Suicide, Toxic Masculinity And Stand-Up Comedy


The Green Rebel podcast.

Hosts Emily O’Callaghan and Irina Dzhambazova meet Tony Kelly,  actor, writer, producer, and comedian.

Emily writes:

A dynamic talent from Waterford in Ireland  Tony has the type of vision, determination, and drive which has resulted in him being asked to work at creative events on Broadway and beyond.

​In this interview, ​we learn about the observations Tony has ​made​ along the way​, from working in ​North ​America to acting, doing stand up comedy​, and being sober for over five years.

Th​e conversation also takes an unreserved deep dive into mental health​ ​of men here in Ireland….

The Green Rebel

73 thoughts on “Suicide, Toxic Masculinity And Stand-Up Comedy

  1. Not On Your Nelly

    “Toxic masculinity…” Americanisms make me sleepy. Lazy, repetitive and rebranded to fit for an Irish audience. It’s so transparent.

    Ireland isn’t what left leaning American think pieces retweeted by south dubliners would like to think it is.

    Twitter speak. I’m real life. I’m going back to bed. My bed is also toxic, do not breath the fumes.

    1. Yep

      Toxic masculinity can be perceived as men not being open about their feelings because they fear looking weak.

      This can lead to all sorts of mentalissues which can sadly lead to men taking their own lives.

      Not a fan of the term when used foe dressing baby boys in blue but can be quiet apt in this type of discussion.

      Get out of bed Ye lazy pup it’s lovely out! …or do you need to open up about something?

      1. Not On Your Nelly

        I know what it means. Oh boy!! Do I!!

        It’s the lazy use of it over here, the Americanisms, the wannabe LA think piece of it all. It’s just bad. Like those people on twitter who work in the “meeja” and think they are living in London. It’s all so bad. And tragic. And bad.

        Talk about Irish issues, great!!! Try to use normal, everyday Irish nomenclature. It’s more inviting and less “I’ve been to America”… aka “I follow left leaning echo chamber people who can’t find Ireland on a map”, if you want to reach those “toxic” men.

        1. Yep

          That’s fair. The term itself has become toxic when used with exclamation marks to complain about a boy dressed like a builder in a toys r us catalogue. “why couldn’t they give a GIRL a plastic hammer!”

          I suppose it’s to do with context and as younger generations adopt twitter speak it becomes a catchall for many things. It’s an annoying term no doubt.

    2. Harry Molloy

      Always makes me wonder if the people who use that phrase would consider any traits of masculinity to be anything other than toxic

      1. mildred st meadowlark

        I always just assumed it was just pushing an ultra agro alpha male into a vat of something green and acidic and laughing hysterically as I do it.

        But clearly I’m wrong. This version sounds boring by comparison.

      2. Nigel

        It’s used specifically to identify negative traits, with the attendant implication that there are other traits that are positive or neutral.

        1. Clampers Outside!

          Can you assist me, and name the traits, thanks. It should be easy for you to do, as you have said they are specifically identifiable, or to use your own wording, the phrase is used “specifically to identify negative traits”.

          A simple list will suffice.

          ( By the way, I am aware that scholars never defined what it is, even those who first used the phrase, but that shouldn’t hold you back from the specifics.
          Please do continue. )

          1. Clampers Outside!

            Women have that too. You said you have specifics pertaining to men and their supposed toxic masculinity.

            Please provide some of what you have claimed exists, thanks.

          2. Nigel

            Why would women having it preclude it from being an example of male toxic behaviour?

            Also: an ego that is both large and fragile resulting in constant demands for reassurance and viciously lashing out at perceived slights.

        2. Clampers Outside!

          To recap, you said “It’s used specifically to identify negative traits, with the attendant implication that there are other traits that are positive or neutral.”

          The phrase “used specifically to identify negative traits” of toxic masculinity, other than the positive/neutral traits.

          You have yet to provide these “identifiable” traits that are specific to, what is as yet not even defined as, “toxic masculinity”….

          I still await your list.

          1. Nigel

            It’s almost as if a good-faith effort to understand this concept would have yielded results before today when you are forced to beg answers from a fellow commenter with low regard for your critical thinking skills.

    3. Ian O Keefe

      South Dubliners where exactly? Rialto, Drimnagh, Inchicore? Or are you referring to the mythological Dublin in popular fiction which ignores the fact that Howth, Clontarf, Malahide etc are on the north side?

  2. Frilly Keane

    Walk around town with yere shurts off and hanging from the waist band of yere pants
    Showing off yere farmers tan lines
    And ripe B.O. swinging off ye like flies around a stinking brown bin

    That’ll do me for toxic masculinity

  3. Clampers Outside!

    “Toxic masculinity” is mentioned once, a little after 36 mins, in reference to men’s lack of emotional expression. Tony says immediately after that, that he’s never had any problem with expressing his emotions. The phrase is dropped in like a buzzword, just before he goes on to speak about suicide in Ireland. That’s it. It’s careless use of buzzwords like this that scupper real understanding.

    And i think Broadsheet editors are trolling readers here by throwing the phrase into the headline as if it were a large part of the interview, which it is not.

    From my own reading, it is a phrase used to pathologise masculinity. For example, it is used to refer to ‘stoicism’ as a negative characteristic of masculinity. There is nothing particularly wrong with stoicism. It is a positive characteristic one can call upon when in need, when faced with difficult and demanding situations.

    Also, if you go to Wikipedia, to again demonstrate poor use of the phrase, the editors there say that violent behaviour is a ‘cultural norm’ of masculinity, of ‘toxic masculinity’. Yet, if a particular behaviour is common or important to a society, and for this ‘cultural norm’ to be manifest, there should be evidence of a sizeable body of cultural artefacts celebrating, condoning and promoting this toxic men’s violence… but there are none, are there?

