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Remasculinization in America

"Oh Bevis! And I thought you were so rugged!"
by

Lisette Cole

on 23 April 2010

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Transcript of Remasculinization in America

"Oh Bevis! And I thought you were so rugged!" Remasculinization of
Media in America
OR: Media and Body Image Football It is clear from social and historical context that Winston Groom’s novel "Forrest Gump" was affected by the remasculinization of the media in America, and Groom created a strong male protagonist to emphasize the critical changes in men's roles in society after the failed Vietnam War. Thesis: Leading Men 1940s 1960s 1980s The End By lisette Cole Pictures from google :) “By the time I was sixteen I was six foot six an weighed two hundrit forty-two pounds” (Groom 5) “Being masculine means having a formidable presence in the world, one that symbolizes power, control, and invulnerability, not to mention the capacity to exercise violence when required” (Clement 89) To have power in society, one’s appearance must portray power. Football is a game of violence, of domination and control. It is the personification of masculinity in America during the last half of the 20th century. “Southern fans often used religious or possibly religious descriptors to express how they experienced college football. When asked to rank a number of aspects of their lives, fans ranked football just behind church as the place where they have ‘the deepest and most positive emotional experiences.’” (Bain-Selbo). Groom uses the football scenes to inspire “vicarious masculinity” in the male readers. Fans in crowds experience a special kind of “vicarious masculinity”, because although they do not perform the acts of masculinity, they associate with them because they are men (Tripp). Remasculinization After Vietnam War Social Upheaval Men had to do SOMETHING! “the large-scale renegotiation and regeneration of the images, values, interests, and activities held important to a successful achievement of male adulthood in the American social culture.” (Jeffords, xi). “An Interview with Author (And Crimson Tide Fan) Winston Groom". Interview by Ted Bauer. ESPN. n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2010.
Bain-Selbo, Eric. "Ecstasy, Joy, and Sorrow: The Religious Experience of Southern College Football." Encyclopedia Britannica. Journal of Religion & Popular Culture, 2008. Web. 19 Apr. 2010
In his encyclopedia journal entry, Bain-Selbo writes about polls taken by Southern college football fans, and the connection between religious passion and the joy derived from football. Also, it discusses the definition of religious experience and debates different ideas about why the South is so different from the North. This article is written by a professor writing a book on the topic, with an audience of both the common man and academia. The message is that the South experiences football in an entirely different manner than the North. Indeed, the entire religious experience of the South varies, most likely because of its conservative roots. I will use this in discussing why Groom chose football to be the sport Forrest participates in, to add social context to the novel.
Cash, Johnny. "A Boy Named Sue Lyrics." Song Lyrics. 2009. Web. 19 Apr. 2010. <http://www.lyricsbay.com/a_boy_named_sue_lyrics-johnny_cash.html>.
Clement, Priscilla Ferguson, and Jacqueline S. Reinier. Boyhood in America: an Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2001. Print.
Ducat, Stephen. The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity. Boston: Beacon, 2004. Print.
In his novel The Wimp Factor, Stephen Ducat is arguing that the role of masculinity is important in politics, especially during war time. He is protesting the way the Bush and Clinton administrations were critique, based on masculinity and derisive femininity. It is a comical book written by a political science expert who is addressing his message to the common person, willing to be educated. The novel contains actual political cartoons and examines the different administrations and their criticisms. I will use this in my paper to discuss the derisive feministic ideas, and how the remasculinization promoted a negative attitude towards females.
Groom, Winston. Forrest Gump. New York: Washington Square, 1986. Print.
Forrest Gump is a novel by Winston Groom about an idiot’s amazing life throughout the late 20th century. It explores many different topics such as Vietnam, feminism, and the way people treat the handicapped. Forrest Gump is written by a Southern writer during the 1980s for a general American audience. Winston Groom has many messages in his novel, and I will use this book as my primary source to prove he wrote during a period of remasculinization and his protagonist is a prime example of the male ideal. This will be where I get most of the paper, as the situations and characters within make up the majority of my argument.
Jeffords, Susan. The Remasculinization of America: Gender and the Vietnam War. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1989. Print.
Lewis, Chris S. "The Women's Movement for Equal Rights in the 1960s and 1970s." University of Colorado at Boulder. 18 Nov. 2002. Web. 18 Apr. 2010. <http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/feminism.htm>.
Messner, Michael A. "The Masculinity of the Governator: Muscle and Compassion In American Politics." GENDER & SOCIETY 21.4 (2007): 461-80. Print.
---. Politics of Masculinities: Men in Movements. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1997. Print.
Stearns, Peter N. Be a Man!: Males in Modern Society. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1979. Print.
Tripp, Laurel. "What is Man Enough?: College Football Fans Negotiating Hegemonic Notions of Masculinity". Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta Hilton Hotel, Atlanta, GA, Aug 16, 2003. 13 Apr. 2010 http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p107131_index.html
This source is an article about the inherent masculinity of football, involving both the players and the fans. Tripp discusses the psychology behind common actions in football and analyzes why specific things occur at games, such as booing or critiquing the referee. The rhetor is clearly an educated woman, lecturing about psychology with an audience of educated sociologists. The purpose is to prove her point of the relation between sociology and feministic theory while studying the masculinity of the game of football, and how power affects the fans just as much as the players. I will use this source to prove that football is a masculinizing event that emphasizes Groom’s manly lead role.
Works Cited
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