Break Free From Toxic Masculinity

Men's Dating

Break Free from Toxic Masculinity: How This Content Creator is Changing the Game

Cassey Ashley Sua

Written by: Cassey Ashley Sua

Cassey Ashley Sua

Cassey blends her background in social and human behavior, along with digital marketing, seamlessly into her writing. With a versatile portfolio spanning Tourism, E-commerce, Tech, Hospitality, and Medical industries, she weaves meaningful narratives that resonate with audiences. Connecting words into sentences is her craft, but Cassey also finds joy in forming genuine connections with people from all walks of life on LinkedIn.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Discuss This! Discuss This!

The Short Version: Men’s dating expert Samir Mourani has a passion for creating open, judgment-free environments where men can share their vulnerabilities and redefine masculinity. Through Gent’s Post and Gent’s Talk podcast, he fills the gap with practical advice and interviews with notable figures to discuss and promote these important topics. These discussions normalize emotional dialogue to empower men and overcome societal stigmas.

Societal norms have conditioned us to see women as emotional and men as stoic. Women can express their feelings openly, while men are expected to keep it all in or risk being called feminine. 

There are obvious differences with how men and women navigate personal challenges in life. It’s not considered weak when women gather their closest friends and share intimate thoughts about what’s troubling them. Men, on the other hand, have always been taught to “man up” and deal with challenges with a tough exterior. 

On top of this, women have access to a huge library of resources to help overcome breakups, feeling unheard, and just embracing self-expression.

Nobody should feel like they need to keep their emotions hidden, so why are men not allowed to let their guards down every once in a while? Masculinity doesn’t have to be toxic.

Amid these old-school notions that tell men to bottle up their feelings, Samir Mourani and his business partner saw an urgent need for change and launched Gent’s Post, intended to be a space to redefine masculinity and destigmatize emotional expression among men.

Gent’s Post taps into vulnerable beginnings of self-reflection to change the game for men. It encourages limitless expression and empowerment, all while influencing an end to traditional toxic masculinity.

The Inspiration Behind Gent’s Post

Samir and his wife decided to part ways in early March 2020. So he did what any typical man would do to bury his emotions and heartache — he distracted himself with sports, going out, and hitting the gym.

This worked for a while… until it couldn’t. Spoiler alert: Pandemic lockdowns came into full effect by the end of March 2020.

Without any distractions and more time than ever to himself, it was almost as if Samir had no choice but to confront any unresolved issues from his past. He just didn’t know where to begin.

Addressing emotional struggles is like cutting into an onion; the more you cut, the more painful it gets until you eventually find yourself in a pool of your own tears (not literally, but it still stings, right?).

This can be especially difficult for men since they’ve been conditioned to think that vulnerability and emotional expression are considered weak. 

practicing vulnerability
Practicing vulnerability will improve your relationships and your life.

Getting vulnerable is not something that comes as second nature to many men. And unfortunately, this has led many men, like Samir himself, to simply bury their emotions, no matter how painful it is.

Recognizing this, Samir and his now-business partner decided to further discuss what’s missing from the men’s lifestyle space. To no one’s surprise, they found that there was a huge gap to fill. 

Men didn’t have anywhere to go for deeper conversations during which they could open up about their mental well-being, relationship struggles, confidence, grooming, or other personal development topics. 

All they could do at that point was just keep it to themselves.

And thus, Gent’s Post was founded. With a little stroke of luck, they were also able to land an interview with comedian Russell Peters, which then kick-started the Gent’s Talk Podcast (ranked in the top 5% globally on Spotify), where they cover long-form discussions on similar topics.

Through these mediums, they’ve created safe spaces for men to really dig deep into their feelings and prompt discussions that go beyond just the surface level.

Positive Masculinity and Vulnerability

Masculinity is often defined by traits typically associated with men. These can include qualities such as strength, stoicism, independence, and assertiveness. These are traits that can be acceptable (and even celebrated) if a woman were to display them. 

But a man letting their guard down and displaying vulnerability? That’s probably considered weak. In a similar vein, positive traits that get highlighted in relationships are also considered more feminine.

“People misconstrue vulnerability and associate it with weakness,” Samir said.

Past negative experiences and the fear of being judged tend to encourage men to resist opening up, even though women actually find it refreshing when men show vulnerability. 

approach conversations even when they feel uncomfortable
Sensitive conversations can feel uncomfortable, but they are crucial to your mental health.

Creating a mutual openness where men are able to feel safe to discuss their struggles can encourage them to be more public about expressing their emotions.

Instead of making a joke or shutting down vulnerability, you can instead say, “I’m here, I’m willing to listen and lend you an ear.” This alone encourages more men to embrace positive masculinity and vulnerability.

“I mean, it’s amazing how just simply talking about something out loud, getting it out of you is such a big step forward,” Samir said. “For a lot of men, that alone is a breakthrough for so many of us.”

Samir continued to tell us that there are challenges that men face in balancing positive masculinity with societal expectations. Samir emphasizes that a step in the right direction is that vulnerability should be shared appropriately, not indiscriminately. 

This can significantly improve relationships in various aspects of a man’s life, including work, dating, family, and even self-relationship.

Encouraging Conversations Among Men

When asked if he had any advice for men to get better at expressing vulnerability, Samir simply said that guys want to talk, but they are unsure of the reaction they’ll get once they do start talking.

“If you encourage a man to open up to you, how you receive it is very important,” Samir said. “If you shut it down in the wrong way, it reinforces this inherent psychological idea that men can’t have these conversations with women because they don’t want to hear it. They’ll think of you as weak.”

vulnerable conversations
Create relationships where you feel comfortable having vulnerable conversations.

Gentle nudges and asking respectful questions can slowly open a man up in ways that may be uncomfortable at first. It helps if there is at least one person who can lead the conversation and tell a man that it’s a safe space to express their vulnerability and get talking.

“In the same way that women talk to other women, it exists for men, too. It’s just we don’t do it enough that we don’t think it’s a thing,” he said.

Today, some of his most valuable relationships came through playing video games together. Normalizing these vulnerable conversations in-game helped to build a foundation to have similar conversations when meeting face-to-face because of the level of comfort that already exists there.

He correlates this to weekend retreats for men. When they are out together in the privacy of the wilderness, conversations and self-expression suddenly become second nature to them, and they feel less judged.

Looking Ahead

The journey toward genuine emotional expression among men starts now.

Even though we’ve become more accepting and understanding of the struggles men go through, Samir said we’ve still got a long way to go. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so the same goes for fostering comfortable environments for men to have open conversations.

“How to go forward is really, truly find another man or another group of men that you’re comfortable with having conversations with,” he said.

gents post
Gent’s Post and the Gent’s Talk podcast help men break free from negative patterns.

Gent’s Post and the Gent’s Talk podcast play important roles in highlighting and normalizing dialogues that help to redefine masculinity. These discussions are helping men move away from toxic masculinity and closer to healthier, empowering, and more fulfilling lives.

“There’s an inherent need and interest in becoming a better version of ourselves, breaking free of the societal chains,” Samir said. “This fear that it makes you less of a man is the biggest thing that we need to overcome.”

It’s time to lead conversations with vulnerability! The next time you’re with a guy, a simple “How’s life been for you?” could just lead to deeper conversations of the heart. It’s a win-win situation — he gets to release pent up emotions, and you’ve just done your part to unlock a safe space for positive masculinity!