What does being a man mean? If you ask ten different men, they’ll probably give you ten different answers. Societal expectation changes over time, and what it means to be stereotypically male in 2020 is likely a lot different than the answers you’d get fifty years ago.
I hate the term because it infers that masculinity is toxic. However, regardless of that - the term toxic masculinity has stuck. It refers to men who act obnoxious and say that they’re supposed to because of their gender. Some behavior that goes along with this might be catcalling women walking past, or making inappropriate jokes in professional settings to deliberately make coworkers uncomfortable.
Certain driving behaviors also amount to male toxicity. These are not exclusively male behaviors; anyone can do them. But if your justification for doing these things is because you’re male, and you have entitlement for that reason, then you need to rethink your priorities.
Here are behaviors men should avoid while.
Speeding is the quintessential driving behavior in which men should not engage. Drivers must maintain a safe distance and speed from the cars around them. When you speed:
- You make a deadly collision more likely
- You have little control over the vehicle in treacherous conditions
For some men, getting out on the highway and trying to see how fast their vehicle can go is the best thing to do with themselves. We’ve all seen these would-be daredevils, flying past the cars in the slow lane doing triple digits.
If this is you, then try to control yourself. This isn’t the Autobahn. Speed limits exist for a reason, and slowing down can save a life.
Playing Music Loud with the Windows Down
Another toxic driving behavior is cruising with all the windows down, blaring music as loud as the vehicle’s sound system can handle it. Doing this:
- Impresses no one
- Irritates other drivers and pedestrians
We all love our own musical styles, and most people enjoy listening to their favorite album or radio station in the car. If you’ve got the music cranked all the way up, though, and you have all your windows down, ask yourself, who are you trying to impress?
Being considerate of other drivers and passing pedestrians costs you nothing. Feel free to play your music as loud as you like with the windows rolled up. Being thoughtful is much more manly than proclaiming how much you love Van Halen.
When you ride someone’s bumper, that is tailgating. Most people who do this like to do it on the highway if they feel the driver ahead of them in the fast lane is not going speedily enough for their tastes.
Like speeding, tailgating is pointless and dangerous. It accomplishes nothing, except potentially causing an accident if the driver ahead of you has to brake suddenly.
Some tailgaters will even flash their lights or honk at other drivers. This is lunacy. You can scare the other driver so badly that they might swerve into a concrete divider or another lane, causing an accident.
This is another situation where you don’t need to act irresponsibly to prove your manhood. If you feel like the driver in front of you is not going fast enough, pass them when you get the opportunity.
Of all the driving behaviors that society puts in the toxic masculinity category, catcalling is probably the worst. This happens when you cruise down the street, and you see an attractive woman walking by. You figure that the best thing to do is whistle at them or yell inappropriate comments.
This is disgusting behavior that belongs in a different century. You’d like to think that evolution has brought men past the point where they feel it’s okay to do this.
Imagine if that was your daughter walking past, or your sister, or your mom. Would you act the same way toward them?
Treat women as human beings. Nobody likes this sort of attention, and you’re revealing how low-class you are every time you engage in this behavior.
Again, these are not uniquely male behaviors. A woman might tailgate or speed or engage in other unsafe driving practices. Some people feel that if you’re a man, though, you have a license to act in these ways.
There are other ways of “acting male,” like taking care of your family, being faithful to your significant other, and being kind to those less fortunate. The best way to fight toxic masculinity is to eradicate it, and that’s something in which every man can have a role.