An obsession with “hard” masculinity is a very old trope, but one that continues to plague us. It’s often supported by facile historical comparisons that fall apart upon closer inspection, but it remains one of the most reliable tools for manipulating men into a whole array of harmful behaviors. Self-destructive showing off, domestic abuse, abusive relationships between friends, violence, support for political “strong men”, support for war, hatred of “weakness”, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia – all the traits we currently categorize as “toxic masculinity” tend to be supported by the notion that being a “hard man” is a good thing, and being not that is a bad thing. I think this Lonerbox video is a good companion piece to Thought Slime’s earlier look at the same topic, from a different angle. The reality is that this psuedo-historical “ancient wisdom” is both a-historical and (in my opinion) instrumental in creating hard times.