Changing Masculinity

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Duringthe turn if the twentieth century, feminism rose in society, and thischanged the roles of women in the society. This also changed theviews of what it meant to be a man. The changes in society also ledto the rise of enterprises and women started taking up jobs withinthe lower ranks of businesses. Men took up positions in middle andupper levels of management as this required college and high schoolgraduates, who were mostly men. Women, however, started going toschool and entering male domains, which ushered men into the middleclass of the society. This threatened the existing patterns ofmanhood as women could now challenge men in their own domains. Thearrival of women in the workplace forced men to look for otherchannels to assert their manhood such as sports and strenuousrecreation.

Theeffeminate man of the century arose from the fact that most young menwere being raised by women or taught by women. The women emphasizedthe need for bourgeoisie and Protestantism. The women also emphasizedthe need for morality in terms of sexual morality. The effeminate manwas thus characterized by sexual consciousness and had decorum toaccompany his neat appearance. The feminine man was also more engagedin the upbringing of the children and actively took up roles in thedomestic sphere of life. The men also preferred leisure to strenuouspass time activities. Effeminate men were viewed as a threat toAmerica as they would be incapable of protecting the country. The menwould also not be able to propel the American society to success ifthey had feminine characters. The general belief was that theprimitive masculinity was the only means to growth of the society.