Icelandic men have been addressing the concept of toxic masculinity on social media this week under the hashtag #karlmennskan (#masculinity). RÚV reported first.
Men have been sharing experiences of the harmful aspects of masculinity, such as being bullied for liking “girly” hobbies or having to hide their emotions.
Bjarni Snæbjörnsson is one of many who have shared personal stories under the hashtag. “I grow up in a small town out in the countryside and discover very early that I’m gay and a very soft boy and emotional. And I’m made fun of, I’m bullied until I hide it. It makes me lose the courage to be myself,” he posted.
Þorsteinn V. Einarsson is one of the organizers behind the movement. He says most participants have shared stories of how preconceived notions of manhood prevented them from expressing feelings or doing things they desired. Sveinn Arnarsson, for example, tweeted: “After a miscarriage I often went on car rides alone, just to cry. I just need to let the grief break through sometimes. I couldn’t let anyone see me like that because #masculinity.” Others’ tweets are more lighthearted. “I think Baileys is ridiculously good. Still never order it at the bar because #masculinity” tweeted Haukur Viðar Alfreðsson.
Women have responded with support across social media. Nanna Árnadóttir tweeted “For men posting, I commend you, it can’t be easy. We support you, we’re listening.”