toxic masculinity


It’s time that men rethink their colour choices. Repeating the same colours is not the only option at hand. There is a colour right under your nose, to upgrade your look.

Black, white, grey, blue, and maroon are the colours every guy conventionally has, and these are repeated throughout the week. These used to be the trend, years ago. They can move aside because here we are talking about Pink. New times need new changes. Why stick to traditions if they don’t even allow you to explore the colours that you might have wanted to try on, but couldn’t because of reasons that even you don’t really understand? So, if you have not already added this magical colour to your wardrobe, then it’s time that you are introduced to the many wonders this colour can do to your style.

Pink, according to colour psychology, has a great calming effect on the observer. It not only calms your mind but can also aid in concentration. This characteristic not only makes it an important colour for you during exams, but it also allows those around you to feel calmer. Many football teams like, Manchester United, have started using pink kits, and celebrities are not far away either, with actors like Ranveer Singh breaking the taboos around men exploring the world of fashion with what are stereotypically perceived as feminine colours and attires.

Here are a few Auburn tips to rock Pink and be “the man”:

  1. A light pink tee with darker denim is spot-on. You can also accompany a lighter shade of pink with white shorts.
  2. Not just tees, one can also pull off a great look with pink shorts accompanying them with a button-down shirt of a lighter shade of pink, white, or grey. It will all add up to a look of casual comfort.
  3. Pink shoes are trending now with footballers donning pink sports shoes on, and off field. This accessory will tell the crowds that you are serious about your game.
  4. A peek of pink socks with your shoes can add a statement to not only your footwear, but for the whole look as well.
  5. Pink can also backfire if you pair it with a lot of pink. Too much of a single colour can ruin the look. Try out shades which are lighter to balance the look. A bright colour can also spoil the look, if not paired up right.

So, guys, it’s time that you try out pink. You never know that it could be the best fashion choice for you!

Featured Image Credits: Ayush Chauhan for DU Beat

Abhinadan Kaul

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Stephen Mathew

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A look at the notions of toxic masculinity around suppressing emotions and its effect on the mental health of men.


There is a mental health crisis in India, which has been ignored severely. In 2017, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, reported that nearly 15 crore Indians needed medical intervention for their mental health problems. The National Survey of Mental Health Resources found that there are only 4,000 psychiatrists in the country when the required number is around 13,000.

Other statistics show that the ratio of psychiatrists per 100,000 people in India is 0.3, the number of mental health nurses per 10,000 is 0.12, with psychologists at 0.07 and social workers at 0.07. However, at the brink of this crisis, there is still a stigma attached to mental health.

The idea of toxic masculinity in India encompasses certain characteristics that men should adopt, so as to not appear “feminine” and to be “manly”. The core behind these characteristics is that men should be aggressive, tough, muscular, and unemotional. An advertisement against domestic abuse told us that “men don’t cry, nor do they make others cry.”

The question that comes out is – why should men not cry or show emotions?

Why is that considered weak by the society? Men have been constantly told since childhood that expressing emotions is not masculine and that it somehow invalidates their gender identity. This, in turn, affects their mental health as they grow up lacking conventional ways of expression of emotions.

Bhavika Mehta, a second-year student who is the founder of The Happy Company, which is a mental health organisation, says, “Society has set a standard image for men, and there are so many notions around this very image of ‘mard ko dard nahi hota (men don’t feel pain)’, movies, songs and TV shows glorify this very idea of suppressing their emotions. What follows is a lifelong spiral of feeling guilty about feeling a certain way, being vulnerable, and hiding how they feel. Suppressing the emotions can cause severe effects on a person’s mental health, and then also make it difficult for them to talk about it because they’re expected not to feel that way.”

A rejection of the idea that crying is weak and negative would be a revolutionary step to do away with the stigma that has plagued entire generations of men. In fact, crying is known to have many positive impacts. Crying helps you relax, according to a study, it can help people to get support from people around them. It also helps in releasing oxytocin and endorphins which are feel-good chemicals in the brain that help with emotional and physical pain relief, improving one’s mood.

When humans cry in response to stress, it actually acts as a stress reliever. Crying also has several physical benefits – it improves your vision, cleans out bacteria, and keeps the eyes clean in general. Hence, the question arises again, why should men not cry or show emotion?

There is no logical answer to this question. For years, the ideas perpetuated by toxic masculinity have shackled men emotionally. It has led to many men (add the word for clarity) suffering from stunted emotional growth. Men should be taught from an early age that crying and expressing emotions is a completely normal thing to do, and expressing emotions should be considered healthy. Men should be steered away from the idea that violence and aggression solve everything, and should be encouraged to find healthier solutions and coping mechanisms. They should not be measured on their “toughness” and strength and should be shown that true bravery comes from expressing emotions and accepting themselves as they are.


Featured Image Credits- Redbubble


Prabhanu Kumar Das

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Let’s all take a ride through the jungle of Hyper-masculinity to know how it affects our men and how can we help them to emerge out of this jungle safely.

Many people consider hyper-masculinity as an interchangeable term with toxic masculinity. While both of them are by due diligence of patriarchy, both have very different context and meanings.

Toxic masculinity means to use masculine traits to be abusive, hostile or to hold social power to condescend others. While on the other hand, hyper masculinity is just an very exaggerated form of masculinity, which works towards reinforcing the conventional and rigid concept of masculinity.

