The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity

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Beacon Press, 2005 - Political Science - 294 pages
2 Reviews
In this eye-opening book on how male anxiety has come to shape political thinking and behavior, Dr. Stephen Ducat argues that there is a direct association between the magnitude of a man’s femiphobia and his tendency to embrace right-wing political opinions.

Ducat shows how anxious masculinity has been a discernible subtext in politics throughout the history of Western culture—from the political campaigns of ancient Greece to the contest for the presidency. He also explores why and how political issues—such as environmental protection, support for war, welfare reform, and crime and punishment—get gendered.

Analyzing various aspects of popular culture, such as editorial cartoons, political advertisements, and Freudian slips made by politicians—and drawing on his own pioneering research on the gender gap—Ducat illustrates how men’s fear of the feminine has been a powerful, if subterranean, force.

“A deeply important insight in the hands of a gifted writer.” —Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of The Commercialization of Intimate Life

“[Ducat’s] fresh and complex insights may reach a new generation of swing voters.” —Publishers Weekly

“Even those who disagree with Ducat’s values can appreciate his skillful deployment of anecdotes, media, and wordplay.” —Psychology Today

Stephen J. Ducat is professor of psychology at the School of Humanities at New College of California, a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, and a candidate at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

This book is a discussion of the fear of "the wimp factor", which became a big issue in the 1988 presidential campaign and has continued to plague American politics and foreign policy ever since. A decent read, and a good introduction to the subject. Read full review

The wimp factor: gender gaps, holy wars, and the politics of anxious masculinity

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Just as George Herbert Walker Bush announced his candidacy for president in October 1987, the cover of Newsweek pegged him with the emasculating headline "Fighting the Wimp Factor"-a line that ... Read full review

Contents

From Mamas Boy to HeMan Developmental and Cultural Paths to Anxious Masculinity
24
The Miss Nancy Man in Nineteenthcentury America Historical Roots of Anxious Male Politics
60
The Wimp Factor Performing Masculinity in the Presidential Career of George Herbert Walker Bush
84
Vaginas with Teeth and Castrating First Ladies Fantasies of Feminine Danger from Eve to Hillary Clinton
115
Permutations of the Presidential Phallus Representations of Bill Clinton from Emasculated Househusband to Envied Stud Muffin
150
Voting Like a Man The Psychodynamics of the Gender Gap in Political Attitudes
168
Gender in a Time of Holy War Fundamentalist Femiphobia and Post9n Masculinity
208
Notes
246
Acknowledgments
273
Index
274
Afterword to the Paperback Edition
292
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About the author (2005)

Stephen J. Ducat is professor of psychology at the School of Humanities at New College of California, a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, and a candidate at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

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