Kimmel, M. 2012. Manhood in America: A Cultural History.

Kimmel, Michael. 2012. Manhood in America: A Cultural History, 3rd edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Though male retreats of yore are less common, “many are still searching for authenticity in their relationships to their work, their families, and their friends, and are finding depth, resonance, and fulfillment far closer to home than they ever expected”  (x) – many more men spending time with families and selves rather than engaging in other activities. Patterns of masculinized “self-control, exclusion, and escape”  evidenced in fitness, medicalization of men’s sexual health, men’s rights movement (promoting return to ‘traditional’ gender roles – equating perks of privilege as points of oppression). Lack of history about men – history as masculinized, but little critical review of men’s history – men’s experience. “American men have no history of themselves as men” (1). Masculinity with shifting definitions –as structural expectations in work, politics, and family, but also individual experiences, socializations, and “proving”  – articulations. Gender as “ the sets of cultural meanings and prescriptions that each culture attaches to one’s biological sex” (2). “Woman alone seems to have ‘gender’ since the category itself is defined as that aspect of social relations based on difference between the sexes in which the standard has always been man” (Lacquer 1990, here 2). Endowment of men with transcendental “invisibility” of category – however, multiplicity of masculinities, as historical and cross-cultural demonstration of masculinity shows no one way of being a man. Men defining masculinity in terms of other men, not as much by relation to women – perception of femininity acts as negative pole for men to differentiate themselves from – women as currency to demonstrate masculinity against other men. Masculinity as a homosocial interaction – however, incorporates homophobia – “Homophobia is the fear of other men – that other men will unmask us, emasculate us, reveal to us and the world that we do not measure up, are not real men…”  (6) “The word ‘faggot’  has nothing to do with homosexual experience or even with fears of homosexuals. It comes out of the depths of manhood: an ultimate label of contempt for anyone who seems sissy, untough, uncool”  (Leverenz 1989, 6).

The Birth of the Self-Made Man

Feminization of wealth without work, valorization of civic service, work, nationality. Genteel Patriarch as aristocrat, doting on family – prominent through 1800s. Self-Made Man as consistently producing, ahead of markets, competitive. Shift from community betterment to individual betterment – portraying independence, responsibility, control – differentiating men from boys – racialized component of calling slaves “boys”.  Feminization through luxury, vice, folly – ^refinement as a verb, not as a noun. Breadwinner term emerged between 1810-20, to describe responsibility and service of men- embrace of simplicity and frugality – adornment, self-involvement, and excess as feminized. Industrialization brought new self-made middle class – agency of men, control of own destiny, individual achievement, economic autonomy – however, listless, lonely, and melancholic through the seriousness of business. Genteel Patriarch’s demise with the turnover of wealth from landed aristocrats to industrial nouveaux riches, recasting the Genteel Patriarch as a dandy, whence attachment to family, fortune, and fashion became womanly – feelings were no longer ‘in’ – criticism of aristocrats for not producing wealth, but sitting on it. However, embodiment of masculinity was very specific – too muscular was associated with tradesmen and lower classes, too skinny was associated with aristocratic waifishness. Construction of the Heroic Artisan of yesteryear – production  and class intertwined. Fraternity and homosociality as critical to trades, cultivation of welfare systems and provision for others in situations where workplace autonomy suffered – partly because of industrializing Self-Made Men.  Casting Heroic Artisans in competition with Self-Made Men. Loss of autonomy within economics (politics?) as emasculation – equivalent to economic and sexual dependency (of women?) Prevention of organization of women, black slaves, and immigrants – threats to the masculinity of work recast as inferior, subhuman, incapable of “true” masculinity. Asserting whiteness and nativeness became means to assert privilege, distinguishing between “moral” Others – as well as a means to compensate for loss of work-related autonomy and systemic exploitations (Roediger 1991, 52, 24). Minstrel shows of blackness, then, became means to assert masculinity of white men to other white men, by encapturing perceived black men’s sexual potency, and turning it into a currency, a farce. Pressing simultaneously against primitivity and overcivilization – mediating masculinity between the two.  Setting up fatherhood scenarios between Native Americans, Blacks, etc. but also fearful of the motherhood of money (infantilizing and voracious greed). Battle for presidency historically took jabs at masculinity of contenders – feminizing consumptions, actually questioning the gender of the politician for engaging in finery.

