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Toxic MasculinityMapping the Monstrous in Our Heroes$
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Esther De Dauw and Daniel J. Connell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496828934

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496828934.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Torchwood’s Supermen

Torchwood’s Supermen

Bisexuality as a Hypermasculine Superpower

(p.103) Torchwood’s Supermen
Toxic Masculinity

Craig Haslop

University Press of Mississippi

Focusing on the spin-off series Torchwood, lauded by academics and popular media for its liberating and frank representations of fluid sexuality, this chapter discusses audience research using focus groups exploring Torchwood’s representations of queer masculinity, analyzing respondents’ responses to the masculinity of the leading character, Captain Jack Harkness, and the recurring character, Captain John Hart. While not ostensibly superheroes or supervillains in the comic book sense, research participants positioned them as super-human or god-like. Using the notion of homonormativity, the pressure on queer people to conform to heteronormativity, this chapter highlights how, despite foregrounding the leading man as fluidly sexual, Torchwood suggests a homonormative hypermasculinity dominating much of Western gay male culture, which deradicalizes queer identity and renders it safe for heteronormativity and, by association, hypermasculinity.

Keywords:   Queer Representation, Torchwood, Gay Masculinity, Homonormativity, Heteronormativity

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