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From Playboy to Jay-Z, the racial origins of toxic masculinity and its impact on women, especially Black and "insufficiently white" women


More men than ever are refusing loving partnerships and commitment, and instead seeking out "situationships." When these men deign to articulate what they are looking for in a steady partner, they'll often rely on superficial norms of attractiveness rooted in whiteness and anti-Blackness.

Connecting the past to the present, sociologist Sabrina Strings argues that following the Civil Rights movement and the integration of women during the Second Wave Feminist movement, men aimed to hold on to their power by withholding love and commitment, a basic tenet of white supremacy and male domination, that served to manipulate all women. From pornography to hip hop, women--especially Black and "insufficiently white" women--were presented as gold diggers, props for masturbation, and side-pieces. 

Using historical research, personal stories, and critical analysis, Strings argues that the result is fuccboism, the latest incarnation of toxic masculinity. This work shows that men are not innately "toxic." Nor do they hate love, commitment, or sex. Instead, men across race have been working a new code to effectively deny loving partnerships to women who are not pliant, slim, and white as a new mode of male domination.


Sabrina Strings, Ph.D. is professor and North Hall Chair of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her book, Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia, won the 2020 Body and Embodiment Best Publication Award (American Sociological Association) and received a 2020 Sociology of Sex and Gender Distinguished Book Award honorable mention (American Sociological Association). 

Find her online at and on Twitter (SaStrings). 


  • Publisher: Beacon Press
  • Publish Date: January 30, 2024
  • Pages: 264
  • Dimensions: 0.0 X 0.0 X 0.0 inches | 1.25 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Hardcover
  • EAN/UPC: 9780807008621
  • BISAC Categories: Women's Studies, Gender Studies, Media Studies, Human Sexuality (see also Social Science - Human Sexuality)
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