Harvey C. Mansfield

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0300122543

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book invites—no, demands—a response from its readers. It is impossible not to be drawn in to the provocative (often contentious) discussion that Harvey Mansfield sets before us. This is the first comprehensive study of manliness, a quality both bad and good, mostly male, often intolerant, irrational, and ambitious. Our “gender-neutral society” does not like it but cannot get rid of it.
Drawing from science, literature, and philosophy, Mansfield examines the layers of manliness, from vulgar aggression, to assertive manliness, to manliness as virtue, and to philosophical manliness. He shows that manliness seeks and welcomes drama, prefers times of war, conflict, and risk, and brings change or restores order at crucial moments. Manly men in their assertiveness raise issues, bring them to the fore, and make them public and political—as for example, the manliness of the women’s movement.
After a wide-ranging tour from stereotypes to Hemingway and Achilles, to Nietzsche, to feminism, and to Plato, the author returns to today’s problem of “unemployed manliness.” Formulating a reasoned defense of a quality hardly obedient to reason, he urges men, and especially women, to understand and accept manliness, and to give it honest and honorable employment.

Gender Failure

Mixing Metaphors: God As Mother And Father In Deutero-Isaiah

Joining the Resistance

Gender, Politics, and Poetry in Twentieth-Century Argentina

Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium















taught to us by our patriarchal tradition, and serving the interest of that tra- Manliness as Stereotype 25 dition, in which women are held to be unequal to men. We have lived with it up to now, but there is no necessity, there is nothing in nature, requiring us to continue living under a delusion that so drastically limits our freedom of choice. The word stereotype came originally from printing: a stereotype is a kind of impression. As we use it now, the word implies that society impresses us

construction, meaning that all we know is contingently based on how society is now—and so manliness is impermanent and will pass away in the gender-neutral society— then it is reasonable to feel anxiety instead of confidence. And it might be reasonable to cover up one’s anxiety with loud bluYng, like TR, because some kind of society is better than nothing. Perhaps the gender-neutral society needs its own bluVers too, counter-Teddies to defend it against its own contingency. For since gender

adventure, and the worst of all fears is the fear of living.”25 Who would say now that visiting a national park is a great adventure? Yellowstone, where TR gave one of his most famous speeches in 1903, is now no more, perhaps less, an adventure than visiting Disneyland with its artificial thrills. Yellowstone, he said, would ensure to future generations “much of the old-time pleasure of the hardy life of the wilderness and of the hunter in the wilderness . . . kept for all who have the love of

he thought for a time, a modern German version of tragedy in the music of Wagner. If we recall the passage in Plato’s Republic where Socrates seems scandalized by the bad example set by the behavior of the gods displayed in Homer’s Iliad, we can see that Nietzsche wants to revive for our time the warring gods that Socrates declared impermissible.82 Let ’em rip! Warring gods will reintroduce drama and value to us, give us a problem, confront us with a task—the monumental task of rescuing mankind

is, each will be willing to agree to the rule of a sovereign who will decide controversies for all. The necessary fear is not merely fear of death in a general sense of revealing the fragility of life, but fear of unforeseen death at the hands of another human being, a violent death that causes each individual to abandon his overconfident dreams of glory and triumph over rivals. Only the fear of violent death addresses the problem arising from competitive manliness and forces manly men—now all of

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