched pictures of the people in order to get rid of any prejudgements of the reader, so that no one can be judged on the color of their skin or any other factors. The author also added background information in order to add credibility to the person talking. The reader doesn’t want to listen to someone who has no knowledge of what they are talking about. They want to hear from someone who can be trusted and has experience in this field.
Throughout the Gelite ad ““We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.” an argument is conveyed to the reader that the time of sexual assault and the toxic masculinity that has been in frequent use and normalized in our society needs to come to an end. We have a generation that is different from all the others, that can change and will, we just have to embrace the change, so the world will become a happier and all around better place to live in. The ad shows “toxic masculinity” as being sexual harassment, bullying, and “cat calling” and we put an end to it by teaching the younger generation that these things are not okay at all, that we should treat people with the same respect. This argument defines “toxic masculinity” the same as the article but the way we solve the issues are different. Gelite offers a long term solution, pertaining to the younger generation by teaching them that it's not okay to do these things, while the “YES!” the article discusses a short term solution by making men listen and make the topic not so sensitive to talk about in order to help fix the issue. I found the end of the video most compelling by showing clips of people putting an end to these heinous acts and leaving me and other watchers with a sense of hope for the future.

Peter Schwab

This article has a clear and important purpose, but it is flooded with issues in the responses it agrees with to make its point. The main problem to me is that it generalizes masculinity, and men as a whole, seemingly assuming that all men think and feel the same way when it comes to issues involving gender particularly. Personally, I don't really let gender affect the way I treat people ot talk to them, if anything I treat women much better than I treat men. Now again, I know not all men are like this, but that is exactly my point: not all men are the same. And it is not just me, I know many other men who think and act the same way as me if not better, so with a variety of men who have differeing opinions and ways they act, it is unfair for the point of the article and its sources to generalize men in the way it does.

Anichka Kelly

In this article nine people were interviewed and asked about how men can me nontoxic towards the #MeToo movement. Everyone's answer was different but the underlying message in each answer is that men need to change their mindset.

Nontoxic masculinity in the #MeToo movement is shown as men listening to women and their experiences. Men don't need to separate themselves from this movement because they have never done anything to a girl. They need to engage in the conversation to not remain ignorant. No matter race, background, and previous actions men need to listen and stay informed. Also men need to get out of the stereotypes brought upon them. They need to be in touch with their feeling and create deeper relationships with people around them to get rid of toxic masculinity. Reading the article I didn't come across a provocative response. Everyone responded calmly and maturely.

A significant point of disagreement in these articles are whether or not mean should be taught about how to be nontoxic or if they should figure it out. Imara Jones believe men should figure out what it means to be nontoxic while Earth-Feather Sovereign believes women and other men should open up and inform other men about toxic masculinity and how to be nontoxic. Neither person is right or wrong. It is their opinion and what they believe and are not harmful to society.

The authors decided to depict these people with drawn pictures so the reader doesn't judge what they say and their credibility based on their skin or race. The use of putting their title beside the picture is to show that it doesn't matter what job you have you can still be educated and have knowledge on the subject. I believe that all of these people are credible and have knowledge on the subject based on what they said. No one is more credible than another person because this is what they know and what they believe.

In the ad they show that male stereotypes and the actions portrayed to young boys cause toxic masculinity. The emphasize this with showing a man in a meeting unnecessarily touching a women shoulder and two men at different times going for a women because of their body. This ad and the arguments in the Yes! article are similar because they both show that men need to be shown and taught about their toxic masculinity and also be shown how to not be toxic towards women. What was compelling to me in the ad was the man telling other man "no" on the street when he was about to follow another women because she looked good.

sophia bond

1. The article, "Can We Build a Better Man?" provides deeper understanding on what toxic masculinity looks like. Each activist was asked the same question, "What is men's roles in the #MeToo movement, and what does toxic masculinity look like?" Each person's response had the same underlying claim on the male patriarchy. The response I felt was most provocative was Kalimah Johnson's. Her response was the most shocking to me because regardless of race, both women and men are at risk of rape and molestation. Statistically, people of color are more at risk of rape than others. Racism and maintaining white patriarchy are hand in hand with one another.

2. The article provides real-life complexity of academic conversations. Each argument has similarities relating to the male patriarchy society faces. The main disagreement shown in the article is how they think men should do to change the stigma around toxic masculinity. Some feel that men need to listen better and work to make women feel safer in every situation, and others want men to be okay with showing vulnerability when talking about the topics of sexual assault or harassment. When two people are saying different things on an issue, both sides of the argument can be right. There's no right or wrong answer in an argument if both claims can be supported. The disagreements in the article are on both ends of the spectrum, but both can be supported. Men need to be more aware of the challenges women face with sexual assault, but they also need to be able to show vulnerability to those situations because regardless of gender, it can happen to them too.

