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The Kindest Lie


A timely and soul-stirring novel about the lies families tell each other and the...
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Eli and Butch are both victims of the economic downturn. How does toxic masculinity infect Black and white men under this type of pressure?

Created: 01/27/22

Replies: 7

Posted Jan. 27, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barrye

Join Date: 07/20/14

Posts: 53

Eli and Butch are both victims of the economic downturn. How does toxic masculinity infect Black and white men under this type of pressure?

Eli and Butch are both victims of the economic downturn. How does toxic masculinity infect Black and white men under this type of pressure?


Posted Jan. 28, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: Eli and Butch are both victims of ...

The book shows toxic masculinity isn’t confined to a particular race.


Posted Jan. 31, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosemaryc

Join Date: 05/07/16

Posts: 25

RE: Eli and Butch are both victims of ...

Yes, toxic masculinity crosses racial boundaries. It’s called “toxic” for good reason. The poison is dangerous for the men and for those who live in close proximity to them.


Posted Jan. 31, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 1109

RE: Eli and Butch are both victims of ...

One of the more interesting aspects of this is that Eli seemed to be coping a lot better with his situation than Butch was. I'd say that Butch's decline was due more to his wife's death than it was to his being laid-off.

I'm not sure how I feel about the term, "toxic masculinity." I think stress can cause any of us to act out. If there's a character who exhibited toxic masculinity, I think it was Xavier, who felt it was so important to have a child that he was willing to have his marriage fail. I also think it could be why he reacted so strongly to Ruth's revelation; he's the boss of her, and how dare she keep something from him... that kind of attitude.


Posted Feb. 02, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 466

RE: Eli and Butch are both victims of ...

I've heard the phrase toxic masculinity a lot, of course, and thought I knew what it meant. I was curious about the definition in the context of this question, so I looked it up. In terms of the economic downturn, I'm not sure that Eli and Butch were exhibiting toxic masculinity. In fact, according to Wikipedia, "devotion to work" is not considered to be toxic. It seems to me both were suffering from depression and feeling stress at not being able to find a job and support their families. Maybe a better question is how does a lack of mental health resources affect Black and white men?- -or how does a lack of mental health resources in vulnerable communities affect the people who live there?

I'm so glad that kimk mentioned Xavier's behavior. I didn't think about his reaction to Ruth's secret in terms of toxic masculinity. I thought it was a spoiled, selfish, insensitive outburst. haha I guess that is what toxic masculinity really is!! While Ruth's revelation was a bombshell FOR SURE, he was more interested in how her secret affected him, than what it must have done to her for her whole life. Xavier's behavior seemed in a lot of ways like an attempt to punish Ruth.


Posted Feb. 06, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jos

Join Date: 03/14/21

Posts: 161

RE: Eli and Butch are both victims of ...

I’m in Total agreement with acstrine on this and mental health issues! Great point and also Kimk’s point of view on Xaviers reaction. I could understand his feeling like there was not trust to build their relationship on but he was pretty quick to judgement and seemed ready to let her go.


Posted Feb. 24, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 424

RE: Eli and Butch are both victims of ...

This was the definition I found ~~
Toxic masculinity refers to the notion that some people’s idea of “manliness” perpetuates domination, homophobia, and aggression. This idea that men need to act tough and avoid showing all emotions can be harmful to their mental health and can have serious consequences for society, which is how it became known as “toxic masculinity.”

With that understanding, I believe that it affects both black and white equally and the same. Both Eli and Butch roared like lions - beat their chests - acted like they were better. They aggressively wanted to get their points across. Took everything as a threat. Put the pressure on themselves to be the best and never at fault.


Posted Mar. 03, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 537

RE: Eli and Butch are both victims of ...

Men don't want to be perceived as "weak." Not being able to provide is a sign of weakness for men. thus they suffer mental health issues, such as depression, and turn to other vices (alcohol, drugs, etc) to escape reality.
The term toxic masculinity is a truth in that many men try to live up to a standard they think is expected of them. This crosses all racial lines, with some cultures having stricter views of "what is masculine" than others have.


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