So human body- 99% made up of 6 elements. Some would say the usual oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen etc. etc. The psychologist in me begs to include the conscious, unconscious skills or aptitude, the EQ and IQ, hunger sex and thirst and then yes the biology as well!
And what about the remaining 1%? Well that’s just toxic! (Or potassium, sulfur, sodium etc. etc, if you choose to believe that :P!)
Yes, that’s just it- toxic. Humans are both good and bad. Innately right doers and innately wrong doers. They mean well but are also jealous, they save you but will also push you in front of the moving bus. They will get you your favorite chocolate but will also spit in your food in you are rude.
While you are digesting this fact, let’s also think of the two genders we all have hyped in the past years of existence- Males and Females! Oh the dreaded battle (which should be “the glorious love” but anyway)
Masculinity and femininity are two social constructs, defined, redefined and stereotyped (tired of the word already?) for ages. But every political agenda, educational bill, workplace scenario, daily chores, heck the whole business world is still stuck on these two ideas. Our work and worth hinges on our level of masculinity and femininity and while we are squirming relentlessly to widen the brackets, it’s time to accept the toxicity. Well, you can’t really blame these people. The petty humans are just trying to understand the peculiar world they were brought into and the dinosaurs left no clue!
But we never discuss the good, do we? So jumping to the1% toxic part straight ahead!
Toxic masculinity is simply the extreme notions of men and their attached identities which cause them to take extreme(r) actions like assault, violence towards the other gender, dowry demands, sexual offences and you all know what more! But what about the everyday forms that masculinity takes? What about those small, imperceptible actions that we all often choose to ignore (see, wrong type of acceptance!). Yes, those snide remarks about a girl who leaves the workplace a little too early, the one who got “offended” at the harmless meme, the simpler one who will say no to going out or the difficult one who won’t be loyal just and just to you. What about the “Didi khana banayegi (Sister will cook) , it’s not my job!” or the easy way out by hitting and being violent at home to get things done? Heck, sometimes they even compete with you only cooperation is the wrong turn on the road. Imagine how toxic all this is to the people growing and sustaining with men of this mix, and how accepting are we to still stay mum?
And no, no, no it’s not just them men. This story is like turkey and chicken- similar birds for different occasions.
Toxic femininity is true and alive. Toxic females, in the extreme form, blame men in courts under false charges, take advantages of new laws of a troubled world and threaten men for favors and what not. But again, what about the everyday menace this section proposes? The pushing for the last seat in the metro, the intense staring to move out of their way, the ducking of doing taxes or the ‘computer work’ or the cheeky access to frontlines in bars, theatres and what not! They even comment if a guy is sensitive, are too quick to judge him if he likes art or dance and the worst is- they are a part of the conversation degrading other women. And then again, how accepting are we to still stay mum! What mix are these women? Did the substance proportions go too wrong?
Well, in a country high on tolerance level, all these things are so ‘local’, it’s almost sad. Even so, this paragraph won’t preach about how everybody should change or should strive to eliminate all that toxic wastes from their bodies. It is simply about understanding that we all are humans- all good and bad together, and till humanity exists- all good and bad will exist together. Accept this not to avoid war (because war is always on the doorstep) but for your inner peace. Accept this so we can then discuss the topic of neutrality- the art of being ‘sam’. The art of just BEING.
About the Author
Sakshi Bansal is a student of psychology and a solo traveler. She is passionate about reforming education and incorporating social media and technological advances in her endeavors.