3. I believe that the author chose to use illustrations of the of the speakers to change the way we view them. With making the background of the illistrations blue, the readers can no longer make assumptions based on race. Highlighting specific aspects of the speakers careers creates a sense of credibility for the speakers. The readers know what they've achieved without stigma over race being present.

4. The ad "We Believe: The Best Men Can Be" the argument over toxic masculinity is presented as something that is frequently normalized. "Boys will be boys." The ad shows that the idea of toxic masculinity has been embedded into the generations from the younger generations to the older. In order to rectify the affects of toxic masculinity is to teach everyone right from wrong. The arguments in both the Gelite ad and the "YES!" article is the solutions. Gelite offers long term solution by teaching younger generations not to harass others. Whereas the "YES!" article introduces more short term solutions to address the issues of toxic masculinity.

Britany Mandujano

1. The argument that I found to be the most proactive would be Earth, Founder of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Washington about how its ok for men to have feelings, its ok for them to cry, to be angry, but they can handle that anger in a way that is healthy and not toxic. I’d add that this should be very clear to everyone, society or anyone shouldn't make it seem that men can’t have genuine feelings. It is completely normal for men to cry and get angry, if these feelings are not expressed they will build up and it will be hard for men to handle these feelings especially anger.
2. These nine individuals all have different arguments but they are all mainly focused on the same thing which is that they should step up to help others have the courage to do the same. An example would be Imara Jones that explains what non toxic masculinity looks like, is a masculinity without patriarchy and Sady Doyle says that men need to cultivate the art of listening. They explain seemingly similar points but the start they explain different ways that men need to do for the stop of toxic masculinity. There is not only a right answer if two opposing sides are viewing the question in a different form, these are opinions of the question from a certain individual's perspective. Proponents of non toxic masculinity are right to argue that masculinity without patriarchy, they slightly exaggerate when they state this.
3. He presented the people this way by giving a more genuine perception of each individual. The use illustration gives a broad view of them and the information of them gives a brief insight of who they are, and what their views may be as well as not showing what their race is by skin color. These choices establish credibility by showing briefly who they are what they do or have done. I think in this specific situation, considering the question asked it depends which way that one views each statement but I would say the men answering the question are most credible because they answer the question as being a man and experiencing how they are treated in our society, although it doesn't mean the women are not credible. To be specific the one individual I view as most credible to all the others would be Alex Myers because of the story of his background that he briefly mentioned since he is a “trans guy”. He explains before he became trans he knows how young girls felt because he was evidently treated like one and knows that he is a trans guy he knows both sides of how both genders are treated.
4. The argument that is made in this commercial is that the typical sayings like “boys will be boys” aren't right, men need to evolve and be better which now is getting better over time. Toxic masculinity is often harassment to others because they feel superior to others. The more people know of this will help and it may take time but the more people that contribute to this will help non toxic masculinity arise. This argument is similar mostly because it shows that it's not ok for men to have the feeling of complete superiority if others especially think that that enables them to harass women. The most compelling scene in my opinion would be the scene where the woman at a meeting is being downgraded just because of her gender.

Shahakar Patel

1. The article, "Can We Build a more Better Man?" provides a deeper understanding of what toxic masculinity feels like. Each activist was asked the identical question, "What are men's roles within the #MeToo movement, and what does toxic masculinity look like?" Each person's response had the identical underlying claim on the male patriarchy. The response I felt was most provocative was Kalimah Johnson's. Her response was the foremost shocking to me because no matter race, both women and men are in danger of rape and molestation. Statistically, people of color are more in danger of rape than others. Racism and maintaining white patriarchy are hand in hand with each other.

2. The article provides real-life complexity of educational conversations. Each argument is analogous referring to the male patriarchy society faces. the most disagreement shown within the article is how they think men should do to alter the stigma around toxic masculinity. Some feel that men must listen better and work to create women feel safer in every situation, et al want men to be okay with showing vulnerability when talking about the topics of statutory offense or harassment. When two people are saying various things on a problem, each side of the argument will be right. there isn't any right or wrong answer in an argument if both claims will be supported. The disagreements within the article are on both ends of the spectrum, but both will be supported. Men must be more conscious of the challenges women face with the statutory offense, but they also must be ready to show vulnerability to those situations because no matter gender, it can happen to them too.