Taking an example, for instance you’re walking on the footpath, you see a car parked next to it, the car has a man just sitting, what’s amusing is the moment a girl passes by he cranks up his football radio or tries to loudly tinker his car so that girl can see how  masculine that man is. This in its truest form is hyper-masculinity.

Hyper-masculinity, is a sociological term denoting exaggerated forms of masculinity, virility, and physicality. With that answered, let’s trying answering few other questions to understand this concept better.

Why are we considering hyper-masculinity as a dire problem?

Every man is not the same. The individual freedom that each man is entitled to is often taken away by hyper-masculinity. It burdens them with unrealistic standards of being a man. It promotes a binary concept of gender, than what it is, fluid. In many cases it leads to violence against men, and in all cases it leads to mental harassment.

Scholars have suggested that there are three distinct characteristics associated with the hyper-masculine personality. They are-

  • The view of violence as manly
  • The perception of danger as exciting and sensational
  • Callous behaviour toward women and a regard toward emotional displays as feminine


Consider the above with these few real life examples of our own nation.

  • A 12 year old boy was beaten traumatically by his classmates for wearing a pink shirt to his classroom.
  • More than 56% of men face psychological abuse from unrealistic male expectations.
  • Almost all boys have always been told that they’re not supposed to be kind or gentle or even cry.


Hyper-masculinity enforces toxic masculinity which paves way for many social evils like rape culture, mental harassment and much more.

How have we internalized this behaviour as a society?

Hyper-masculine archetypes abound in the mass media, especially action films. There are uncountable films that features a strong, silent hero who exhibits no emotion as he dispatches his enemies. A female lead character with exaggerated “feminine” qualities is often added to accentuate the masculine traits of the hero.

The other way of internalization comes from family power dynamics. It’s imperative to realise how to raise our men. Mothers raising their son to be tough, to not allow them to play with dolls and laugh at any sensitive thing they do are the prime cause of this evil.

Often, these ideals of idol men are enforced on men of the society by their most inner circle of family and friends, making them feel maybe this is the way to be.

How can we help?

The biggest help would recognising this behaviour and calling it out. If it’s been told as wrong then are there, it will be stopped from being a norm. Calling out of people, movies even elders is the way to go.

The other way is to sensitive about it with them, this is what they’ve seen their entire lives, they would need time to realise this isn’t the way to be.

Another way could be to normalise them with them also expressing their feelings and also crying.

Hyper-masculinity isn’t a man’s problem, it’s a societal issue. It’s a burden with which most men live, and it’s time for them to break free.


Feature Image Credits: What’s wrong?

Chhavi Bahmba

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We are at a historic moment in terms of gender equality. Masculinity, as you know it, asks men to be ‘tough and ‘strong’. However, this machismo-driven notion of masculinity is killing both men and women.

 “Fight Club”, said my best friend when I asked him about his favourite movie. Of course, it was. Tyler Durden was all he wanted to be. He was violent and aggressive, a man who showed no emotions. Don’t get me wrong, Fight Club is one of the greatest American classics but it thrives on toxic masculinity. The ‘Project Mayhem’ looked like an opportunity to men to prove their worth by traditional means at a time when all of them were struggling internally, searching for meaning in life.  As women are fighting against the system for equal rights and opportunities, are we able to understand the way patriarchy affects men?

Toxic masculinity is a concept in which men have a “supreme valuation of characteristics culturally associated with masculine and denigration of characteristics associated with the feminine”. Everybody knows what those ‘masculine’ traits or male stereotypes are. Men, right from the very childhood are told that they are not allowed to cry because ‘big boys don’t cry’. They should ‘man up’ whenever the situation requires them to and never be vulnerable. They should not do things ‘like a little girl’ does. They should be self-reliant and be ‘lone wolves’ in order to succeed. Men need to show dominance and be in control of things. Men also have this false sense of superiority and entitlement over women, which results in hundreds of women being killed, raped and mutilated every single day.

Such unwritten rules of behaviour lead men to limit the expressions of their emotions, primarily to anger. I have often seen men talk in excessive pride about the fact that they haven’t cried in years. Is it even a good thing to be proud of? When they find themselves unable to deal with their overwhelming emotions and feelings and they can’t talk about it, it often gets channelized into two ways. The first one is being physically violent.  Zach Greiner’s character in Fight Club found ‘Project Mayhem’ as an outlet for his anger against the identity crisis he was facing. It was all about enduring pain as much as possible. The second way is experiencing stress and depression. According to studies, men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. Men who adhere to the traditionally masculine cultural norms and pressurize themselves to be stoic and socially isolate themselves are less likely to seek help for their mental health issues.

These are the tools of the patriarchy that we all need to fight against. We need to help boys become connected men. We cannot allow a destructive sense of manhood with ‘boys will be boys’ narrative to perpetuate anymore. We need to start having real conversations with men, conversations about feelings and problems and everything in between, conversations which are open and honest, just like girls have with one another. You know how girls tell every minute detail of their lives to someone close to them? Well, it helps. Talking about your problems may not be the solution but it does make you feel better. Stifling your emotions to avoid being judged by other men is going to kill you, both literally and figuratively; it is time to open up and break free.


Feature Image credits– Christian Hopkins

Disha Saxena

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