“‘Cause you love, love, love/ When you know I can’t love/ You love, love, love/ When you know I can’t love you“
– “Love Love Love” by Of Monsters and Men
Through ideas such as Social Darwinism and the tenets of survival of the fittest, a large number of the population has developed the notion that loving others is perceived as a weakness. But the Greeks had names for seven different types of love, all for different occasions. Love is where we strive and grow and become better as a whole. It really makes one wonder, why is the notion that love is weak is so tightly held onto? Are we not social creatures after all?
If we break down the chemistry of social ideology, you see a large number of people who believe and follow the dog-eat-dog ideology. People see others as stepping stones for their own gains and aiding others will ultimately not be beneficial to their own interests. You can see it in parallel with the crab bucket mentality, where crabs put in buckets will pull each other down and never escape. Another more famous example is the alpha complex where the superior men (the alpha) are the ones most aggressive.
When one looks into the real world, the aggressive ideology can be found in abundance. In places like TikTok and Instagram, it’s not uncommon to see profiles advertising lifestyles geared towards that. These people can quickly gain traction that then cultivates a massive group of followers and dedicators who are hostile to outside opinions. With such a large root in the competitive nature of men being independent and better than all other men, it shuns those who don’t fit those categories. To ask for help and rely on others as a man is to have a moral failing upon yourself and to render yourself “weak”.
Because of thought processes like the alpha complex, it’s commonplace to hear “man up!” and “don’t be emotional!” in normal settings when one tries to express something close to them. If I say the phrase “toxic masculinity”, chances are that you as the reader would know what I’m talking about. Based on a belief of toughness, it’s an ideal for many men on how to be a “proper” man and to be better than others. Popular culture is so ingrained in the idea of “men” and “women” of “masculinity” and “femininity”, it permeates every part of daily life.
On both sides of the spectrum, the culture in which we live makes it difficult to break the norm that is placed upon a person when they grow up. Antiquated gender norms make it so that a large number of the population has a deepset perception of how to act. From the working days of old, there has been a separation saying women are inferior to men. Because of this separation, it places expectations and boundaries not crossable. It makes casual physical touch seen as something taboo and isolates us from some of the most basic human sensories.
2 thoughts on “Why is Affection Viewed as Weak by So Many?”
I like how you gave background information on a very broad subject, then narrowed it down to a very specific example of how we see it in everyday life. You applied Social Darwinism to TikTok pages and made it make sense.
I really enjoyed the topic you decided, one thing I liked in particular was the way you pointed out these problems in different aspects of everyday life where it may not have been inherently obvious.
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