We started this podcast to highlight the issues around the representation of women in genre fiction. But women aren’t the only ones who suffer at the hands of harmful tropes, poor characterisation, and limiting traditional gender roles.

In this episode, we discuss the men-folk. While they may tend to get the majority of ‘screen time’ across all genre fiction mediums, they don’t always have it easy. Predominantly, tropes around male characters promote ideas of masculinity that are impossible to live up to.

So, what exactly is toxic masculinity?

The Good Men Project defines it as:

a rejection of the perceived opposite, femininity, that is so pervasive as to become unhealthy for both men and those around them

According to Wikipedia:

certain norms of masculine behavior in North America and Europe that are associated with harm to society and to men themselves. Traditional stereotypes of men as socially dominant, along with related traits such as misogyny and homophobia, can be considered “toxic” due to their promotion of violence, including sexual assault and domestic violence.

We need to stop excusing bad behaviour, saying ‘boys will be boys’ or that men ‘can’t help themselves’ because it is a natural part of who men are. It isn’t. These toxic behaviours are socialised, they’re learned.

Toxic masculinity, to us, is all about expectations. The expectation that men will fight, that they will get the girl. And expectation breeds a sense of entitlement.

Fair warning, this is a long one, though we barely scratch the surface of the issue. But there’s plenty to enjoy… Hear Charlotte and I wax lyrical (yet again) about Star Trek and Lucy gush about her (many) animated crushes. …and, err, a tangent on Morris Dance Porn. But moving swiftly on…

Texts mentioned in this episode include:

Further Reading: