I had the fortune of reading a paper titled Asking the Right Questions about Baltimore’s African-American Underclass Men and Boys by Jack Kammer, a graduate student at the University of Maryland. There are many interesting discussions and recommendations. One major recommendation is to have more men teachers.
Another very interesting section of his paper was about how the definition of masculine gender has changed over history.
The following is a list that you might find interesting:
APPENDIX B: COMMONLY ACCEPTED OBJECTS AND ACTIVITIES THAT ONCE WERE THOUGHT UNMANLY
In American football, the forward pass was invented precisely because the original running game of football, with its infamous flying wedge, was getting too rough and dangerous. The forward pass was intended to make the game safer but some “purists” derided it as “unmanly.”
· “Football History Was Made Here at SLU,” St. Louis University <www.slu.edu/publications/gc/v6-6/news_24.shtml>
· “131 Years of Princeton Football,” Princeton University <www.princeton.edu/football/history.htm>
Though some American football fans thought the forward pass would ruin the game, “public interest in football soared. A game that had been predicated to a great extent on brute strength became a game of position, balance, speed, mobility and leverage. It still paid to be strong, but now you had to be more than strong.”
· Telleen, Maurice. “75 Years Ago: Late Autumn/Early Winter 1926.” The Draft Horse Journal (Winter 2000-2001)
When the helmet first showed up on football fields, Pudge Heffelfinger, Yale’s three-time All American from 1889-1891 said, “None of that sissy stuff for me.”
· Stewart, Bruce K. (Nov/Dec 1995). “American Football.” American History, Vol. 30 Issue 5, p. 24.
In 1611 Thomas Coryat, an Englishman, saw forks being used in Italy. When he brought them back to England, he was widely ridiculed for feminine airs.
· California Academy of Sciences <www.calacademy.org/research/anthropology/utensil/forks.htm>
· Ludwig von Mises Institute <www.mises.org/efandi/ch5.asp>
Frederick William, an 18th-century Prussian king and father of Frederick the Great, beat his son for wearing gloves in cold weather because it was “an effeminate behavior, worthy only of a Frenchman.”
· Derksen, Mary Lou. “Frederick the Great (1712-1786)”
Wristwatches at first were considered effeminate because “real men” carried pocket watches. When World War I fighter pilots adopted them for tactical reasons, they became acceptably masculine.
· Brink, Bob (May 2000). “The Art and History of Collectible Watches,” Palm Beach Illustrated Magazine, May 2000.
In ancient Greece, using hot water was considered effeminate; a man’s bath typically was a quick bucket of cold water dumped on his head.
· “The History of Plumbing” <www.theplumber.com/greek.html>
Up through the Civil War, cigarettes were considered unmanly because men smoked only pipes and cigars.
· The History Channel. “Empires of Industry Classroom Study Guide” <www.historychannel.com/classroom/admin/study_guide/archives/thc_guide.0092.html>
· “Tips for Tobacco Users” [for Civil War Re- enactors] <www.shasta.com/suesgoodco/newcivilians/advice/tobacco.htm>
Soap and clean underwear
· Arkansas State University <www.clt.astate.edu/rcarlton/PCH09.htm>
· Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Online <www.jsonline.com/news/glimpse/glimpseadd6.asp>
· Grow, Malcolm C. (1918). Surgeon Grow: An American in the Russian Fighting. New York: Frederick A. Stokes. <www.vlib.us/medical/russdoc/Rdoc05.htm>
· Eason, James. University of Chicago class notes <penelope.uchicago.edu/ross/ross216.html>
Open collars revealing the chest
• Hurstwic, a living history society in New England <www.valhs.org/history/articles/daily_living/text/clothing.htm>