False Idols category archive
At Psychology Today Blogs, Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers explore the theory then white men are afraid that they are losing out. A snippet:
At that time (the 1890s–ed.), historian Frederick Turner reacted with alarm, because he believed that the open, seemingly limitless frontier with all its freedoms formed the rugged American character. He worried that American dynamism and energetic masculinity would vanish along with the frontier.
Henry James echoed this sentiment in his novel of the same era, The Bostonians: “The whole generation is womanized; the masculine tone is passing out of the world; it’s a feminine, a nervous, hysterical, chattering, canting age, an age of hollow phrases and false delicacy and exaggerated solicitudes and coddled sensibilities.”
Today’s closing frontier is not a geographical space but a psychological one. Ever since the founding of the nation, white men–especially straight white Christian men–have been in charge. They have been our presidents, our captains of industry, our generals, our Wall Street titans, and they held all the power. They were the ones in “The room where it happens,” as the Hamilton lyric observes.
Even men who had no wealth or celebrity or grand accomplishments could bask in the glow of white male hegemony. They could at least imagine themselves in those “happening” rooms because all the people there looked like them.
I commend the article to your attention. It raises points worthy of consideration.