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Writing on The Conversation, lecturer in English, Film and Television Nicola Bishop suggests we may be turning back to views held by our Victorian forebears.
During the mid-19th century, there developed a concept of Muscular Christianity, which was meant to purge young English men of their effeminate intellectualism in favour of athleticism and stern Christian morality.
Other examples of the growing hardman genre of TV include Bear Gryll's The Island, which drops people on desert islands in the Pacific to see if they can survive.
She says programmes like Channel 4's Mutiny represent an 'Action Man' sub-genre of reality TV, which seeks to pit the modern man against hardships familiar to their predecessors.
" "We're choosing to love him," her mother explained, "because love is a choice." There's no better wisdom Susan's mother could have imparted to her before marriage.The heroes of this process are hard men like Middleton, who leads a crew 3,600 miles through rough seas in a reenactment of the voyage made by the mutineers of the HMS Bounty.The struggles faced by Middleton and his comrades give them the chance to demonstrate the physical and mental grit that modern British men are thought to have lost, Dr Bishop says.Now well into the 21st-century, we're meant to have moved on from the tough as nails, grunting, hunting male stereotype to a softer version of masculinity embodied by Metro Man and the stay-at-home dad. Looking at our screens it seems we have reverted back to celebrating an older ideal of manhood, with dramas and survival documentaries dominated by tough, muscular blokes usually sporting bushy beards.From Tom Hardy's brutal James Delaney in Taboo to former Special Forces warrior Ant Middleton driving on his motley crew in Channel 4's Mutiny, it seems like the home-dwelling modern man has fallen by the wayside.