An antidote to poisonous masculinity: The moss bros of TikTok

Anybody who has been paying a lot consideration to current information might be very conscious of the pitfalls related to “conventional” masculinity. From the determined demonstrations of the so-called Proud Boys to the “Wolverine Watchmen” charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, sure expressions of testosterone are reaching new ranges of derangement.

However not all bands of bros advantage their very own Southern Poverty Regulation Heart extremist group entry. Permit me to current to you a much-needed palate cleanser: The moss bros of TikTok and Instagram. They’re a small however mighty subset of men, who’re extraordinarily obsessed with all method of greenery: moss, grass, bushes, clover, bamboo, miscellaneous shrubbery, you identify it. Bros rhapsodizing over this and that sort of sprout. Bros cooing appreciatively over a chartreuse-blanketed rock. Bros merely marveling at leaves.


What do you concentrate on moss lawns? #foryou #foryoupage #dankmemes #memes #grass #ilikegrass #mosslawn #moss #grasstok #grassmemes #inexperienced#greenscreen

♬ Nostalgia – Aye foo

I may watch the video above 1000 occasions to appease me to sleep. Only a man extolling the ecological advantages of moss, nothing extra, nothing much less? Sure, thanks.

Do I sense slightly resistance to the admiration of a nature-loving gentleman? Comprehensible. It’s an archetype that’s not essentially new; males — and for a few years, nearly solely white males — have lengthy been celebrated for their celebration of nature. John Muir cherished nothing greater than morning mild on a mountain face. Henry David Thoreau wrote a complete e book a couple of pond! Johann Wolfgang von Goethe made a complete literary and scientific profession out of simply fascinated with and admiring nature nonstop.

However whenever you look deeper into the beliefs a few of these guys held round points like race, class, and gender, it’s clear they have been deeply problematic. For all his contributions to the establishment of nationwide parks and public land, Muir utilized a classically chauvinistic and imperialist method to conservation. Thoreau actually did love the hell out of that pond, however his mother did his laundry! A few of Goethe’s extra well-known strains on nature may go as one of many creepier Tinder messages you may obtain! (“With all males she performs a recreation for love, and rejoices the extra they win. With many, her strikes are so hidden, that the sport is over earlier than they realize it.”)

A key attribute of this environmental strand of poisonous masculinity is the need to dominate nature in some kind. In the meantime, with each new development of local weather change, nature is dominating us with rising seas and fires and unlivable warmth. People have been by no means those in cost!

However people — cough, males — can get mad whenever you remind them how little management they really have. Political scientist Cara Daggett proposed a principle of “petro-masculinity,” or the affiliation of fossil gas exploitation and aggressive machismo. In a type of manifesto of the idea, she posits “fossil gas use as violent compensation for the anxieties provoked by each gender and local weather bother.” A way of a sure lifestyle slipping away — one depending on fossil gas extraction — can provoke an excellent stronger insistence that these dangerous practices proceed.

And the way retro is that! It’s 2020 — will we nonetheless count on males to be so rigid? So, dare I say it, disrespectful? Uncaring?

Which brings us again to the attraction of moss bros. Greatest-case state of affairs, they’re proof that delightfully pure enthusiasm nonetheless exists in a world that’s more and more daunting and sophisticated; on the very least, they offer a convincing efficiency of earnest and inclusive deference to the good outdoor. Moss bros simply wish to respect and look after nature, and so they need you to expertise that, too.


native biodiversity > grass lawns #atmosphere #earth #savetheearth #ScienceAtHome

♬ unique sound – tobias

“I simply wished to exhibit to everybody that there’s a lot magnificence within the Earth; I do know magnificence may be very subjective, however I really feel like I wished to convey that,” mentioned famous moss bro Casey Shultis. Within the spring of this 12 months, he began a nature appreciation TikTok the place he celebrates forests and mountains and, sure, moss. When that actually took off, he began contributing to a different account referred to as EcoTok — based by Alex Silva, Sabrina Wisbiski, and Alaina Wooden — the place he talks extra typically about local weather and environmental points.

“Particularly this 12 months, there’s loads of unhealthy stuff happening, and I actually wished to point out my love so different folks may present that in addition they cared,” he mentioned. “I really feel there’s this stigma round masculinity, that it comes by driving an enormous truck and issues like that. However there’s this different masculinity the place it’s actually fascinating and funky to exhibit how you actually really feel about sure matters. And now individuals are demonstrating that they’re obsessed with nature and the Earth and the atmosphere and caring for it.”

It’s unimaginable to say whether or not these “different” masculinity beliefs will propagate into the mainstream. However in a 12 months once we are bombarded by one deranged and sometimes harmful show of machismo after one other, right here’s hoping the moss bro is the bro of the long run.


CORRECTION: An earlier model of this story incorrectly recognized Casey Shultis because the founding father of EcoTok. He’s a contributor to the account.

This story was initially revealed by Grist with the headline An antidote to poisonous masculinity: The moss bros of TikTok on Oct 9, 2020.