Born to Run: Self-Control and Fantasies of Escape

Markets were at the behest of Self-Made Men, and with that under control, where else to demonstrate masculinity? Competition versus escape from rat-race – migration of men to Wild West to escape civilization of domestic life, often represented by Victorian women. “Although America has been from its birth a multicultural society, American manhood has often been built upon the exclusion of other from equal opportunity to work, to go to school, to vote – to do any of the things that allow people to compete equally”  (33). Exclusion from Others from many institutions – work, education, politics preserves homosociality and escape the feared feminized domesticity of home. Rise of identity crisis as a masculinity-based fear in loss of control in a realm of social anarchy.  Fusion of marketplace energies and sexual behaviors – fears of masturbation and excessive use of energy may detract from economic outputs, pooled into shaming of recreational sex. Promotion of the separation of spheres and caretaking as a domestic/feminine role – automation of men’s household chores. Invention of the Cult of True Womanhood through domesticity magazines, and the medicalization of women – as unintelligent, naïve, and demanding of provision and protection. Women as moral compasses and anchors to wild men, relying on women for emotional needs and production – pitting men against men, and harboring fears of homosexuality. Women as domestics and domesticators – teaching boys to be men, but masculine backlash to break away from these constraints by reestablishing masculinity through frontier exploration and homosocial competitions with nature and other men. Use of racialization in literature to replace women with racial Others as dependents, guides, and moral compasses – Huck and Jim, Ishmael and Queequeg, etc – casting racial Others as “male mothers, nurturing their younger, wilder white chargers into the deeply spiritual world of the primitive. One must be sane, sober, and soulful to remain so close to nature; one must be tame to be primitive and wild to be so tame” (48). Support for inequality (or dismissal of gender and race equality) were often associated with masculinity of the time –

Men at Work: Captains of Industry, White Collars, and the Faceless Crowd

Transition from self-employment in rurality to urban, industrial, employment, under tight scientific management and piecemail work. Immigration presses employment struggles, and Great Migration from south heightens racial tensions. Black masculinity as freed from infantilization and violence of Jim Crow, but also to claim place in workplace. Women’s rights challenged political and ideological stances – and offered a challenge in the workplace. Encouragement of “forest philosophy” and frontiersmanship encouraged anti-intellectual, anti-consumer movements in masculinity. With no more land to claim in the West, this becomes a feminized enterprise – where else to turn? Fears of intermarriage kept Social Darwinism alight, and racism directed toward the presumed characteristics of black masculinity and pressures of anti-Semitism. Equating black men as equivalents to white children, women, and senile old-agers. Perceived effeminacy of racial Others, fearing loss of “true” masculine whiteness. Primitivism of sexual urges, but less masculine in self-control and intellect, productivity accused. “Goldilocks” definitions of manhood – too hot, too cold – never just right. Formations of Ku Klux Klan and other men’s organizations to “protect” others – however, raced violence took precedence as “pre-emption” to offense. Women’s rights seen as an offense to reproductive capacities, men’s organizations advocated for deprivation as a point of exemption – medicalization of working and educated women – masculinity as work and thought through sacrifice borne for women and children. Growth of homosexual urban burrows create internal and external codes of “reading” sexuality through gender performance – “[George] Chauncey^ argues that such flagrant flouting of traditional masculinity came less form some internal drive to express innate effeminacy; gay effeminacy was more of a behavioral strategy to signal other homosexual men. ‘Effeminacy was one of the few sure means they had to identify themselves to others,’ he writes. Thus, it may have been that a man ‘chose to be effeminate precisely because he wanted  to identify himself to other men.’” (Chauncey 1994, here 74). Homosexuals, then, used as a foil to “real masculinity”- “For many straight men, then, homosexuality did not threaten their masculinity but reinforced it” (74). Normalcy and hallmarking of heterosexuality became critical to asserting masculinity –  attributing cowardice, weakness to women, and anyone that did not fit into masculine ideals as gay, or as feminine. Definition of masculinity as opposing to all things womanlike.  “[…] masculinity was increasingly an act, a form of public display; that men felt themselves on display at virtually all times; and that the intensity of the need for such a display was increasing.  To be considered a real man, one had better make sure to always be walking around and acting ‘real masculine’” (75).  Marketplace manhood and money making as masculinity, however, bureaucracy as feminized and trapping – returning and “masculinizing” the home through specified places (dens and man caves).  Frontiers turn imperialist and sights go abroad. Militarization of manhood, and masculinity through battle.  Battle for feminism as a new means to assert masculinity – that egalitarian masculinity meant that one was so masculine, that they did not need to put others down to reaffirm it. Scholarly studies of men’s involvement in feminism popped up in sociology, and advocacy. 

