Male vulnerability advocate Greg Million recently held a seminar in Calgary delving into the topic of toxic masculinity. Creator of The Sentient Warrior Project, Million has experienced firsthand the struggle of recognizing and addressing his own toxic habits.
Adding his own voice to the conversation through these seminars is just one of the ways Million hopes to contribute to the larger shift in attitudes he’s beginning to see. Million is also penning a book that will include practical tips to help everyone redefine masculinity.
So, what is toxic masculinity?
According to Million, there are four important attributes that men are expected to demonstrate — strength, courage, power and control.
Individually, none of these traits are bad, he says.
“But the way we frame them within a toxic environment and the expectations that society puts on men is the problem.”
These four core traits are:
Million says when men feel like they don’t embody these attributes, or they find themselves lacking in all or some of these areas, they can begin to feel inadequate and might begin to engage in toxic behaviour, lashing out at themselves and those around them.
He believes the responsibility is on everyone, not just men, to work together to address the issues at the core of toxic masculinity.
“I feel like, in order for real growth to happen we have to learn to be more vulnerable, communicative and transparent with our emotions as men,” he says. “Also, just as important, is the people in our lives have to allow us that opportunity. It has to work both ways.”
- By Kyra Bird