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#MasculinitySoFragile Hashtag Highlights Toxic Masculinity’s Weak Points

The #MasculinitySoFragile hashtag is currently trending on Twitter. It’s a hashtag that seems to have been created to highlight the downsides and pitfalls of toxic masculinity. We live in a world that puts men down for expressing emotions and feelings that are considered “feminine,” and toxic masculinity is partially to blame for that.

Perhaps one of the most egregious effects of the fragility of masculinity is in how when men’s advances are rejected, it’s almost expected of them to react violently. There’s this requirement to lash out verbally or even physically at whoever’s rejected them. There’s always this need to “prove you’re a man” by responding to perceived threats–even if those threats never existed in the first place.

Case in point: once the #MasculinitySoFragile hashtag began to trend, men took it as a personal attack on them. They responded with threats of violence, and directed insults at those posting to the hashtag. One even went so far as to literally threaten to fight anyone who RTs them.

See the screencapped tweet below:

If that doesn’t prove how fragile masculinity is, then I’m not sure what does. Check out some of these other tweets in the hashtag.

Perhaps most tragic is how toxic masculinity intersects with LGBT identities. As you saw above, there’s quite a few examples of how “gay” can be seen as an insult, as a suggestion that something or someone is “less than” because they’re identifying as or accused of being gay.

In fact, trans people often end up paying an incredible price because of toxic masculinity, most losing their lives because of this insistence that the only reaction to finding out someone is trans is violence.

#MasculinitySoFragile isn’t a personal attack on men. It’s an attack on how society wants to view men. But judging by the responses to many of these tweets, that point seems to have gone entirely missed. Proven, perhaps, but lost on those who might need to hear it most.

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.

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