Playing for Keeps: Masculinity as Recreation and the Re-Creation of Masculinity

The vicarious experience of masculinity by watching sports, reading war novels, etc. “Just as the realm of production had been so transformed that men could no longer anchor their identity in the market, we created new symbols, the consumption of which ‘reminded’ men of that secure past, evoking an age before identity crises, before crises of masculinity – a past when everyone knew what it meant to be a man and achieving one’s manhood was a given” (88).  Masculinity as continually done, lest being considered feminine. Growth of “sissy” and cultural repulse of feminine men – women as mocking and thus unattracted to these type of men – putting heterosexuality at risk. Masculine symbols to perform difference of sex – facial hair, etc. as fashionable, and yet, unfashionable (lack of neatness) – increased concern with fashion and appearance, as necessary to succeed in workplace, and drinking homosociality cast as a way to avoid feminization. Negotiations between too little and too much homosocial contact; homosexuality countered by continual assertion against and objectification of women. Preoccupation with muscularization and fitness lent an embodiment to masculinity – association of masculinity and muscularity with hard work and discipline – “The body did not contain the man, expressing the man within; now, the body was the man” (94). Nurturing and feeding the body now gendered with “masculine” diets of sparseness- corn flakes, etc. to improve productivity in the workplace. Continued medicalization of masturbation.  Frigidity, and other women’s issues  were cause of misplaced sexual energy, and thus, men’s sexuality was a woman’s problem.  Growth of Freudian theories gave greater distinction between men and women, problematizing motherhood and associating failure in motherhood to homosexuality. Mental illness as gendered.  Consumption of  meat and hunting as a means to make masculinity happen – pressing medical knowledge of making muscle out of muscle. Embrace of primitivity, devolution through cowboy and “jungle” tales in popular culture.

A Room of His Own: Socializing the New Man

Beginning of fatherhood movements, gendering clothing and toys – early socialization agents became a way to teach and communicate gender at turn of 20th century. Educational institutions pressed to socialize gender, or to separate them, in fears of feminine contact would emasculate or distract young boys.  Fraternities and gang membership as a “healthy” way to build masculinity and foster roughness. Use of wilderness retreats and boys’ clubs (like boy scouts) would develop “savagery” and toughness required of men – however, wild West models were not “masculine” in their lack of temperance – “From its origins the BSA minted several ‘traditional’ Indian rituals. Headdress feathers became merit badges, symbolizing exemplary activity; Indian names or animal totems became symbolic representations of the troop” (123) – here, taking “primitive” experiences and using them to reinforce household divisions of labor. Fraternal orders as womanless families of collective provision and mobility – a safe “masculine” space for emotionality and conviviality, sans women’s presence. Feminization of religion – however, “muscular Christianity” of revival movements recast Jesus as a heroic artisan and warrior, as a masculinized way to re-attract men back to religion. Embrace of hunting and exercise as an assertion of presidential masculinity within Teddy Roosevelt’s campaign and PR efforts.

Muscles, Money, and the M-F Test: Measuring Masculinity Between the Wars

Increased scientific racism and nativism, infusing gendered images in depicting difference, demonstrating over-sexed primitivism. Casting religion as an evolution of the muscular Christianity, now a businessman Christianity. Fears of invasion and inversion by women in the public sphere. Machinery and industry as emasculating in its overtake of labor, feelings of alienation from production. Pressing men’s feelings of inadequacy onto women’s emasculating pressures for suffrage, for workplace status, for sexually withholding.  Women as fault-holders for men’s unemployment in post-WWI years.  Psychology used to medicalize and strike fears of homosexuality – for fear of modeling gender inversion. Pressures of men rose from providership to socializers for young boys (only). Fears and the “Pansy Craze” of 1920-30s took homosexuality out of its passive urban acceptance and into the public arena with tales of child molestation, gendered performances as blurred and therefore dangerous – where effeminate or masculine performances were had, homosexuality and ‘dangers therein’ became a way to police gender/sexuality tie.  Rise of media tide in mocking masculine and fatherly incompetence – ^“working-class buffoon?” “Masculinity could be redefined away from achievement in the public sphere and reconceived as the exterior manifestation of a certain inner sense of oneself. Masculinity could be observed in specific traits and attitudes, specific behaviors and perspectives.  If men expressed these attitudes, traits, and behaviors, they could be certain that they were ‘real’ men, regardless of their performance in the workplace.  If a man failed to express these attitudes, traits, and behaviors, he was in danger of becoming a homosexual” (150). Testing on gender appropriateness, in hopes of diagnosing homosexual proclivities. Pressing again to transform a nation and race of weaklings into muscular masculinities, ones that demonstrate embodied and business/material success.

