We live in a world soaked in toxic masculinity. It’s so pervasive that, in many cases, we’re a bit like the fish who don’t understand that they’re living in water. Water is all they’ve ever known and, so, they really can’t imagine anything else. Sure, maybe once in a while a few of them jump up, grab a fly, and come back to explain that there’s another world up there, but the other fish look at them as if they had two heads, scoff, and go back to swimming through water.
Even when we attempt to imagine how the world could look if it weren’t soaked in toxic masculinity, we often have trouble. Thus, one often sees discussions about how men can be “warriors,” and protect their communities. Or Jung’s archetype of the king, symbolized by the Emperor card in the Tarot, is sometimes believed to be the best we can do: stern, unyielding, rigid, but, at least, maybe, kind of fair. We simply don’t have many models.
Mr. Rogers provides one such model and having more men like Mr. Rogers in our communities seems absolutely necessary if we’re ever going to create a better world. I’m sure he’s not the only model of helpful masculinity, but, in a world where it’s difficult to even conceive of such a thing, he’s one light in the darkness.