Sex and Relationships

Toxic Masculine Expectations During the Holiday Season

Is There a Dark Side to Celebrating the Holidays?

By: Dejon Virgo

A few of the expectations that toxic masculinity places on men. (Photo Credit:

Masculinity: a word that is often used as the norms in our society evolve and people continue to question what is acceptable for a man.

Masculinity is known as the qualities and behaviors typically associated with men and boys.

Society is now shifting against the norms of masculinity, especially because the LGBTQ community is gaining more respect becoming more involved in society and how people think about men.

The LGBTQ community goes against the traditional ideal of what a man is because being gay is seen as very feminine and the role of a man is to get married to a women and have kids and be the breadwinner.

The holiday season is filled with many masculine expectations because roles of men is to carve the turkey and cut down the tree and many families don’t have this expectation because the role of women has changed.

The holiday expectations typically is associated with family that have men who cares about the role of men in the family and they want to keep that norm because it makes them feel important because as you can tell the “man” is the one with most of the power.

Even in relationships because there are many girlfriends out there who are looking at their boyfriend to be the one to make them feel comfortable and it’s the boyfriends job to make sure the holiday season goes right for the relationship while the girlfriend gets to sit back and get conferit.

This is not every couple and many heditralsexual couples share the responsibility of making the holiday season one to remember.

These “norms” mostly comes from society as a whole because many people see this happening with their friends relationship or there parents has told them what to expect and many women are being told by their mother oh your boyfriend is supposed to spoil you and if he doesn’t then he’s not the one.

The media also plays a big role in expectations for men during the holiday season because many holiday specials see the man as the one who craves the turkey and going to work while the men stays at home and takes care of the kids and puts up all the holiday decorations.

When it’s the man’s turn taking care of the kids or cooking it always turn bad because he left the turkey in the oven too long or the kids got into some type of dangerous situation and he must fix everything before the wife gets home.

Watching this type of movie sends a message to men that they are not meant to take care of the kids and he should stay being the breadwinner while it sends a message to women that they’re are the ones who are truly meant to take care of the kids and cook the dinner.

Of course, this is not what all families have to go through but it’s something that many families still have within their family tradition and this makes it hard for members of the LGBTQ community because they might not want to play the traditional role of what a man is supposed to do.

As a gay man, I have felt the pressures of conforming to this traditional masculine roles within my family and I heard stories from other gay men about this same issue.

A gay man might be good cook and want to be the one who cooks and takes care of the kids or be the breadwinner or do both, the point is men shouldn’t be tied down to expectations they “have to do”.

Toxic masculinity is used to refer to the stereotypical masculine gender role that stops boys and men from expressing emotions and be dominant.

This term is used more frequently to identify the masculine norms that damage men that don’t fit into the traditional role of a man and now in society it is being addressed and dealt with by celebrities like Terry Crew who spoke out about being sexually assaulted in the height of the #MeToo era.

This is to all the men out there, you don’t have to conform to the masculine norms of society and you can do or speak anyway you fit comfortable.  

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