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Toxic masculinity: I’m tired of performing all the time, says Justin Baldoni

Baldoni says men must learn to embrace the qualities that they were told are feminine.

Masculinity is overrated. This is what American actor and breakout star of the hit television show Jane the Virgin, Justin Baldoni, says in his Tedx talk. He begins the talk by showing a montage of the many roles he has played in the past — none of which resonate with him.

“These roles don’t represent the kind of man I am in my real life,” he remarks. “I have been pretending to be a man that I am not, my entire life. I have been pretending to be strong when I felt weak, confident when I felt insecure, and tough when really I was hurting. I think for the most part, I’ve just been kind of putting on a show, but I am tired of performing,” confesses Baldoni.

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Justin Baldoni, masculinity, Life Positive, Indian Express, Indian Express news Justin Baldoni on how he views himself from the prism of masculinity. (Designed by Gargi Singh)

All his life, he was told what kind of man he was supposed to be. As a boy, all he wanted, was to be liked and accepted by other boys, he admits. “But that acceptance meant I had to acquire this almost disgusted view of the feminine. And since we were told feminine is the opposite of masculine, I either had to reject embodying any of these qualities, or face rejection myself,” he says.

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“This is wrong, this is toxic and it has to end,” Baldoni declares of the gender norms.

Baldoni says men must learn to embrace the qualities that they were told are feminine. They must be willing to stand up, to learn from the women who embody them.

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Hoping to start a dialogue around what masculinity really is, Baldoni ends his compelling speech by saying, “I believe that as men, it’s time we start to see past our privilege and recognise that we are not just part of the problem, fellas, we are the problem. The glass ceiling exists because we put it there. And if we want to be a part of the solution, then words are no longer enough… So women, on behalf of men all over the world, please forgive us…”

First published on: 03-10-2019 at 07:40:41 am
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