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How Icelandic Men Have Been Responding To Anti-Toxic Masculinity Campaign

How Icelandic Men Have Been Responding To Anti-Toxic Masculinity Campaign

Photos by
United States Navy/Wikimedia Commons

Published March 16, 2018

The Icelandic campaign to fight toxic masculinity has received a lively response from men recounting times gender norms hindered or harmed them in their daily lives. These testimonials range from the light-hearted to tragic, but all share one common theme: how what it means to be “a real man” made life more difficult for men.

As reported, Icelander Þorsteinn V. Einarsson started the campaign after getting the idea from noted Icelandic feminist Sóley Tómasdóttir. With the MeToo campaign in full swing, numerous feminists have pointed out that stemming abusive behaviour is not solely a matter of women speaking up – men need to fix themselves, too. Using the hashtag #karlmennskan (literally, “masculinity”), Icelandic men on social media have been actively responding to the campaign.

Here’s a how just a few of these many men have responded, as translated by writer and Grapevine contributor Nanna Árnadóttir:

Icelandic men have been expressing gratitude for the campaign, saying that it has finally given them a chance to challenge gender norms, and to undo their own conditioned behaviours. For example:

“My mother died when I was 16 years old, after an eight-year fight with Motor Neurone Disease,” Einar Þór Gústafsson tweets. “I didn’t cry, and showed up for work the next day. Took me ten years to open the wound and grieve for her. Haven’t done it since. Twenty years later, thanks to #karlmennskan I did that today!”

As previously reported, there is no rule saying that you can only write in Icelandic for this hashtag, so men of all languages are encouraged to take part in using the #karlmennskan hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.


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