"In this moment of crisis, macho leaders are a weakness, not a strength"

Article here. Excerpt:

'What motivates men like Trump and Bolsonaro to deny, falsify and dismiss evidence about public health crises?

One salient feature stands out as common among these men: toxic masculinity. The concept has become popular, with Google searches for the term skyrocketing in January 2019 when the shaving company Gillette released a series of advertisements that challenged traditional expressions of masculinity, such as bullying, suppressing emotions and sexual harassment. Those advertisements set off a public debate about whether toxic masculinity is a helpful concept. Some took to Twitter and other media to complain that “masculinity isn’t a sickness”, while others, like the American Psychological Association, maintained that these traditional forms of masculinity harm not only men, but also those around them.

The current pandemic throws into stark relief how useful the concept of toxic masculinity can be. Dr Roger Kirby, a men’s health expert, observes that toxic forms of masculinity, which lead to “dominant, aggressive, [and] risk-taking” behaviour, cause men to see illness or other health problems as effeminate and weak, leading them to choose risk and discomfort over the “emasculation” of seeking medical treatment. As a result, men who pursue these forms of masculinity display “the strongest predictors of individual risk behaviour over the life course”.
We do not need patriotism and weapons; we need globally connected medical research, social safety nets and healthcare. We need leaders who allow public health experts, rather than their political self-interest, to guide policy. We find ourselves in a time that calls for traditionally “feminine” traits, such as empathy, solidarity and compassion. The men in charge have chosen to prioritise their precarious sense of manhood, rejecting scientific evidence, deploying rhetoric of violence, war and division, and placing us all in harm’s way.'

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