Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal, the sisters behind the Girl Defined YouTube channel (and ministry), recently tackled the issue of toxic masculinity. While I’m glad that they addressed the issue at all (since many conservative Christians refuse to admit such a thing even exists), some of the points they made were overly simplified at best and misguided at worst.
On their website, Clark and Beal say:
Yes, it is right and good to call out the sin of evil men — but let’s not swing so far to one side that we forget that godly men still exist in the world.
There are still men in this world who desire to embrace their masculinity as God intended — by cherishing women, protecting women, caring for families, & leading in genuine humility.
That mindset limits masculinity to a very specific kind of alpha-male breadwinner in a heterosexual couple. The women say masculinity itself isn’t the problem (which is true), but they blame sin instead — or, as they define it, the desire for people to live their own way rather than God’s way. That’s a copout. They could easily have pinned the problem on sexism, rape culture, and entitlement (as specific sins)… but they didn’t bring any of those up. In attempting to get to the “root” of the problem, they barely scratched the surface of it.
Their definition of toxic masculinity also seems limited to men who abuse other people when that term really refers to a much broader issue. Guys who just choose their own path and decide against getting married or having children don’t fall under that umbrella.
No one is saying that good men don’t exist. The decent men of the world are not the ones being talked about when we talk about toxic masculinity. To claim #NotAllMen, as this video does, is like going into a cancer ward and saying, “Hey, heart disease kills people too, you know!”
What’s frustrating that that viewers of this video who don’t do their own research might walk away without ever learning what “toxic” masculinity looks like… while coming away with a very narrow view of what “good” masculinity is.