WASHINGTON (TND) — Vice President Kamala Harris's husband Doug Emhoff spoke out against "toxic masculinity" in an interview with MSNBC earlier this week.
"Can we just talk about masculinity for a moment? Has being second gentleman changed your view of perceived gender roles and what it means to be a man?" Emhoff was asked by MSNBC's Jonathan Capehart.
"This is something I have thought about a lot, I've spoken about a lot. There's too much of toxicity — masculine toxicity out there, and we've kind of confused what it means to be a man, what it means to be masculine," Emhoff responded. "You've got this trope out there where you have to be tough, and angry, and lash out to be strong."
With Emhoff's condemnation, he joins a crowd of liberals who have condemned toxic masculinity.
Hollywood movie director James Cameron, known for directing blockbuster films such as "Titanic" and "Avatar," has claimed testosterone is a "toxin."
"I always think of [testosterone] as a toxin that you have to slowly work out of your system," Cameron said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In a movie titled "The Mask You Live In," directed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom's wife, the audience is told one of the most destructive phrases a boy can hear growing up is "be a man."
In 2021, Rhode Island College began offering a course on "The Rhetoric of Toxic Masculinity."
"One need look no further than former President Donald Trump to find a vivid illustration of this concept as it manifests in the early years of the twenty-first century. The fact that Trump was able to get elected and that he maintains support, especially among white men is a sign of the health and endurance of toxic masculinity," the course's description stated. "In this class we’ll examine the rhetoric of toxic masculinity through film, literature, and cultural history as we work to imagine, enact, and expect better and saner versions of masculinity for and from boys and men."
The idea has steeped into global politics as well.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed the Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrated President Vladimir Putin's "toxic masculinity" and insisted that if he was a woman the war likely never would have started in the first place.
"If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn't, but if he were, I really don't think he would've embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has," Johnson said, according to the BBC. "If you want a perfect example of toxic masculinity, it's what he's doing in Ukraine."