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Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Multivalent masculinity and #MeToo

By Rajeev Rambob, 2020

The deadly combination of male supremacy and toxic masculinity (MSTM) systemically and culturally promotes, supports, and defends violence against women, girls, femmes, and “lesser” men. This article provides working definitions for male supremacy and toxic masculinity and explores the damage they can do on their own and when combined. Multivalent masculinity offers a new way to navigate gender identity and expression by allowing for a spectrum of experiences. The infographic of the gender unicorn, developed by Trans Student Educational Resources, is a useful tool for “men’s” groups to employ as they seek to cultivate multivalent masculinity. The most important work of multivalent masculinity is: (i) to break open the definition, understanding, and recognition of what it means to “be a man”; (ii) to be painfully cognizant of the harm done by MSTM; and (iii) actively to resist being shackled or defined by MSTM. Keywords gender unicorn, male supremacy, men’s groups, MSTM, multivalent masculinity, toxic masculinity

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