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

Front Cover
Beacon Press, 2004 - Psychology - 291 pages
2 Reviews
A landmark exploration of how male anxiety has come to define our political culture

What is the link between wimp factors, gender gaps, and holy wars—three recognizable political phenomena of the twenty-first century? 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.

Dr. 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 current contest for the presidency, and including everything in between, like cartoons of George H. W. Bush exposing his “wimp factor,” the demonization of Hillary Clinton, and the recent war in Iraq. He also explores why and how political issues—such as environmental protection, support for war, welfare reform, immigration, 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. Unexpectedly revealing, The Wimp Factor is a fascinating exposť that will alter our understanding of contemporary politics.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Devil_llama - 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

Selected pages

Contents

An Introduction
1
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 Post911 Masculinity
208
Notes
246
Acknowledgments
273
Index
274
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information