Not cool, a sign of weakness

The title of a May 16 article by Arwa Mahdawi in The Guardian was: “Men are less likely to wear masks–another sign that toxic masculinity kills.”

Ms. Mahdawi cited an article by Anagha Srikanth in The Hill entitled “Men less likely to wear face masks because they’re ‘not cool’ and ‘a sign of weakness’ says study.” The subtitle was “‘Toxic masculinity’ is putting men at risk of getting coronavirus, new research shows.”

This research was by London’s Middlesex University and Berkeley’s Mathematical Science Research Institute. A report of the survey of 2,459 people in the US was written by Valerio Capraro and Hélène Barcelo, entitled “The effect of messaging and gender intentions to wear a face covering to slow down COVID-19 transmission.”

This must be an era of long titles and subtitles.

The final sentence of the report’s abstract was: “Men more than women agree that wearing a face covering is shameful, not cool, a sign of weakness, and a stigma; and these gender differences also mediate gender differences in intentions to wear a face covering.”

This raises a question for men: Is wearing a mask not cool, a sign of weakness? Or, is “toxic masculinity” not cool, a sign of weakness? More about that in tomorrow’s post.

From the Boston Globe, May 27, 2020, “Trump’s refusal to wear a mask is helping politicize a crucial tool for fighting virus,” by Liz Goodwin, photo by Evan Vucci/Associated Press

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