By Milette Shamir, Jennifer Travis
We take without any consideration the concept that white, middle-class, directly masculinity connotes overall keep watch over of feelings, emotional inexpressivity, and emotional isolation. That males repress their emotions as they search their fortunes within the aggressive worlds of commercial and politics appears a given. This number of essays via well-known literary and cultural critics rethinks such quite often held perspectives by means of addressing the historical past and politics of emotion in winning narratives approximately masculinity. How did the tale of the emotionally stifled U.S. male come into being? What are its political stakes? Will the "release" of heterosexual, white, middle-class masculine emotion remake current varieties of energy or strengthen them? This assortment forcefully demanding situations our such a lot entrenched principles approximately male emotion. via readings of works by means of Thoreau, Lowell, and W. E. B. Du Bois, and of 20th century authors akin to Hemingway and Kerouac, this publication questions the patience of the emotionally alienated male in narratives of white middle-class masculinity and addresses the political and social implications of male emotional unencumber.
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Extra resources for Boys don't cry?: rethinking narratives of masculinity and emotion in the U.S.
Of bees that, so long as they work in concert, succeed in defending themselves against a predatory kingbird (29); the “neighborly excursions” to other farms, from which he returns “extremely happy, because there I see good living almost under every roof ” (67). ,” a letter generally viewed as an archetypal instance of the liberal individualism that would become America’s dominant ideology, the satisfactions of Farmer James’s American identity are more often affective than acquisitive, collective or mutual than autonomous and competitive: “a share of national pride” (40); “attachment” to a country that affords him “land, bread, protection, and consequence” (43); “mixture of blood” and “[incorporation] into one of the ﬁnest systems of population which has ever appeared” (44); and “not .
320. 14. Savran, Taking it Like a Man. See also Sally Robinson in this volume. 15. Faludi, Stiffed. For another perspective, see Christopher Newﬁeld’s discussion of “male femininity” in “The Politics of Male Suffering,” pp. 63–67. qxd 12/26/01 10:45 Page 21 Introduction cue (66). For more on profeminist men see Judith Newton in this volume. 16. Romero, Home Fronts, p. 4. See also Ann Cvetkovich, Mixed Feelings. 17. Lutz and Abu-Lughod, Language and the Politics of Emotion, pp. 2–3. 18. Pﬁster, “On Conceptualizing the Cultural History of Emotional and Psychological Life,” pp.
Moreover, James’s emotional impulse, which exhausts his ammunition, turns out to deprive him of the means of relieving the sufferer by ending his life: “ﬁnding [himself ] unable to perform so kind an ofﬁce,” James can only stand “convulsed” and “motionless, involuntarily contemplating the fate of this negro in all its dismal latitude” (164). The language of this haunting episode insistently aligns involuntary affect with incapacity, paralysis, and even self-disintegration (convulsion) as its content refuses James any genuine fellowship with the slave.
Boys don't cry?: rethinking narratives of masculinity and emotion in the U.S. by Milette Shamir, Jennifer Travis