Russia fired back on Wednesday, saying, “Old Freud during his lifetime would have dreamed of such an object for research,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti. He referred to Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, who founded psychoanalysis and had several controversial theories about masculinity.
Johnson made the comments in a German television interview days after the war entered its fifth month, a devastating conflict that has destroyed cities, displaced millions and killed thousands of civilians.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, when asked about Johnson’s comments on the British television show “Good Morning Britain,” said she did “unusually perhaps, agree” with his comments regarding women in politics.
Sturgeon, who leads the pro-independence Scottish National Party and has often clashed with Johnson’s government in London, called Putin a “war criminal” and went on to say that “the world would be a better place if there were more women in positions of leadership.”
“I think it is important we don’t generalize,” she said. Women make mistakes as well as men make mistakes. But I do think women tend to bring more common sense and emotional intelligence and reasoned approach.”
On social media, others argued that “toxic masculinity” was not Putin’s worst quality.
“Ruthless, psychopathic, murderous and despotic — toxic masculinity is the least of Putin’s disturbing character traits,” tweeted behavioral psychologist Jo Hemmings.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday demanded that world leaders at the United Nations take further steps to punish Russia, following an escalation of missile attacks and airstrikes on civilian targets — including a shopping mall in the city of Kremenchuk earlier this week that killed at least 18 people and injured dozens more.
Despite his critique of Putin, Johnson in the past has been accused of sexism, sparking controversy with his comments about women.
“Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3,” the Conservative leader said in 2005, according to British media.
Boris Johnson says Putin’s ‘toxic masculinity’ to blame for Ukraine war