How Practical is it for Women to be Submissive to Their Husbands in Modern Society


What is “toxic masculinity”?


Being promiscuous as a sign of manhood, hiding their emotions (and those who don’t are called ‘gay’, young boys being told that boys should not cry), forcing rigid gender stereotypes (eg a guy who has no interest in sports, hunting etc is less of a man), sexually abused men being made fun of for being traumatized…you get the idea.


Huh? My idea of “true masculinity” and “traditional men” is based on my father, who was born in the 1920s.
He was a steady and responsible worker, provided for his family, paid his debts and taxes and didn’t overspend, was kind, was honest, came home every night, was faithful to his wife, voted in elections, set a good example, spent some time with his child every day, did not drink to excess (hardly drank at all actually), did not abuse substances, almost never lost his temper, did not boss people around, did not hit or verbally abuse his wife and child, was very reliable, tried to impart moral values to his child when necessary.

Many of the men I have known in my life have tried to act basically the same way with their wives and families. Whether they succeeded or sometimes failed, I’ve never seen a man called a “pariah” for acting in the ways above. The men who I’ve seen get criticized are usually failing big time in one or more of these areas.

Edited to add, aside from the fact that we do not have children, my husband acts pretty much all the same ways as above and nobody has ever criticized him for it as far as I know.


That sounds like quite a nebulous concept, a kind of dumping ground for things men do that we don’t like. Surely it would be more profitable to condemn different types of behaviour individually rather than bunch them together and label them as a variant of masculinity - that seems rather prejudiced to me as these aren’t exclusively male behaviours.


Well considering that these behaviors are more prevalent in young men, it makes sense to label this as a guy’s problem since they themselves think these behaviors are masculine. It’s hardly prejudiced at all, there are plenty of guys, traditional catholics included that are focused on targeting the secular idea of manhood. Kind of like how catholics here are going against ‘feminism’ because of abortion, because feminists themselves think abortion is a feminist issue.


Perhaps looking to and imitating The Holy Family will help with this ongoing dilemma.


There are certain topics where I would agree with you. For example, the idea that mansplaining is a thing men do is ridiculous to me. But honestly for this…i can see why there’s a term given to it. It makes men think that these behaviors are what ‘real men’ would do. These behaviors will eventually lead to bullying, depression in males, sexual abuse against women etc. Calling it out forces them to rethink their idea of what it means to be a man and hopefully that’s where catholics will step it and offer the right way.


Turning something into a meaningless buzzword doesn’t help anything. Go to any town centre on a Friday or Saturday night and you’ll see plenty of young women drunk and behaving just as badly as men do. Contraception and abortion encourages women to be just as promiscuous as men. Secular society celebrates promiscuity in both sexes, it’s empowering for women, apparently, but toxic for men. Male victims of domestic abuse aren’t taken seriously or provided for because “toxic” men are perpetrators, not victims.

The whole thing smacks of one of those asinine vagaries that gets bandied around these days in lieu of actually thinking.


I think mansplaining is a thing (guys explaining things in great detail to women without asking if it’s necessary), but as I’ve posted before, “momsplaining” is also a thing. (Momsplaining is my term for when mothers explain in enormous detail how to perform a daily task to somebody who has been doing it more or less successfully and surviving for the last 20 years.)


Go look at Leah101’s list of toxic masculinity behaviors again: “Being promiscuous as a sign of manhood, hiding their emotions (and those who don’t are called ‘gay’, young boys being told that boys should not cry), forcing rigid gender stereotypes (eg a guy who has no interest in sports, hunting etc is less of a man), sexually abused men being made fun of for being traumatized.”

I think there’s a big difference here in that while society may applaud promiscuity in young women (or some of society does), mainstream culture doesn’t say that being non-promiscuous is unfeminine, or a sign that a woman is a loser.

Toxic masculinity (as typically understood) is mostly about ideas that make life harder for boys and men.


Do you think that girls don’t call other girls “frigid” or “prudish” or “old fashioned” or “boring” because they won’t get drunk, so drugs and sleep around? Or that girls who want to hold onto their virginity until they’re married aren’t seen as losers by other girls? I certainly remember that happening at school, college and university.

I’m not disputing that these behaviours are undesirable, I’m saying that labelling them as “toxic masculinity” is unhelpful and sexist. It a) implies that masculinity is inherently toxic (otherwise we’d just call them ‘undesirable behaviours’) and b) only men do it. My main problem with it is that it’s a meaningless umbrella term. It lacks any substantive or empirical definition and simply encourages stereotyping and dismissiveness.

All demographics have certain behaviours that are more prevelant among them than others. I presume you’d be equally happy with calling something “toxic femininity” or “toxic black culture”?


Toxic masculinity basically means attributing a toxic behavior to masculinity. Ie being promiscuous is not toxic masculinity, but saying you got to sleep around to be a real man is. You don’t seem to be understanding this part. If a woman were to say that I have to wear immodest clothing to be a real woman, that would be toxic femininity, bc their idea of femininity is toxic.

Women and black people ARE doing this. No need to be so triggered. Black people are pointing out black problems like homophobia, dead beat fathers, corporal punishment etc. Women are calling out other women for comparison etc and are literally calling each other misogynistic for it.

Edit: this is one of those few umbrella terms that is actually helping. Men are coming out and acknowledging it. There’s this actor called Justin Baldoni, I think, who’s making a talk show where it supposedly encourages men to be more loving and supportive to each other to combat the stereotypical idea of what it means to be a real man. Again, I reiterate that the bad behaviors isn’t the main issue, it’s how men feel they have to do that to be considered a real man, how a guy who doesn’t fit in that box is shunned etc. Take your time, read it slowly, and continue this discussion over PMs instead of making us derail the thread further.


In an attempt to bring back the focus:

I don’t know about the specifics of submission, but as for life skills, women should be able to learn them and should be able to hold down some sort of job in case something bad happens. You really don’t have to be a woman without a degree. Although as a poor person here, getting a degree and being a sahm is a waste of money for me. I wouldn’t bother pursuing an education if it means I can’t invest in it in the future. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to pay for school just for the sake of a backup plan, go for it


First off, this is going to be culturally specific. While I think I ran into this once or twice in high school, I never saw girls call other girls " “frigid” or “prudish” or “old fashioned” or “boring”" “because they won’t get drunk, so drugs and sleep around” in my peer group in college. It wasn’t that everybody was particularly moral, it’s just that people mostly did their own thing with other people who were into whatever that thing was and didn’t call each other names.

Secondly, “frigid,” “prudish,” “old fashioned,” and “boring” aren’t the same as telling girls that they are unfeminine for not sleeping around, drinking and doing drugs. There’s not as strong a cultural link between femininity and those things as there is between masculinity and those things–at least in the US.

Calling it “toxic masculinity” does not imply that all masculinity is toxic, in fact the term implicitly suggests that there is both healthy masculinity and toxic masculinity.


Aha. “Toxic masculinity” “triggered” … all the hallmarks of a serious debate.


Read the Sheen book. Spiritual truths are timeless.


Is it free? (genuine question)



Thank you! I’ll read and report whether it does anything for me (because honestly nothing about the faith is doing it for me atm so be prepared for future whines)


Ephesians chapter 5, in the Greek original, does not have the word “submit.” The word “submit” was added by the translators to make themselves look good, which is to say, their goal was to give the SENSE of the scripture. Fr. John Riccardo who is heard on EWTN radio has a series of podcasts on the Theology of the Body, which was originally expounded by St John Paul II.

it wasn’t too hard to find Riccardo’s podcast ( may be 50 min in length )

There is only ONE command in Ephesians chapter 5, and that is for husbands to love their wives AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH. – per Fr Riccardo – how is that ? – to the last drop of their blood. THAT is the man you want to marry. who loves you that much.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit