I often observe this in feminist and LGBTQ+ movements: Compared to mainstream, patriarchal structures, these movements have less hero-worship. There are heroes but people are not obsessed with worshiping them. I have been actively exploring the world of feminism through books and blogs over the last six months or so and I have noticed that there is no ‘centralized’ authority. Within feminism, there are various groups who incorporate feminist values and customize it according to the needs of the people around them. A feminist from a third world country might find it hard to relate to a white feminist and hence, women and men form their own groups instead of waiting for a leader to save them. Sure, there are issues. I saw some feminists calling other women “fake feminists”. However, it is refreshing to see people finding power within themselves.
In the same way, the LGBTQ+ movement has heroes too. The LGBT community is slowly getting some representation but other people like asexuals, demisexuals, pansexuals and a host of other ‘minorities’ within the LGBTQ+ community are still invisible in the mainstream culture. These people have found their voice on the internet and most of them stay away from hero-worship.
Maybe the reason why these movements are different from the mainstream hero-worshiping movements is because of the vulnerability. In toxic masculinity, people are forced to be aggressive, perfect, violent and stoic. Being vulnerable in a sin in such a culture. Hence, there is a need to create heroes who are flawless and “strong”. The people who worship them are fanatical, who cannot tolerate criticism against their ‘God-like’ hero. Feminist and LGBT movements, on the other hand, have space for vulnerability. The power comes from community and self and hence there is more self-respect. Vulnerability is considered a “feminine” thing even though every human being feels it. Since women are considered inferior, vulnerability is also considered inferior. Since gays, lesbians, transgenders, asexuals etc challenge the stereotypical ideas of ‘male’ and ‘female’, they are also considered inferior. A man is supposed to be attracted to women…and if a man is attracted to men, then he must be feminine (and is, therefore, inferior). A woman MUST be defined by a (heterosexual) man and if she is attracted to another female, she must be inferior. New ideas challenge our old patterns..and we feel vulnerable. So a society that celebrates toxic masculinity shuns anybody who doesn’t fit into traditional gender roles.