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Teacher slammed for ingraining toxic masculinity by mocking kid who waved goodbye to his Mom

Joanna Neary was scared it would set off a pattern that would lead to it changing his character for the worse.

Teacher slammed for ingraining toxic masculinity by mocking kid who waved goodbye to his Mom
Image source: Elementary age student leaving for school waves goodbye to his parents/Getty Images Insert: Twitter/MsJoNeary

A young mother was heartbroken after her nine-year-old son told her he didn't want to wave her goodbye anymore at school. Joanna Neary, who's a comedian, was angry that her son's teacher played a huge role in the development because he had mocked her son for waving goodbye at her. Neary took to Twitter to share her frustration, writing, "Yesterday, a male teacher openly mocked my son for turning back at the school gate to wave goodbye to me. Today, my son said he wants to stop waving from now on. This is how it starts."



The 49-year-old was concerned that it would lead to long-term changes in her son's behavior, reported Mirror. The last thing the world needs is another boy stifled by toxic masculinity and his teacher mocking her son for expressing his emotions was a clear turn in that direction. Twitter called out the teacher for ingraining toxic masculinity in a boy, especially during his formative years which can alter the path of his life. Neary, who's known for her podcast Wife on Earth, said her tweet wasn't aimed at men. "I feel sorry for any teacher who feels the need to mock a nine-year-old for showing love and affection. What does it say about their childhood? Be gentle with our boys," she said, before adding that she was hoping her son would "rediscover his happy waving self." The post went viral garnering more than 103k likes and was shared 12k times.  



Neary said she would talk to her son about it. "My son misses me so much, it makes him visibly better to wave goodbye for as long as he likes, I can tell. Sometimes he blows kisses too. I’ll have a chat with him about it tonight," she wrote. Toxic masculinity has been around for centuries," writes the Children's Society about it. "It puts pressure on men to think they need to have a strong physique, hide their emotions, and act in an aggressively dominant way. It’s seen in advertising, pop culture, and now toxic imagery is more accessible to young people through social media. Young men are constantly confronted by toxic male culture and images of what it is to 'be a man.'" The charity said toxic masculinity leads to men displaying dominance and aggression and it's often directed at women. "It is harmful to our society as a whole. This desire for superiority challenges women's basic human rights and can be linked to the prevalence of harassment and sexual assaults," said the charity.



Twitter was furious with the teacher, with many saying that simple actions from irresponsible teachers can have lasting effects on an impressionable kid. One person said in, "As a teacher myself, I'd be having a chat with the school about "the little things" that negatively impact on kids' mental well-being. This sort of attitude is judgey and out of touch. The school will list mental health as a priority but actions like this show the work needed." Neary responded, "I would love to train to go into schools and work on this myself. We can help and protect all children by supporting them in expressing their feelings."  




Some others also recalled the trauma inflicted by their teachers. "As a 10-yr-old overweight child, I was called fatty by a student-teacher. My classmates went wild with delight and you can imagine how they saw it as a green light to tease me. That I can remember this over 50 years later shows the impact teachers have on kids’ emotional health," wrote Jayne Elliott. Many encouraged Neary to report the teacher. "I’d be having a word with the teacher and the headteacher too. I still remember how my English teacher mocked me in front of the whole class. This sort of thing stays with people forever," wrote one person.


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