Is the 21st Century Sherlock Holmes Toxically Masculine?

Is the 21st Century Sherlock Holmes Toxically Masculine?

Although the concept of toxic masculinity sounds contemporary, it actually has roots very firmly in the past. Masculinity researchers have defined toxic masculinity as a performance of “traditional” male gender roles exhibited by a tendency to dominate others, a predisposition to violence, and to be emotionally cold and distant. It can also be expressed through highly competitive behaviour, or the desire to be the sole source of information — someone who thinks they are right about everything in every sphere.


  1. I think the problem here lies not so much in the supposed toxicity of Sherlock or his creator, but rather in the antics of succeeding generations of producers, directors and (to a lesser extent) actors. My favourite portrayal of SH was by Jeremy Brett, whom I knew and very much liked. His Sherlock was a fully rounded human being – a piece of work to be sure, but a likeable one – much like the literary original, invoking the measure of compassion and exasperation one reserves for good but imperfect friends.

    Liked by 1 person

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