Tory MP says women taking on ‘male’ screen roles is bad for boys

A Conservative MP has bemoaned the prevalence of women taking on movie and television roles that were previously associated with men.

ick Fletcher said there appears to be a “tiny yet very vocal minority” of people who want a female replacement for “every male character or good role model”.

He told MPs this has left men with Tommy Shelby, from crime drama Peaky Blinders, and the Krays as their screen role models, before asking: “Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?”

Mr Fletcher’s comments came as he led the International Men’s Day debate in Westminster Hall.

The MP for Don Valley in South Yorkshire highlighted the difficulties faced by young boys, with many “lagging behind” at school.

He stressed the need for boys to have “positive” male role models and pressed the government to help efforts to encourage more men to become teachers.

Mr Fletcher also told the debate: “I’d like to reiterate something that seems to be very topical at the moment – although much more for women than men – and that is the need for men to have their own identity and for masculinity to be something that can be celebrated at times rather than continually vilified.

“Everywhere, not least within the cultural sphere, there seems to be a call from a tiny yet very vocal minority that every male character or good role model must have a female replacement.

“One only needs to look at the discussion 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, The Equaliser 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.”

Mr Fletcher earlier called for boys to “have their own clubs – just as girls need their own”.

He said: “Indeed, it’s a wonderful thing that girls’ football is on TV, it’s terrific that female tennis stars are finally starting to be paid as much as their male counterparts.

“As a father of a daughter myself, I wish to applaud all who have corrected this wrong and the hundreds of other injustices.”

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