Boris Johnson Calls Out Putin for 'Toxic Masculinity'

The remarks came during an interview following the G7 summit
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2022 11:13 AM CDT
Boris Johnson Calls Out Putin for 'Toxic Masculinity'
Russian President Vladimir Putin fishes in the headwaters of the Yenisey River on Monday, Aug. 13, 2007.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)

(Newser) – World leaders have called Vladimir Putin a terrorist and war criminal, and analysts have scrutinized the Russian leader's mental state. But Boris Johnson may be the first to bring gender directly into the mix, saying Putin's war is a "perfect example of toxic masculinity," per the Guardian. The UK prime minister offered his perspective in an interview with German broadcaster ZDF following the G7 summit. "If Putin was a woman ... I really don't think he would have embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has," Johnson said.

As the Guardian also notes, Johnson made a related reference at the opening of the summit during a photo op with other leaders when he suggested that everyone remove their jackets and "show that we're tougher than Putin ... show them our pecs." Per the Washington Post, Kremlin mouthpiece Dmitry Peskov responded to Boris' most recent jab by telling state media, "Old Freud during his lifetime would have dreamed of such an object for research." Others, including Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, agreed with Johnson, at least in principle. "The world would be a better place if there were more women in positions of leadership," she said.

Before leaving Germany for a NATO meeting in Madrid, Johnson also took an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper to explain why Putin mustn't be allowed to succeed in Ukraine. Specifically, he urged Americans to maintain resolve: "I would just say to people in the United States that this is something that America historically does and has to do, and that is to step up for peace and freedom and democracy. And if we let Putin get away with it ... then the consequences for the world are absolutely catastrophic." (Read more Boris Johnson stories.)

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