The Shooting in Orlando, terrorism or toxic masculinity (or both?)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


News coverage of the shootings in Orlando highlighted a tension between the two frames broadcasters used in their reporting. Was this a homophobic hate crime or was this terrorism? Many elided the difficulty by calling it homophobic terrorism, but this could not resolve the tension. This article contends that because terrorism is closely equated with radicalized Muslims, the tension was sublimated into an existing orientalist frame where homophobia became a marker of fundamentalist Islamic culture. Instead, this article argues, these two frames should not be taken as cause and effect but as problems that share a common ailment: the presence of toxic masculinities. Beginning from a position that sees masculinity as constituted through violence in patriarchal culture, this article works through the idea that when there is a disillusionment with violence, masculinity under patriarchy turns toxic. What emerges then is not merely violence but “rage” as the praxis of toxic masculinities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-565
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this