James Bond Sends ‘Toxic’ Message About Masculinity, Says British Member of Parliament

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By Jillian Kay Melchior | 2:09 pm, November 18, 2016

On International Men’s Day, a Conservative MP said that James Bond and characters like him send a “toxic” message that “a real man is fearless and emotionless,” as well as ”aggressive, disconnected and walking alone.”

Film’s idealization of stoic heroes can have devastating real-world consequences, Caroline Dinenage said, specifically mentioning James Bond, Gordon Gekko, and Steven Seagal’s action heroes.

“I think there are risks, particularly for those who are vulnerable or isolated and these messages can be particularly toxic for men suffering from mental health issues,” said Dinenage, who is also the parliamentary undersecretary of state for women, equalities, and early years. “We live in a culture where men are expected to be strong, tough and macho, which is why men sometimes bottle up their feelings, and possibly why there is such a high suicide risk with men,” she added.

In the UK, the male suicide rate is at its highest in 15 years, becoming the leading cause of death for men under 45. Three-fourths of all suicides there are male.