Michael Kimmel's Manhood In America

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In Michael Kimmel’s “Manhood in America: A Cultural History”, he provides a broad, heavily researched cultural history of the development of manhood and the definition of masculinity throughout American history. Beginning in the 19th century and ending in the present day administration of Barack Obama, Kimmel identifies that over time society has demanded more and more that the common man be “self-made”. Kimmel’s overall goal in writing this book is to introduce a new concept of masculinity that eliminates the battle that every man faces when trying to achieve so-called “manhood”. He explores the natural instincts that men have and how these instincts are affected by self-control, the surrounding environment, and overall levels of happiness. Starting in the 19th century, men had an increasing pressure to prove their masculinity. In order to support themselves and their families, American men’s desire to prove masculinity came at the cost of minorities, women, and even man’s own personal happiness. This restlessness of being a …show more content…

In my opinion, man’s instinct to prove his masculinity, desire for competition, and longing to reach “manhood” is natural and cannot be changed. Overtime, this natural instinct has decreased and increased as the environment has changed. The anger sparked by progressivism in the workforce brought out this instinct in American men in the 19th century, while further institutions promoting “manliness” continued to evolve in the 20th century. In modern day, people such as myself who believe that everyone should have equal opportunity keeps the instinct of proving my manhood in check. However, if there weren’t conservative men in our country who have this anger against other groups and have the desire to prove their masculinity, America would appear weak in the eyes of countries who have more masculine

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