“Temporary About Myself”: White-Collar Conformists and Suburban Playboys

War as re-employment, as a heroic and moral overtone. Upon return, maladjustment was frequent- women encouraged to return to domesticity to accommodate wounded warriors and to readjust men to American life in time of anomie. Reintroduction of racial strife, fears of femme fatales added to the sexual paranoia of white men. Linking of homosexuality with communism, intellectualism in McCarthy era. At the same time, risk of communist takeover by automated masculinity through bureaucratic cogs – rise of the appropriation of Black hipsterism, and subversive, nonconformity as the true masculine. Spectrum set from homosexual to juvenile delinquent  – all due to absent fatherhood and attachment/resistance to overbearing motherhood. Questioning of exacting masculinity as a means to asserting it – those who must assert is as least secure? Straddling of involved and overinvolved parenthood – once again, negotiating the “goldilocks” paradox of fatherhood as masculinity. Media transformation of the working class buffoon and delinquent as hero.  Introduction of Playboy masculinity – loving women, hating wives and mothers, embracing bachelorhood and consumption, shirking responsibility of parenthood and husbandry – and the frustrations of breadwinning obligations. Frustrations with women’s entry into bars and clubs – the fears of sexually loose women, on the man-hunt for husbands to drain.

The Masculine Mystique

“In the 1960s, the ‘masculine mystique’- that impossible synthesis of sober, responsible breadwinner, imperviously stoic master of his fate, and swashbuckling hero- was finally exposed as a fraud. The constant search for some masculine terra firma upon which to ground a stable identity had never provided firm footing for Self-Made Men; by the 1960s gradual erosion and uneasy footing had become a landslide. Al the marginalized groups whose suppression had been thought to be necessary for men to secure identities began to rebel[…] The civil rights movement challenged the exclusion of black people from full citizenship and, thus, the exclusion of black men from claiming their stake in American manhood. […] The gay liberation movmenet challenged the facile and false equation of homosexuality with failed gender identity, the popular misconception that gay men are not real men. And the counterculture, populated largely by the sons and daughters of the white middle class, challenged the illusions of suburban comfort and security. In a sense, the hippies represented another revolt of the sons against the fathers. In their long hair and flowing, feminine clothes, hippies rejected the corporate clone as a model for manhood” (190). Vietnam veteran as fallen hero – marginalized and antiquated mode of masculinity. Calls for men’s liberation movements – mostly driven by white, middle class men. Powerlessness, meaninglessness, isolation, alienation drove men to affirm and construct identity outside of work, in the realm of consumption (Blauner 1964, here 191). Fear of failure as constricting men’s advance in the workplace – fear of embarrassment – marketplace masculinity. Beginning of academic dissection of masculinity’s constructions. Presidency and Vietnam War as a crisis of masculinity – where escalation in war was spoken of in terms of castration, and in contexts of disallowing American emasculation. New Man of Jimmy Carter mocked, whereas Reagan became stalwart in the reassertion of “cowboy presidency.” Civil Rights movement use of masculinity as reclamation of stolen masculinity and power – often infusing black power with strains of homophobia and misogyny pressed onto whites. Feminism brings birth control, abortion, and educational/workers’ rights – government protection of rape and domestic violence survivors. Women’s liberation as men’s sexual anxiety – reversion to scientific sexism and homophobia. Intellectualism, Jewishness, political activism, counterculture, too-preppy, too-Playboy was considered feminized – where race, class, gender, and sexuality seemed to intersect. Sexual inversion still believed, but modeling behaviors were more prescribed – socialization as a fear of enabling homosexuality through gender non-normative practices. Unravelling of gay urban ghettos exposed hypermasculine homosexual – who, upon gender cue, was more “man” than many straight men. Men’s liberation acknowledged inactionability of masculinity – noting “given what it took to be a real man, few, if any, men could live up to the image, and hence all men would feel like failures as men” (203) – understanding that definitions of masculinity physically and psychically harmed men. Robert Brannon’s (sociologist) “rules” of masculinity  – No Sissy Stuff, Be a Big Wheel, Be a Sturdy Oak, and Give ‘em Hell (cite?) Classed notions of masculinity pressed issues of doomed fates as pencil pushers or insignificant buffoons – also translated into ‘performance anxiety’ – the labor of sexuality. Propositions of homosexuals as models of better men who were in touch with feminine side – promotions of desexualized androgyny as a model for better masculinity.

