Help! I’m a toxic man and I can’t get up!

Zackary Henson
4 min readMar 8, 2021


That’s right…

I’m a man and I’m masculine. I’ve hurt women, I’ve had selfish endeavors, I’ve obsessed about sex, I’ve left women feeling embarrassed and hollow, I’ve built a body to cover my insecurities, I’ve avoided talking about my emotions and emotionally manipulated my partners…I’ve been a bad boy.

Do you know what else I’ve been? What a lot of other men have been?

I’ve been able to fess up to my mistakes. I’ve questioned my own masculinity, and the father that perpetuated the shitty version of it. I’ve made phone calls and had conversations where I apologized for being cold and being uncompassionate. I’ve found out how to be confident, how to be something else besides the machismo, how to challenge other men, how to find healthy outlets that make me mentally, physically and spiritually stronger. And I’ve learned how to embrace and adore the female wisdom, even when it sucks and I disagree. And I’m not even saying this to diminish the real issues that masculinity has.

Men today are getting put in the corner. Men today are getting scolded not just for what they are today, but also what they were yesterday. Like…before we even existed; they are getting attacked for what past generations were.

Now, I’m all for calling out the bullshit. I know for FACT that there are many men that cause the stereotype that most of society has on men today. I also very much understand it. It’s a real problem. It’s also a very real problem that was instigated by the missing wisdom of past generations, and an old masculinity that doesn’t work in today’s world.

I’ve personally spent countless hours working on myself. I’ve read so many books written by the wisest people that I can find about personal shadow work, male personality types and the causes of childhood traumas in boys. I’ve listened and chased the work of relationship therapists, psychologists, and psychotherapists. I’ve studied stoicism and Buddhism….all in an effort to make myself a better man than I ever have been.

But do you want to know what it’s done?

It showed me some of the most important things in life that maintain clarity against the constant battle of reactive society.

All of what I gained showed me perspective, which means that no matter what I say, it doesn’t mean that it’s right. It showed me balance, meaning that any complete sway in one direction(masculine and feminine for example) without the balance of the other creates chaos. And last but not least, even when I attack a problem, I don’t get to blanket a whole entity — in this case men — and assume that everything about that entity is wrong or evil.

Truly…I understand that men are off the rails a lot of times. I realize that majoritively the male masculine energy is damaged and men are doing it wrong. I know there is machismo, violence, crime, emotional and physical abuse, and emotional deflection that men today need to detach from. But, in order to overcome the demon, I think we have to understand how it became one.

If men were evil, then who taught them to be? If men are supposed to be vulnerable and strong and committed, is anyone giving them the space to do so? If men are attached to a fake and toxic masculine, then what has society done to assist it?


Yeah, the roots of the issue need to be discussed more than the issue itself in order to make change…

I personally don’t think anything can be positively changed without having compassion for how it came to be. Men are not evil, and they are not the problem. Masculinity itself is not the problem. Masculinity is damaged, and in an ever evolving world, it may have just not been able to keep up with the times. Men have to been shown where they are lacking in minds that think they already have it all.

However, we cannot blanket men as a whole. We cannot destroy an energy that is meant to be the other half of a whole and balanced energy. There are good men today that are trying their asses off to be the men that the world needs and the women that desire them.

To all the men out there who are healthy and honest with the world, I see you. To all the men never giving up even when parts of society have given up on you, I see you. If you are a man ever-progressing and learning to be healthy, grab a couple other men and pull them along with you.

And to all the men giving a complete sex a bad name, it’s time to change. Face yourself, face your insecurities, become vulnerable when necessary, and start leaning on emotional wisdom and ACCEPTING the feminine and all the wisdom that it and it’s women bring to the table.

Question everything.



Zackary Henson

Writer who questions everything. Self, Behavior, Perspective, Connection. Truth and love.