In the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, he points out many social issues among them is domestic violence and toxic masculinity. Domestic violence is the act of abuse whether verbally or physically within one’s home. Toxic Masculinity is the idea that men are meant to be strong, unemotional, above women and HIGHLY respected and when these are ‘threatened’ it causes people to sometimes get violent to defend their masculinity. Throughout the play there are multiple men in that take their masculinity seriously but the main male character is Stanley Kowalski. His masculinity in this play is viewed as toxic masculinity because he retaliates when he feels someone came on and questioned his masculinity. Stanley toxic masculinity leads to his violence against women.
In the play Stanley has a short temper and lets his masculinity control him which then causes him to hit the women that disrespect him. Stella who’s Stanley’s wife once ‘disrespected Stanley while he was drunk at a poker game. She said “Drunk – Drunk – animal thing you!” That led to Stanley feeling his masculinity being threatened leading him to charge at Stella and hit her. She of course ran off but he used the fact that he was drunk as an excuse for hitting her because a second later he played it off and said he didn’t know what happened. Toxic masculinity no one is safe from if you say something towards someone who takes their manhood seriously they will come at you in a way. When Blanche first came into Stanley and Stella’s home, Stanley introduced himself and while doing so he asked Blanche if he can take off his shirt and he did so. He thinks women are only meant for his pleasure and believes that no women would ever criticize him and when they do he either yells or hits the women that ‘threaten’ his masculinityDomestic violence from a male is usually due to toxic masculinity.
This is due to the fact that men feel their masculinity threatened or afraid people view them as ‘weak’. But the real case is toxic masculinity can lead to so much more than domestic violence but to mass shootings. The Pulse Nightclub shooter, which was the man opened fire in Gay NightClub and killed 489 people and injured 58 others and later died in a shootout with the police was abusive and beat his first wife repeatedly and threatened to kill his second wife after physically abusing her too. The terrorist who shot at least 70 rounds in a Republican members of congress at a baseball practice, physically abused his daughter and other women. The man who killed 3 people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic who had dreamt about seeing the fetuses in heaven, was accused of physical abuse by 2 of his ex-wives and previously arrested on a count of sexual violence and rape. So you can see that when some men find their dignity or masculinity seen as littler than what they believe they won’t just sit back and take it but what they would do is retaliate.
Toxic Masculinity can get very violent and very dangerous fast. In scene ten Stanley just got home from taking Stella to the hospital to have their baby. Mitch had just left because he found out that Blanche had a reputation in Laurel and because of that Blanche started to drink her way out of reality. Stanley asked what happened and she basically lied to him telling him that Mitch had come back and ‘begged for her forgiveness’ but Stanley knew where Mitch had been and he for sure knew that he didn’t come back. Stanley didn’t like Blanche very much from the start he even told her while all this was happening he said “I’ve been onto from the start! Not once did you pull any wool over this boy’s eyes!” It was at this point that he started to let her know how he felt.
She lied to everyone from the start and he felt like by lying to him she was saying he wasn’t manly enough. He unraveled on her, he started yelling at her and hit her she knew she was in danger so she took a glass bottle smashed it on the table and wanted to use the broken end of the bottle as protection. He lunged at her and tried to take away the bottle they wrestled and he picked her up threw her on the bed and raped her.
Toxic masculinity can cause people to do things that an average person wouldn’t do because they don’t take their masculinity as serious as Stanley does. In this case some people might say she provoked him to do what he did. There is never a RIGHT reason as to why beats someone let alone rape them. Toxic masculinity can cause pain, incidents and death to some people because what may be a ‘joke’ to some may be the worst thing you say to someone else.Stanley Kowalski’s masculinity caused more pain towards the women near him than to himself.
In reality masculinity norms are ‘Don’t cry, don’t show weakness and don’t act like a girl’ but once a man takes on that seriously it becomes toxic to not only him but to his surroundings because it’ll cause him to overly react. All together Blanche and Stella’s injuries were the effects of toxic masculinity.