Princeton Professor: ‘Toxic Masculinity’ at Heart of Gun Culture

A woman holding a pistol
Flickr/Rob Beyer

Princeton professor Eddie Glaude argued on MSNBC this week that “toxic masculinity” is at the heart of America’s “gun culture.”

Princeton professor of religion and African American Studies, Eddie Glaude, argued in a recent MSNBC appearance that “toxic masculinity” is driving America’s “gun culture.”

Glaude first blamed politicians for their “complicity” in America’s “obsession” with guns.

Part of when we begin to kind of interrogate what’s driving this, what’s blocking the conversation, and what’s driving our ongoing obsession with guns, it has something to do with the complicity of politicians, right?

Glaude then turned to American culture, specifically highlighting “toxic masculinity.” Glaude argued that unhealthy social expectations of male gender expression lead to an inappropriate obsession with guns and dominance.

… It has something to do with the cowardice of everyday, ordinary folk. But it also has something to do with culture…and this is the point that we really have to think about. There’s a kind of toxic masculinity at the heart of this gun – this gun culture, rooted in a myth about who we take ourselves to be. Americans – rugged individualism. The government is not going to protect you; we can protect ourselves, right?

He finished by calling for a “moral revolution.” Americans, he argues, should reevaluate some of the values that many have come to accept as unchangeable.

And there’s a way in which this AR-15 is actually the weapon of the Minuteman, right? There’s this whole myth around [it]. So we have to begin to imagine ourselves differently. I think we need a revolution of value in this country – a moral revolution where we begin to change what we care about, what we demand of ourselves, what we take to be actually valuable.


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