Toxic masculinity

How many guys have told their best friend to man up?

Natalie Sherlock talks about toxic masculinity, and breaking down barriers.

Masculinity and Religion

Ernie Rea explores the place and nature of faith and belief in today's world.
What it means to be a man in today’s world is confusing.  There are lots of mixed messages.  Men are often portrayed as needing to be the alpha male, remain strong under pressure, to get on and succeed in life but they are also supposed to be loving, caring, sensitive and talk about feelings.  So what does it mean to be a man today?  How should we define masculinity and what answers and tips can religion give to men today?  Joining Ernie Rea to discuss these questions are Rabbi Neil Janes, Congregational Rabbi at the West London Synagogue; Dr Andrew Boakye, Lecturer in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester and Assad Zaman, an Imam at several mosques in Manchester.  Plus Citizen Khan actor Abdullah Afzal talks about how he juggles with competing pressures on how to be a modern Muslim man.

Producer:  Amanda Hancox


Does talk of 'toxic masculinity' mean we are now seeing boys as potential perpetrators?
With  “toxic masculinity”  high on the agenda, are we are now  viewing boys as potential perpetrators of sexism and violence? Is this fair - and what should we be teaching them?  

After  #MeToo with phrases like “toxic masculinity”  on everyone's lips, are we now beginning to view boys as potential perpetrators of sexism and violence? If so, what effect is it having on them?  How do we teach boys positive behaviour and prevent them repeating the mistakes of previous generations, without also making them feel that they are being vilified as emerging men?       

Producer Emma Kingsley, herself a mother of sons, explores this delicate balancing act. She talks to one of her boys and meets boys and girls at Moreton School near Wolverhampton to hear their views. She meets developmental pyschologist Dr. Brenda Todd from City University, London to talk about how problematic ideas around boyhood can develop from an early age.  She speaks to Dan Bell from the Men and Boys Coalition who has concerns about how current debates impact on boys and she also hears from feminist writer Victoria Smith about how she balances awareness of toxic masculinity with being the mother of sons. 

We hear how boys are being guided towards constructing new models of behaviour with a glimpse into a workshop run by David Brockway of the Good Lad Initiative at Wetherby Senior School in London. 

Also taking part in the programme are Dr. Michael Ward from Swansea University who has researched how place impacts on young men's identity, anthropologist Samuel Veissière from McGill University  who has researched toxic masculinity and Courtney Hartman, CEO of  the  company Free to be Kids whose clothing reflects anxieties about the perception of boys. 

Produced and presented by Emma Kingsley
Barack Obama: 'You don't need eight women around you twerking'
Former US President Barack Obama gives his advice to young men at an event for his foundation.