MacGyver Invented DIY Manliness
Sam Dean

You make some very interesting points. One thing I would like to add is that MacGyver’s own sense of manliness came entirely from his own achievements. (Which were considerable, not just in terms of ingenuity, but also in terms of bravery. He stood up for what he believed in at great personal risk, plus I’m sure you noticed all the parachuting and climbing and other physically demanding stuff.)

There’s a line in the episode “Black Rhino” where Mac mentions that rhino horns are regarded by some as a symbol of virility. MacGyver does not need to kill rhinos to boost his sense of masculinity. He doesn’t feel the need to kill anyone (except in clear cases of self-defence). He doesn’t look down on anyone; he doesn’t feel threatened by intelligent, competent women. He doesn’t feel the need to make a pass at every attractive female character (because he’s very unlike Bond). His strength and self-worth are not tied up in devaluing anyone else, or seeing them in terms of narrowly-defined roles.

When I was adding tags to this post, I noticed that “toxic masculinity” was an option that came up. MacGyver is the proud poster-boy (poster-man) for non-toxic masculinity.

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