Wimps, Whiners, and Weekend Warriors: The Contemporary Crisis of Masculinity and Beyond

Rambo post-Vietnam re-masculinization.  Egalitarian manhood not as true egalitarianism – men could out-women women. Cinematic vilification of ‘wimps’ – rejected by men and women alike – not just for abdicating breadwinning, but lacking purpose. Presidencies suffered with the jar of parties and media squalling for them to be harder in their governing. Use of the wimp as an instigation of fear – association with the feminine became a means of prompting pre-emptive aggression.   Rise of masculine retreat – “Many men sought to retrieve a lost manhood on a weekend retreat off in the woods where men beat drums and chant, initiate one another, and reclaim their ‘wild man’ or ‘inner warrior.  A few sought to overturn the traditional definitions of masculinity altogether, seeing in feminism or in gay liberation the possibilities of a new definition of manhood, a manhood based on compassion, trust, and nurturance” (216). Globalization prompted downward spiral in economy, pressing the onset of the dual-earner income. Backlash of “angry white men” fueled by ‘feminazis’, special interests, and bureaucracy as emasculation of their personal interests and well-being – fears of sex, family, children, women as potential sources of assault, bribery, or trickery. Use of proscriptive separation of spheres and socio-sociobiological reasoning (scientific sexism) to support gender inequality. Reassertion and magnification of the body in the 1980s bodybuilding craze – if work arena wasn’t one of successful assertion, embodying masculinity and muscularity was the alternative – prompting consumer practices in its wake. Fashion practices as symbolic masculinity – “As they sallied forth into the urban jungle, middle class men made themselves resemble their adventurous forebears through their fashionable clothes and masculinizing accessories. They wore Timberland shoes or cowboy boots, denim shirts, and aviator sunglasses; they drove Cherokees, Wranglers, Broncos, or Land Rovers; they splashed on a little Aspen, Stetson, Chaps, or Safari cologne. As at the turn of the twentieth century, so too now – if manhood did not come from within, perhaps it could be worn” (224). Obsession with militarism and paramilitarism – however, emphasis of homosociality, not homosexuality. Instead of noting boys’ excellence in classroom, education advocates remarked on boys’ unsuitedness for classrooms and lack of ability. “Male bonding, Native American rituals, drumming, chanting, a virtual celebration of masculinity – it sounded like the media descriptions of the ‘men’s movement’, a motley collection of wounded and their pop-psychological gurus [….] These men were conducting their own quest for their lost ‘deep’ manhood in weekend retreats and workshops across the country. By donning totemic animal symbols and reclaiming ancient myths of male bonding, those weekend warriors hoped to tap into some primitive stream of essential masculinity, long-buried by the feminizing worlds of work and home.  This ‘mythopoetic’ effort to retrieve deep manhood- the ‘inner warrior’ or ‘wildman’ – was by far the most interesting and seductive example of contemporary masculinism” (229) – reclaiming the authenticity lost in Industrialism, the worlds of women and work, and reconnect with nature and each other. “The search for the wild warrior within led men’s movement scions to wander through anthropological literature like postmodern tourists, as if the world’s cultures were arrayed like so many ritual boutiques in a global shopping mall. […] This was all slapped together in a ritual pastiche – part Asian, part African, part Native American. And all totally decontextualized. Rituals are deeply embedded in cultural life, and taking them out of that context was at least myopic, if not disingenuous. Mythopoets celebrated cultures with elaborate rituals for men; all the while protesting that such rituals had nothing to do with women. Since the rituals excluded women, they must be only ‘about’ men and manhood.  But true traditional initiation ceremonies and sex-segregated mystical celebrations did not occur in a vacuum, and just as masculinist separation was not lost on feminists in the late nineteenth century, it was not lost on feminist women a century later. ‘The cry for revitalized initiation rites, for mentors, for sacred space, sounded ominously familiar – like a cry to reinforce the crumbling walls of those men’s clubs whose primary interests were exclusion and self-perpetuation,’ wrote journalist Jill Baumgaertner (1991). In the real world, women and men occupied the same cosmic planes – and they worked desk to desk. Accessing an inner king that ignored or reduced woman’s role – as wife, lover, friend, colleague, or mother – seemed more like a celebration of the usurper, or at best, a benevolent despotism” (231). Appropriation as minstrelsy, a way to disperse ethnic anxieties and a way to express emotions – within the 19th century, Blackface common, “But the mythopoets adopted what we might call “Redface” – the appropriation of putatively Native American rituals to allow privileged white men access to that set of emotions – community, spirituality, communion with nature – that they felt themselves to have lost and therefore displaced onto Native American cultures” (here 232) – However, violence and displaced anxiety built into male bonding – demonstrating and exacting heterosexual objectification and even perpetuating violence on women and other men.

