“Performing” Toxic Masculinity

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Genevieve Valentine explores the performance of toxic masculinity for Strange Horizons. Valentine uses the horror movie The Guest to deconstruct both the camp and the too-real danger of toxic masculinity:

The film’s most suspense-generating disconnect is between the degree to which toxic masculinity viewed from afar is hilarious, and the degree to which toxic masculinity viewed close up will literally kill you. What does the family do to deserve their deaths? Nothing. This is a horror movie; the monster makes the rules, and anyone who threatens his authority has to go.


Michelle Vider is a writer based in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared/is forthcoming in The Toast, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Atlas and Alice, Baldhip Magazine, and others. Find her at michellevider.com or @meanchelled. More from this author →