Some people have asked, “Why on Earth would we make shirts and products in support of Toxic Masculinity?” To most, the sarcastic social commentary on the phrase is apparent. They get that the term has been so overused and misused, it has essentially become a joke amongst real men who possess true masculinity But for those who don’t quite understand that, it’s a fair question that deserves a bit of explanation and delving into... The problem derives from the general understanding of the word “toxic”, as it infers that certain levels of something makes it dangerous. For example, vitamin C is understood to be healthy and good, but if consumed in excess it can be lethal. This diverges from the initial intent of the phrase, which would denote a different “type” of masculinity (toxic) versus the proper type, which is healthy. Sadly it is just a matter of poor marketing, where the desired result is not being achieved by the message being delivered. Additionally, the one who is carrying the message plays a big factor in this as well. The purpose of our Toxic Masculinity product line is to make light of the absurdity of where this “movement” has led to, and also to open an honest and sincere dialog about certain behaviors and beliefs held by some men. As an extreme example, some have proposed that lifting weights and working out is considered “toxic” and perpetuates “rape culture”. This is patently false, but it is an actual argument being made by some. Can guys who work out be toxic? Sure. And has someone who goes to the gym raped someone? Of course, and it is absolutely deplorable. But these things are not inherently corollary. Such is the problem with the entire argument. A premise based off of faulty logic cannot and should not be taken seriously. Masculinity is a virtuous and natural quality that is beneficial to both the individual man and society as a whole. Any behavior or trait that one may consider “toxic” or detrimental, actually stems from a lack of masculinity, not an excess. Though it is true some men exhibit certain negative attributes, and we should hold ourselves and each other accountable, misattributing the cause does nothing to alleviate it. A huge problem today is that no one can really agree on what is “Toxic” and what is “Healthy”. Unfortunately, this dissonance is prevalent in just about every aspect of our lives, not just in regard to masculinity. (If you don’t believe me, try and find a definitive answer on whether eating breakfast is good or bad, just as one example). It is undeniable there are a lot of men who exhibit a false or incorrect understanding of masculinity. And it is absolutely something that should be addressed and talked about. But calling someone an asshole rarely does anything to make them less of one.
Instead, we would rather focus on cultivating a true, authentic, and fully actualized masculinity. A state of being that we like to refer to as a “Savage Gentleman”. It is far more impactful to demonstrate the positive qualities the world needs, rather than simply pointing out the negative. To wear a shirt that proclaims Toxic Masculinity but behaving like a Savage Gentleman turns the argument on its head and illegitimizes the radicalized claims against manliness. It proves that the true character of a man is evident in what he does and how he treats others, not how well conforms to any preconceived notion. We feel this is the only way to actually improve the world around us. Anything else amounts to nothing more than impotent finger wagging and childish name calling. Here’s to staying “toxic”, - Josh Savage Gentleman