Today’s Solutions: April 12, 2024

In the enormous expanse of social media, figures such as Andrew Tate have gained prominence for propagating what some refer to as “toxic masculinity.” According to Jago Sherman, Head of Strategy at Goat Agency, these influencers frequently make broad, sweeping promises, promising instant fixes to difficult challenges. He goes on to say, “Sometimes this ‘shock factor’ content can outperform lengthier, thought-provoking, neutral content.”

A countermovement emerges

Contrary to the sensationalism of toxic influencers, there is a quieter countermovement led by influencers that focus on mental health, fitness, well-being, parenting, self-love, and anti-knife crime. Sherman argues that while these influencers may not make news, they are actively influencing the narrative surrounding masculinity.

Labour’s initiative to promote positive masculinity

Responding to the need for a more positive approach in the UK, Labour has suggested a plan to train mentors in schools. These mentors, recruited from the student body, seek to oppose the misogynistic perspective promoted by influences such as Andrew Tate. The approach also includes teaching students critical analysis skills so they may better navigate the media ecosystem.

Positive masculinity in the spotlight

Positive male role models have broken through to become household names. Figures such as fitness guru Joe Wicks, often known as The Body Coach, have created large followings by providing straightforward advice in an approachable manner. Russ Cook, Instagram’s “hardest geezer,” exemplifies a positive attitude by organizing charity stunts that raise revenue and exposure for charities while engaging a large audience.

Russ Cook’s mission: run the length of Africa

Russ Cook, known as Instagram’s “hardest geezer,” has embarked on an extraordinary endeavor that extends far beyond social media bravado. His year-long attempt to run the length of Africa from tip to toe is more than just a physical marvel; it also demonstrates his commitment to good change. Cook is set to finish in April, having raised nearly £200,000 (about $255,000) for the Running Charity and Sandblast, demonstrating the transformative power of social media impact for a humanitarian cause.

Cook’s journey has captivated the interest of nearly a million followers across his numerous social networks, demonstrating that meaningful content can go beyond spectacular shows of bravado. His project not only questions traditional ideals of masculinity but also inspires a new generation to participate in humanitarian work and self-improvement.

Overlooking the impact on boys

Saul Parker, CEO of The Good Side, advises against focusing primarily on misogyny in conversations about toxic influencers. He observes that, although young women are encouraged to seek positive role models for their own benefit, young males are frequently pushed to do so in order to improve their treatment of women. This overlooks the potential harm that toxic influencers might cause to boys and young men themselves.

Moving beyond casual misogyny

The danger lies in focusing entirely on misogyny, which may allow a new generation of toxic influencers to go undiscovered. Parker highlights influencers such as David Goggins, who emphasizes self-discipline and motivation without mentioning women or sex. Parker said, “Taking women out of the equation doesn’t make it any less problematic; it just means that it’s hard to find a sharp point because he doesn’t say anything hateful.”

Nudging toward a positive vision

Developing a more favorable view of masculinity necessitates deliberate efforts. Boys, shaped by a challenging discourse about patriarchy, frequently struggle and feel the need for assistance. Parker emphasizes the necessity of recognizing young men’s issues and diverting their attention to more positive role models.

Building a brighter future for masculinity

While toxic influencers make news, a rising group of influencers is actively changing the narrative about masculinity. A better future can be achieved by highlighting positive role models, improving mental health, and encouraging critical thinking. It is critical to understand young men’s challenges and provide them with the assistance they require to embrace a healthier masculinity.

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