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From Manhood in America: A cultural history Michael S. Kimmel.

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1 From Manhood in America: A cultural history Michael S. Kimmel

2 Themes of American Manhood, over time – Try to manage, overcome emotions Examples? – – Work, education, etc. – When feeling too pressured Civilizing constraints of domestic life Other men over-dominating

3 I. Initial iterations in competition (pre-American Revolution/Independence) – Carry-over from Britain/France – Born entitled – Valued cultured-ness – Ideal appearance: thin, lank, powdered, frilly, etc. – Ex.: George Washington, founding fathers

4 Initial iterations in competition (cont.) – Craftsmen, shopkeepers, etc. –, valued – Ideal appearance: muscular, big, rough, down-to- earth – Ex.: Thomas Jefferson

5 II. The self-made man (1776-1865) Slowly emerged as dominant ideal… Took over other types Initially contrasted selves with Genteel Patriarch and the Heroic Artisan by: – Economic autonomy exhibited in a politically autonomous new nation – Success must be earned, manhood proved - constantly – Rising middle-class Myth of mobility – – Ideal appearance: embodied both class and down-to-earth-ness So working and trade classes strove to appear higher, and entitled classes strove to exhibit rough masculinity Valued and education, intelligence, politics and passion – Also into it (racist) (xenophobic) (sexist) Ex.: Andrew Jackson, Daniel Boone Had to confront rage of the dying class of Heroic Artisans (p. 23)

6 The self-made man (cont.) Identity crises – Balance of all ideal forces – Body, sexual desire, emotions – Diets, anti-masturbation manuals, hard beds, etc. – Avoid extraneous sex with wife – Alcohol (most men drank more then that at any other point in history) – Separation of spheres (much more stringent & implemented more than had been in Europe) – Visiting Europeans comment on comparative lack of freedom of women to move about Women were held responsible for moral restraint – of selves & their men – Domestic and domesticators – (men in training) Implemented strictures on appropriate boyhood heretofore not present Retreat of Fatherhood – Only different others – Native American & African guides & African/African-American slaves Mobility goal so could be over more others

7 Support for feminism or womens rights… Viewed as indication of, as if – support for inequality somehow made one more of a man (p. 48) – Power viewed as As Civil War developed… – Southern – Self-made – Northern – Self-made

8 III. Industrial/New Man Both World Wars Competing types: – Substitute for aristocracy – employed to exclude others/elevate selves – Feminized/Nativized/Naturalized non-White men & all women Masculinity increasingly an – Men – Increasing intensity of for that display – Antidotes to act for otherwise white-collar men : – Theodore Roosevelt & rough riders – Boyscouts of America – Sports – Pioneers – Military stories Rescuing boys from – Men –

9 IV. White Collar Conformists/Suburban Playboys (1945-1960) – – Only acceptable forms of pleasure: Other mens company – – But specific model – Only acceptable form of aggression Otherwise, its just men who feel need to it – Never question authority But fears of communism/brainwashing (irony)

10 V. Current Masculinity…. Similarities… Will cover on Doing Masculinity day

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