SFU researchers discover that literal toxic masculinity exists

The toxic element “NoHomonium” found to be excreted when the patriarchy is reinforced

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Illustration by Alisha Lee

By: Gene Cole

SFU chemists and sociobiologists have found out that there may be EVEN more harm connected to intense forms of masculinity than just condescendingly explained alpha-male theories and threatening fraternity chanting during male-dominated events. The varied group of researchers has recently found that these kinds of terrifying habits can also lead to a physiological change where pores on the body secrete a toxic airborne chemical named NoHomonium (NoHo). It has been confirmed that it is not fatal, but many of the symptoms can lead to permanent neural damage and social isolation.

The discovery of this occurred during an unrelated study concerning male sexual openness, where participants were asked their interest in intercourse with a variety of people. When shown attractive men, many (but not all) of the straight participants who expressed interest also had an intense impulse to clarify their sexual orientation — despite none of the researchers making a comment on their choices. After the most aggressively masculine participants had answered the question, an odour that smelled like gasoline and energy drinks filled the room — and less traceable amounts of these compounds were found within most of the overly defensive straight men.

This was found to be a feature of the toxins expelled through skin pores by men who exercise questionable beliefs of masculinity, which the researchers have now deemed “NoHomonium” after the phrase many of them exclaimed during their unnecessary explanation. The danger of NoHo is that it travels like a disease, causing those who inhale the toxin to be at risk of developing NoHo cells that generate more of themselves. After it grows and attaches, it adapts the host’s body to expel it automatically and continue reproducing.

There are two symptoms that the toxic element NoHomonium cause when found in humans. The first is a complete inability to maintain conversation based on typical social norms. This is due to generators that attach themselves to the neural pathways responsible for person-to-person interaction, which in turn cause the victim to focus on highly unrelated topics of conversation. Common unrelated topics of conversation include their sexual orientation, as well as a desire to impolitely insult topics of conversation they may not relate to (such as insulting someone’s preferred alcoholic drinks because they’re “too girly” or “lame”). The other affected area is the amygdala — the emotional centre of the brain — which when infected, results in an unhealthy restriction in expressing emotion and instead presenting an unnatural machismo persona in all situations.

Treatment is currently still in development, as many of those infected with the toxin can also be uninterested in improving their condition because they are unaware of the harm these behaviours can cause to themselves and others. However, the surgeon general has suggested that if anyone recognizes these symptoms in their friends or family members that they should do what they can to encourage them to get their blood tested and to report to the head research office to find a cure for toxic masculinity before it becomes a fully normative trait of humankind. In addition, while this toxin can develop on its own, it’s strongly recommended that you also get yourself tested if you’ve recently been in a high risk area of exposure to NoHomonium. These include barbeque competitions, competitive sport games, and bars airing World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-view events.