    Yo Bodger, you be trollin’ with that head line… naughty, *toxic behaviour :)
    * used in jest :)

    1. Harry Molloy

      interesting post clamps, thanks.

      I have often thought abetting stoicism in that context, I think an over abundance of it can and has been crippling to men.
      But it has its qualities too and certainly isn’t toxic, whatever anyone thinks

        1. Nigel

          Obviously the concept MUST be nonsensical. The ides that your understanding might be flawed is inconceivable.

          1. Clampers Outside!

            No, just the simple listing of traits as only specific to the concept of toxic masculinity. A concept which is itself of questionable validity – see link immediately below.

          2. Nigel

            Arrogantly assuming perfect understanding therefore any flaws detected through that understanding must be inherent to the concept?

          3. samwise_gangee

            Is this about the Church Nigel? Now be a good little lad and wash your face before you go to mass and let the priest hear your sins – you are carrying a stone on your back.

    1. Nigel

      Why next you’ll be telling us there aren’t scholarly definitions of manspreading, mansplaining and that joke about when it’s International Men’s Day.

          1. Nigel

            Could be worse. Could be LOLling and eye-rolling and head-desking and face-palming.

          2. Clampers Outside!

            I’m sure you did a little of each when you realised that there are no traits to list that are specific to toxic masculinity, that cannot be seen in either gender.

          3. Nigel

            What’s that you say men and women share personality traits could it be that women are human too?

      1. samwise_gangee

        Mansplaining….sheesh man, either you are one cucked dude or the best troll I’ve come across!

        If you actually fool yourself into believing this propagated parroted garbage, I’ll give you the benefit and assume it’s about social cred and getting laid….if not, you should see to set yourself free.

        1. Nigel

          Anyone who uses ‘cucked’ with a straight face has no business lecturing others about parroting garbage.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      It’s a discussion, why does the fact that, now six comments, are from myself have to be seen as an issue?
      Is it because you might realise I’m on the right track, that it is a bullpoo phrase, and a pseudo concept used by radical feminists for their man hating claptrap, I do wonder :)

  4. Steph Pinker

    Live and let live. Each and every one of us have differing and different life experiences; it’s human nature, and the myriad personalities as a consequence of the beauty of living as cognisant, thinking, physical and feeling beings.

      1. samwise_gangee

        Not necessarily – as you suggested, the term toxic masculinity has no universally accepted definition and changes with the context to which it is applied. It’s always interesting to see how it’s applied, even if this man using it casually – and broadsheet are baiting us with it.

        And when hen I see a flimsy fractally-inclined jibber-jabber comment about there being “myriads” of possibilities, permutations and combinations and that we all aught to sit down and look up…I press flush, even if Steven Pinker himself wrote that comment.

        1. Steph Pinker


          Firstly, please try to understand the observations and understanding I tried to convey; secondly, don’t deliberately misunderstand what I’ve written to suit your agenda and thinking; thirdly, don’t misquote me; and, finally, if you are going to abuse and use words and terms, do yourself a favour and learn what they mean before you shoe-horn them in to the misguided context of your own mind and impose them upon the rest of us.

          P.S. Enjoy the BS Bodger-Baiting – or get a life.

          1. samwise_gangee

            I have no doubt we all lead different lives. I never said we didn’t.

            “observations and understanding” – sorry, I didn’t come across much of that, just a copiously fluffy post evidencing lofty notions.

            I made no effort to define the meaning of toxic masculinity, just acknowledged that the context looks important, seeing as the term is loaded – this is to say when someone is talking about toxic masculinity, they should try to be articulate.

            Not sure how much agenda you can read from my post but you seem like the sort who can look at a grain of sand and see a far off world, so best of luck with that – just make sure to follow the safe cross code.

    1. yep

      No we don’t! We..hold on..WE DO! We eh, we’re different but..wait….Your pic is dumb! Ha ha! #dumbpicisdumb

      1. Steph Pinker

        As am I Janet! If I weren’t living within a travelling commune high in the hills and beside rivers and lakes between sacred grounds, I’d have a better phone and internet service – count yourself lucky as a resident! But, the ghee is better here than anywhere else, so, it’s worth it living in the bush :)

        1. Janet, I ate my Avatar

          not near a certain hill in Cork are ye ? near a field with 3 covered wagons ? you lucky thing :)

  5. Heya

    The term is actually used to identify the pressures put upon men to appear strong at all times and never show weakness. It is in fact an empathetic phrase towards men. Look it up before assuming you know maybe.

    1. Listrade

      I get that. But I’d also agree with Clampers that it has grown to be used to be a pejorative to some extent. I understand all the cliches of “Man Up” and the hard masculine dad that is against our dreams of joining the Royal Ballet. But I also don’t like it.

      Maybe those traits are as much to do with hormones as they are with learned or pressured responses. More importantly, I really dislike it being used with reference to mental health and suicide. It’s too easy. It reduces all those problems down to if only men talked more they’d be fine. If mental health was that easy, we’d have solved the problem a long time ago.

      I’m sure it plays a part. I’m sure for some breaking down that trait helps. But it’s too general and too demeaning for me. It’s condescending (even if well meaning) in the same way you’d pass off time of the month for a woman’s response to something.

      I dunno. I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist or anything else, so maybe mental health and suicide is that simple. Maybe the rate of young male suicide is simply that they feel to much pressure to “act like a man” and nothing at all to do with any other factors, issues, health, circumstances or a multitude of other stuff. Maybe they would be just fine and dandy if they just opened up a bit and talked to someone (despite the effect of various mental health issues making that impossible rather than anything to do with masculinity).

          1. Nigel

            Uh, sorry Clamps I went off on you yesterday when it kinda is a serious subject. Too much sun? Sorry.

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