The seventh episode of the Sleepwalking Through the Assault on Democracy series, produced in cooperation with the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre (JHGC) focuses on “dangerous men” and toxic masculinity.
Toxic masculinity is a concept often used to define unhealthy attributes associated with men and maleness. From being unemotional and power-hungry to narcissistic and violent, men are oftentimes defined by these stereotypes, which create an unhealthy and unrealistic understanding of what it means to be a man in society.
The term toxic masculinity emerged in the early 1980's and 90’s, mainly as a result of what is referred to as the mythopoetic men's movement of that time, which was a body of self-help activities and therapeutic workshops and retreats for men undertaken by various organizations and authors in the United States. Masculinity and the study of men have become more and more important as focuses of academic, political and media inquiry. Some wonder if this is a backlash to feminism, or is there something specific behind this interest.
The host, Mdu Ntuli, Education Officer at JHGC talks to Tali Nates, founder and Executive Director of JHGC; Bjorn Krondorfer, Director of the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University and Endowed Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, Flagstaff, USA; Andrea Peto, Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at CEU, and Research Affiliate at CEU Democracy Institute; and Steven Carr, Director of the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Purdue University, Fort Wayne, USA.