This paper aims to take the “toxic masculinity” (TM) trope as a starting point to examine recent cultural shifts in common assumptions about gender, morality and relations between the sexes. TM is a transculturally widespread archetype or moral trope about the kind of man one should not be.
The author revisits his earlier fieldwork on transnational sexualities against a broader analysis of the historical, ethnographic and evolutionary record. The author describes the broad cross-cultural recurrence of similar ideal types of men and women (good and bad) and the rituals through which they are culturally encouraged and avoided.
The author argues that the TM trope is normatively useful if and only if it is presented alongside a nuanced spectrum of other gender archetypes (positive and negative) and discussed in the context of human universality and evolved complementariness between the sexes.
The author concludes by discussing stoic virtue models for the initiation of boys and argues that they are compatible with the normative commitments of inclusive societies that recognize gender fluidity along the biological sex spectrum.
The author makes a case for the importance of strong gender roles and the rites and rituals through which they are cultivated as an antidote to current moral panics about oppression and victimhood.
Veissière, S. (2018), "“Toxic Masculinity” in the age of #MeToo: ritual, morality and gender archetypes across cultures", Society and Business Review, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 274-286. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBR-07-2018-0070Download as .RIS
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