3. I feel that the author chose to use illustrations of the speakers to alter the way we view them. With making the background of the illustrations blue, the readers can now not make assumptions supported race. Highlighting specific aspects of the speaker's careers creates a way of credibility for the speakers. The readers know what they've achieved without stigma over race being present.

4. The ad "We Believe: the most effective Men Can Be" the argument over toxic masculinity is presented as something that's frequently normalized. "Boys are boys." The ad shows that the thought of toxic masculinity has been embedded into the generations from the younger generations to the older. so as to rectify the effects of toxic masculinity is to show everyone right from wrong. The arguments in both the Gelite ad and also the "YES!" article is that the solutions. Gelite offers a future solutions by teaching younger generations to not harass others. Whereas the "YES!" article introduces more short term solutions to deal with the problems of toxic masculinity.

Chloe Kaminski

Though I fully understand what people mean with the term toxic masculinity and agree with the issue, I have always hated the term. I feel that the term toxic masculinity is implying that masculinity is toxic when in fact it is not, misogyny is, and misogyny is not masculine. I believe masculine men have begun to feel unwelcome by the me too movement when they really should not. The me too movement is meant to bring awareness to sexual assault and misconduct, not to make men feel that their very existence is toxic. As Maru Mora says "the role of men in the #MeToo movement is critical," and it is. Men need to hold other men accountable. Their masculine counterparts are not toxic, but their misogynistic ones are. I feel there is a big stigma in the male community that showing emotion and compassion are feminine traits that make men so called beta males, but these traits are not feminine, they are simply human traits. I think it is important we note to males that coming clean about their male counterparts and exposing misogyny is not feminine, but it is something that ties to neither end. It is showing respect to all around you putting an end to what is a patriarchal society. Tony Porter mentions that the majority of men do not sexually assault women, but stay silent about acts they know about. I believe this is because they are scared of the response that is to come from the misogynistic people around them. It is time to put an end to this silence and it is important for men to know that they are essential to the #MeToo movement. Speaking up is not feminine and staying silent is not masculine. The #MeToo movement should and does welcome men who are ready to put an end to misogyny.

Zebediah Hagley-Best

To be honest I never thought that a man would have such a key role in the #MeToo movement but after reading the article “Can We Build a Better Man”, I realized that they have such an important part to play. Most of the authors in the article agreed on the fact that the mens role in the movement wa to keep his friends and himself aware that rape actually happens and that if they allowed themselves to be vunrable they would have access to healing and be less toxic. One author by the name Sady Doyle wrote “ Men and women don't actually sit down and talk to each other on a deep level… It’s really easy for men to not understand the sheer pervasiveness of sexual violence and sexual harrasssment.” When I read that I felt that she truly had a point because a man is going to know how we feel unless we become their friend we have an opportunity to set their mind straight allowing them to know that these thing really happen and how afraid women are sometimes because it could happen to them at any point in their life. There was another author by the name of Tony Porter who said “... we must listen to women, believe them and validate their experiences.” I felt bad that he actually had to say that, because the truth is sometimes people don’t believe a woman when she said she got rape or they do and still do nothing. For instance in my sociology class we watched a documentary called The Invisible War, about the thousands of women the U.S military into that were raped by some of the men in their platoon and when they reported it was never really investigated or was told to stop lying and that they didn’t believe them. The worst thing is that these women fought for their country, but their country didn’t even want to acknowledge the truth of what actually happened to those women.

Kaitlyn Riley

1) In the article "Can We Build A Better Man?" nine different people are asked the same question; "What is men's role in the #MeToo movement, and what does new or non-toxic masculinity look like?" Each person has their own opinions and arguments as to what a man's role in the #MeToo movement and what they think non-toxic masculinity is. the response that I found most provocative was from Kalimah Johnson. I found hers the most provocative because it went the most in-depth about the pain and suffering behind the #MeToo movement and what I would say was the least censored response. She mentioned the sexual assault and how all races are affected by rape and molestation.
2) The main point of disagreement that I have noticed throughout the article was the belief that men need to own up and be accountable for their actions and the belief that society should not blame all men so they better understand the #MeToo movement and don't get defensive. With both arguments, there is no right or wrong answer because both have their strengths and weaknesses. The point that all men should be held responsible and change how they act is in a way true and I think that men should realize how some of their traits can be toxic to society, and if they are doing things to harm others it should be changed. The other argument about how men should be open to talk about their feelings so they don't have to feel defensive is a valid point because there are always two sides to a story and it is better to communicate rather than place the blame. I do however understand that when a mistake is made one should be held responsible.
3) In the article, the publisher made the decision to use illustrations to represent the people speaking. I believe this was done in order to put real faces to the statements being made. The illustrations show their face and who they are as real people but don't objectify them based on qualities such as race. The illustrations put everyone at an equal role and focus on their true selves. The descriptions help add credibility because it allows the audience to understand each person's background and get a feel for where they stand. Even though everyone's voice, experience, and opinions are all equally valuable and credible, and more credible source could be those of who are apart of organizations or jobs that specifically deal with the #MeToo movement or sexual assault cases.
4) In the Gillette ad, the argument about toxic masculinity is that men who present good values and morals should be praised and continue to reflect their good behaviors in order to positively influence the children of today and create a better future. The ad shows how the media shows toxic masculinity either being sexual assault or violence and that it is the real men in society who have the power to change the role of men and promote kindness and respect towards women. The powerful images are the father stopping violence and his child watching because it shows that what one shows impacts their children and others, it sets good examples and creates less toxic roles of men.

Abigail Oldfield

1. When talking about a man's role in the #MeToo movement,Kalimah Johnson had the most provocative argument. She wasn't afraid to leave anything out or beat around the bush. Her bringing up racial differences, sexual harassment, and even child abuse were very blunt topics that a lot of people are afraid to bring up and to talk about, which allowed for a more in-depth reasoning and understanding of thee #MeToo movement.
2. The main point of disagreement within the article was whether not all men should be blamed to better understand the movement, or that all men should own up to the mistake that is being made. There really is no right or wrong in this case because both sides can have strong points to back them up, but both arguments also aren't so strong that they can beat out the other. All men owning up to their mistakes could be the right answer because toxic masculinity is an ongoing problem and if it was one that was recognized by the make population, then it is less likely to stick around meaning that the problem would start to dwindle. On the other hand, by realizing the fact that not all men are in the wrong, it allows for a better understanding of what the #MeToo movement is all about.
3. I believe that they chose to use illustrations instead of pictures so that the reader would be able to put a face to a name, but they would not be able to know enough to objectify the responses based on that persons race or ethnicity. By also putting in the small facts under their names, it introduces those respondents and establishes their point of view and how they are associated. The most credible were the ones that were associated with organizations that had a connection to the #MeToo movement or its ideas just because they are gonna know a little bit more about that topic then someone who has just watched from the news and the information that they get second-hand.
4. The argument that was made in the ad was that men had been making excuses for the way others were treated as if it were normal or something that would go away after a while, but the excuses were what caused it to continue. They then went on to say that they way to finally bring an end is to step in when one knows that the situation is no longer right. Men, in this ad particularly, need to stop ignoring the signs and instead stand in and make the change because "the boys watching today, will be the men of tomorrow". It was very similar to many of the arguments made in the article as it focused on taking responsibility and stepping up to make the change which is what many of the respondents focused on. The most compelling image in the ad was when the father stopped a child from being bullied as his child observed from the side. It was important because it symbolized the fact that children and the people around you are always watching and by making good decisions, one is setting their child up for a better role in theirs and others lives.

Emily Whitaker

In the article "A man’s place: A conversation about masculinity in the #MeToo era" by Alex Meyers, Earth-Feather Sovereign, Imara Jones, Kalimah Johnson, Kendrick Sapsom, Maru Mora Villalpando, Sady Doyle, Tarana Burke, and Tony Porte, discusses mans role within the #MeToo movement and what they can do to positively impact it. It states ways and opinions on how men can approach the movement compared to how they have been. It gathers information used from people of a variety of ethnicity, gender identity, and occupation. They argue that men need to develop their mindset to support the movement and be aware of each other and their actions.

1) I found Kalimah Johnson's argument most provocative because she went in depth on how issues such as race, gender, all have a place in the movement. This brings up even more perspective and expands the ways people can identify among the movement. She raises awareness on how things such as societal pressures may influence people and recognizes how change should be made.
2) One point of disagreement was among rather or not men should be held accountable for negative actions or if the majority of men are actually able to assist in growing the movement in a positive way. Due to the fact that people come from a multitude of differing backgrounds, I do not believe that any side is right or wrong but rather that both could be used to benefit those affected by #MeToo.
3) I believe things such as occupation and illustrations of each speaker were included to highlight a differing perspective in each that could relate them to the movement to establish credibility while also influencing how the audience may view them by highlighting things the illustrator wanted to be noticed. I found Tarana Burke's to be most credible as she is the founder of the movement which therefor proves how she has applied herself towards it.
4) This ad presented the argument that toxic masculinity is a result of people not speaking up and following ways/societal pressures of the past without growing or developing they way men should treat each other and women. It offers a solution by acting out how men can step up and speak out by holding each other accountable and developing more positive influences with those around them.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan