The Stigma of Sobriety and Toxic Male Culture
Toxic masculinity takes the stigma of addiction to a whole new level. It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot these days often by people who don’t quite understand it’s meaning. So what does it really mean and how is the prevalence of toxic masculinity impacting the rooms and the overall concept of recovery? In our recent episode, Bucky Sinister sheds some light.
On Toxic Masculinity in the Rooms
Bucky: That’s our number one thing we don’t want to look weak, especially guys who grow up kind of tough. I’ve seen guys who will not hold hands during the serenity prayer because it looks too weak or something. You know it looks like you’re showing affection to a man.
You would rather feel this bad than hold hands at the end of a meeting? And you know it’s like we don’t want to ask for help. We don’t want to, we don’t talk like that. But you hear guys say that all the time I got this. I got this is what you say before you die. You know like put that on your gravestone. I’ve seen people say that and then you know we bury them. Because they won’t admit that they need help.
You don’t want to give another guy your number? I’ve seen that – I didn’t want to. Some guys asking me for my number at the first meeting I went to like no way. Why do you want my number, Dude? Like what?! I don’t know you. What are you going to do, call me? No.
The problem is this tough guy stuff is going to kill you. The graveyard is full of tough guys.
This is going to take you out the straight white punk dude and it’s tough going to be tough going to be tough and it’s like I can’t go in this room and ask for help. I’ve got to drink whiskey and smoke meth because that’s what tough guys do.
Side Note: What is Toxic Masculinity?
Deb: The term “toxic masculinity” refers to the negative and often dangerous behaviors exhibited by individuals who hold an idealized notion of what it means to be “manly”. These behaviors usually represent an exaggeration of what society has traditionally dictated as uniquely male behavior. One example of this is not showing emotion or asking for help in an effort to appear “strong”. The hallmark of toxic masculinity is, in fact, its toxicity. The danger present to the individual exhibiting these traits extends to those around them. Further, these behaviors are frequently homophobic and misogynistic in nature in an attempt to overcompensate and exemplify characteristics of hypermasculinity.
On Writing “Get Up”
Bucky: The book the editor for the book was in the audience [one night]. I did the whole reading and she came up to me later and she’s someone I knew from the punk scene. And she said you know you should you should pitch this. [I said] I don’t like self-help books. Don’t like them. She’s like that’s who needs to be writing.
[I agreed to] pitch this and he was like well you have to write a proposal. A proposal is no small feat. It differs for every publisher but sometimes it’s writing 20-30 pages about a book, you have to come up with a list of chapter headings – for a book I didn’t even think I would write. So I wrote all these chapter headings and they took it. And then I just had to start writing. So there’s there’s some stuff in there that I kind of wrote the chapter title as a joke and then I was like, I actually have a lot of thoughts on this.I know it was a joke but there is something serious behind it.
On Being a Sober Performer
Bucky: I was reading the poems one night at the Beauty Bar beauty bar in San Francisco and it was part of noise pop this big music festival they had up they had these nights sex drugs and rock n roll. They asked me to read poems on drugs night. I’d read about something and then people would try to get me high later.
I got all these poems kind of funny about drinking, about living in a punk house in real life but I couldn’t have written this book unless I got sober. So please don’t buy me drinks. Don’t buy me the drinks I’m talking about in these poems. You know when I talk about drinking whiskey, please do not bring a whiskey to the stage. I don’t want to smell it.
And then lastly I’ll say like if you need help – I don’t mean anyone in here feel bad for drinking but if you do want to check out a meeting, let me know after the show.
Links and references
Buy Bucky’s Books:
Bucky will also be at the Light Hustler Storytelling event on Friday, July 27th, 2018, 8 pm
STORYTELLING (Open Space Cafe, 457 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles) – Eddie Pepitone (with special host Bucky Sinister)