By Milette Shamir, Jennifer Travis
We take with no consideration the concept white, middle-class, directly masculinity connotes overall keep an eye on 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 to be like a given. This choice of essays through renowned literary and cultural critics rethinks such generally held perspectives via addressing the background 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 hetero, white, middle-class masculine emotion remake present sorts of strength or toughen them? This assortment forcefully demanding situations our such a lot entrenched rules approximately male emotion. via readings of works through Thoreau, Lowell, and W. E. B. Du Bois, and of 20th century authors similar to Hemingway and Kerouac, this ebook 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 liberate.
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Additional resources for Boys don't cry?: rethinking narratives of masculinity and emotion in the U.S.
Qxd 12/26/01 10:45 Page 25 What Feels an American? ticular rift in feeling provides the occasion for this essay: it is feeling’s double identiﬁcation on the one hand as a property and a characterological signature of individuals and, on the other, as a site of resistance not only to secure personal possession but to the very establishment of a regime of individual autonomy. ”7 Thus emotions, crucial exhibits of the self ’s case and intimate agents of its externalization, are at once, scandalously, “alien inﬂuences” that undermine the individual’s claim to selfpossession.
When he partly veils the intensity of his affections by likening his domestic images to ephemeral pipe smoke, even as he confesses their engravement on his heart, he preﬁgures Hawthorne’s ambivalent accommodation of emotional and domestic masculinity in his trope of romance. ” The feelings that James farms here and elsewhere in the narrative are not exclusively domestic ones. If, for James, familial bonds justify proprietary independence—“I married; and this perfectly reconciled me to my situation.
Carton in this volume, p. 000 (emphasis added). 26. Berlant, “Subject of True Feeling,” p. 77. 27. Lewis and Stearns, “Introduction,” p. 1. 28. See Newton in this volume, pp. 000, 000. 29. The term “heteromasculinity” is borrowed from Bryce Traister, whose recent article in American Quarterly analyzed some of the shortcomings that characterize the rise of American masculinity studies. Traister takes scholarship on straight white manhood to task for habitually excluding other masculinities from its analysis, thus reproducing in its methodology the act of historical exclusion it aims to critique.