MP Nick Fletcher calls for better male role models in film and TV
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Nick Fletcher’s outburst came during a debate at Westminster Hall on International Men’s Day in the House of Commons. The Red Wall Tory – who is the first Conservative to represent the south Yorkshire constituency of Don Valley – said that masculinity needs to be “something that can be celebrated at times rather than be continually vilified”.
He claimed that this was not the case because of calls from a “tiny yet very vocal minority that every male character or good role model must have a female replacement”.
He added: “One only needs to have a look at the discussions surrounding who will play the next James Bond.
“And it’s not just James Bond.
“In recent years we have seen Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker, [and] the Equalizer all replaced by women.
“And men are left with the Krays and Tommy Shelby.
“Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?
“These programmes make crime look cool. Trust me, a lifetime in prison is not cool.“
His bizarre reasoning was quickly mocked by many on social media.
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Many also pointed out that Luke Skywalker and James Bond have not been replaced by women.
Labour MP Ruth Cadbury said: “After a decade in power it’s clear that this Government have ran out of ideas to tackle crime if they’re looking to blame Doctor who.”
SNP MP Stephen Flynn added: “Could certainly do with someone replacing Nick Fletcher.”
Twitter pundit James Felton said: “If you ever feel stupid, console yourself with the fact that an actual MP thinks men are committing violent crimes because the new Doctor Who has boobies.”
Writer Juno Dawson added: “Yes. This is what’s responsible for crime. Doctor Who.
“Not poverty, cuts to services, no youth clubs, poor mental health services, class sizes in state schools, toxic masculinity, rape culture…
“Nope. Jodie Whittaker. There is no-one they will not blame for their failures.”
During the debate, Mr Fletcher said that he “loved being a man” and that “most of my friends are men”.
He added: “I don’t think being a man makes me superior in any way, yet being male is an essential part of my identity.”
He called for more male teachers in schools and more male role models elsewhere in life to improve the behaviour of boys and men.
“If we get this right we should need fewer police not more, we should need fewer courts not more, we should need fewer prisons not more.
“This is a long game, we need to help men at all stages of their lives.”
Following the backlash, in a statement last night, Mr Fletcher said: “As is often the case, my rather nuanced point that there are increasingly fewer positive male role models for young boys was almost immediately misconstrued.
“My point was, in fact, a straightforward one and in no way linked Dr Who being female to crime being committed by men.”
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