From Anxiety to Anger Since the 1990s: The ‘Self-Made Man’ Becomes ‘Angry White Men’

Immigration, racial and gender equality – entry into all-male bastions by women, gay liberation and pride – all confound and “anger” the “Angry White Man” – fed up with diversity, “reverse discrimination,” and feelings of loss of entitlement – based on a ‘if they win, we lose’ mentality. Polarization of class in American may render Self-Made Man an anachronism – increased profits for luxury goods, though, demonstrates that consumption  acts as a means to demonstrate power – even during periods of recession and depression.  Globalization as a deeply gendered economy- women taking on lesser pay worldwide, participating in shadow economies. Violence in an attempt to demonstrate masculinity, psychological issues of men brought to light, in coping with economic and social anomie.             Looking for “payback” when the American Dream does not pay out for them – violently and unabashedly reasserting masculine tropes after nearly fifty years of feminist critique.  Muscularity, erectile enhancement, body images, cosmetic surgery for men. “Men’s bodies have long been symbols of masculinity in America.  They reveal (or at least signify) manhood’s power, strength, and self-control.  As the functional utility of that strong, hard body has virtually disappeared, its association with masculinity remains as firm as ever” (248). The metrosexual – “a decidedly urban, and urbane, new man who was emerging in the cosmopolitan centers of Europe and the United States” (248) – fashionable, presented as the masculinized dandy – emergence of metrosexual is as much about decline of homophobia as it is about classed embodiment of manhood.  “The metrosexual promised an alternate route to the achievement of masculinity through high-end consumerism.  The metrosexual was promoted as an upwardly mobile aspiration – middle-class guys dressing and accessorizing for success” (249). However, this becomes raced, when older black men dressing fancily – yet, pitted against the culture of MSM and “downlow” – refusing the gay label not out of stigma of gayness, but association with whiteness. White Power groups forming in response to the sense of Othered gain, as a backlash to the unfulfilled American Dream.  Diverse in religion, occupation, class, interests, etc – “But the one thing that unites all these groups is their vision of masculinity. They see themselves as besieged white men, protecting white women and the traditional family from rapacious sexual predators and protecting a distinctly American vison of masculinity –the Self-Made Man.  The rhetoric, recruitment strategies, mobilizing mentality, and organizational structures promise the restoration of masculinity and the reclamation of that entitlement” (254).             Music and masculinity – country’s embrace of simple pleasures and masculine nostalgia, and rap’s tendency to objectify women and wealth. Angry White Man Eminem raps of poverty’s emasculation, simultaneously discussing violence against his mother and babymomma, raping lesbians, and gay-bashing. Evolutionary psychology as a new extension of scientific sexism. Feminization of poverty as marriages dissolve, left with little child support. Demonization of child support, custody laws. Increased diagnoses of ADD in boys, failure in educational environments. Increased incidences of school and public violence enacted by “angry boys” – bullying culture and equating sexuality with gender performance/deviance. “Doing” sports by talking about sports – masculinizing and exclusion of women from sports chats.

Epilogue –

Women in politics – Hillary Clinton for example, cast as hypermasculine, lesbian, and ugly feminist – combining gender, homophobia, and feminist-fears OR the pretty-pitbull, but often incompetent puppet to be ogled, like Sarah Palin. Intersections of race, class, metrosexuality, homophobia, and gender in 2008 election – Obama’s quest and ‘proving’ of capable masculinity.  Continued economic downturn, women within the workplace as dual (or single) provider. Reassertion of chick flicks and bro-codes; introduction of bro-mance of Apatow movies.


Baumgaertner, Jill P. 1991. “The New Masculinity or the Old Mystification?” Christian Century, 29 May 1991. P. 596.

Blauner, Robert. 1964. Alienation and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Chauncey, George. 1994. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940. New York: Basic Books.

Lacquer, Thomas. 1990. Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Leverenz, David. 1989. Manhood and the American Renaissance. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.

Roedinger, David. 1991. The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class. New York: Verso (pg.13)


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