Victorian ideas of masculinity and its
Victorian ideas of masculinity and its
It denoted the inner moral resources of a person as manifest in demeanour and conduct towards others. Hence, the husband and father was considered to be the pater familias with extensive power. The public schools strongly endorsed the former position, justifying the obsession with games on the grounds of physical fitness, endurance, loyalty and obedience. Besides work, Victorian men were also active in the public sphere of clubs and taverns, indulging in homosociality. Straightforwardness could readily be glossed as honesty in every word and deed. Later in the century, when Oxford and Cambridge opened their doors to women, many families refused to let their clever daughters attend for fear that they would make themselves unmarriageable. Imperialism[ edit ] In the second half of the 19th century the ideal of Victorian manliness became increasingly defined by imperialism because the subordination of non-western cultures was in its heyday in Britain. Thus, part of the concept of masculinity became military and patriotic virtue , which defined the ideal man as courageous and enduring like hunters , adventurers , and pioneers , all of whom were profoundly self-sufficient and independent and had broad scientific knowledge. Muscular Christianity[ edit ] With the beginning of the second half of the 19th century the picture of the ideal of manliness started to shift. In colonial warfare military reputation was purchased more cheaply than in large-scale European conflicts, and in particular it offered plenty of opportunities for the kind of resourceful irregular operations which were the stuff of adventure yarns.
Popular manliness prescribed moral qualities which could be adapted or re-interpreted to express a wider moral vision — notably courage, resolution, straightforwardness and self-discipline. She suffered from hysterical outbursts as a teenager, and could not bear to eat with the rest of the family.
Straightforwardness could readily be glossed as honesty in every word and deed. Indeed it was at the bottom of the social ladder that traditional secular notions of manliness were strongest. Some unfortunate couples were obliged to endure an engagement lasting decades before they could afford to marry.
The athlete was the new hero of society. Indeed the constant repetition of the same homilies suggests rather that the message often fell on stony ground and that traditional notions of manliness retained their appeal in many quarters.
The overwhelming impression left by the voluminous Victorian and Edwardian didactic literature is that manliness was above all a moral attribute, requiring adherence to a stringent ethical code.
As the head of the household, his duty was not only to rule, but also to protect his wife and children. That the gentry gave unwavering support to these schools in their new incarnation indicates a preoccupation with moral appearances at the very least.
History of toxic masculinity
These emotional frustrations could lead to all sorts of covert rebellion. In fact the constant insistence by religious writers on moral manliness reflects the conviction among Evangelical clergymen that they were challenging one of the most resilient aspects of a largely secular — if not downright irreligious - popular culture. A man could only become a better man through the atmosphere of the home. In many ways, though, household expectations cemented gender roles in this era and distanced men from nurturing roles. Thirdly, and most important of all to the Victorians, the man of character was able to practise the self-discipline and self-denial needed to see any great purpose through to its end. For those unlucky enough to develop full-blown tertiary syphilis, the result was a painful and lingering death, usually in the mids. Usage terms Public Domain Young and not-so-young women had no choice but to stay chaste until marriage. Men felt effeminacy was destroying the church. He was frank and truthful — even blunt — in speech. Unfortunately syphilis and other sexual diseases were rife, and many young men unwittingly passed on the infection to their wives. Manliness, in short, was the idiom in which men defined men during the long nineteenth century. In its older sense it referred to autonomy of social status: an independent man was someone who did not owe his position to patronage and who needed to show no undue deference — a requirement which was often more convincingly met by the rising middle class than by the aristocracy. Some unfortunate couples were obliged to endure an engagement lasting decades before they could afford to marry. It is small wonder that the First World War spelled the end of manliness as a hegemonic masculine ideal.
It denoted the inner moral resources of a person as manifest in demeanour and conduct towards others. Suicide remains the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.
Usage terms Public Domain Marriage and sexuality At the same time, a young girl was not expected to focus too obviously on finding a husband.
Victorian studies professor Dr.
based on 50 review