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Colonialism Conceptualization of Masculinity - Essay Example

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Name of student: Topic: Lecturer: Date of Presentation: Introduction Industrial revolution in Europe was the beginning of economic progress and associated benefits such as urbanization, population explosion and consequently technological progress…
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Colonialism Conceptualization of Masculinity
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Download file to see previous pages These necessitated the need for colonization or imperialism as a source of raw materials for industries, labor, and market for finished products. This consequently led to scramble for colonies by the European nations such as Britain and France culminating into endless wars between nations and also with the colonized as they seek their freedom. Success depended on the military strength of the nation in terms of weapons and soldiers. The matter for concern in this paper is how gender, sexuality and race played a role in this imperialism. The colonists needed strong dedicated men to fight for the country thus the construction of the concept ‘masculinity’ as the key to success. The paper will thus focus on how colonialism conceptualized masculinity and how imperial masculinity was constructed. It will also look at the reality of colonial man compared to image and the dangers posed to manhood by colonialism. Lastly, it will compare and contrast the colonial manhood with the native manhood. In trying to achieve this, the paper will argue that the relationship between imperialism and masculinity was not only due to the opportunities of adventure and economic progress, but also due to the pattern of gender relations within the European countries especially Britain. For many men, it was a way of escaping the “feminized and demoralizing home atmosphere” (Tosh 1995, 82). ...
Men are born masculine in nature and this involves being strong, aggressive, decision makers and protector. On the other hand, women are viewed as are being naturally soft, being caring, nurturing and such qualities. The society using these qualities conceptualizes masculinity as being superior that feminity; men are supposed to protect women in society. Is this the same criteria used by colonists to conceptualize masculinity? To a certain extent, this criterion defines masculine men but some other attributes are created by Europeans. The defeat of Britain in Anglo-Boer war of 1899-1902 was attributed to physical incapacity leading to conception of colonialism masculinity (Tosh 1995, 72). The men involved in the war were considered degenerates since they did not have the qualities needed for a soldier such as strength and good health. According to Baden-Powell (184), men who contributed to the downfall of the Roman Empire were found to have declining standards of strength in terms of weight and height and health; they were four inches less in 1895 than the men of 1845 who were 5 ft 6 inc in height and 6 pounds under average weight (184-185). What were the attributes of masculinity according to British and France? For the colonists, being strong was not the only measure of masculinity. One had to be brave, determined, exercise continence, be able to regulate bowel movements, self-discipline, and self- sacrifice or be ready to suffer for the sake of the nation and exercise endurance and be loyal to his country (Baden-Powell, 185). For Aldrich (126) the ideals of masculinity and colonialism include warfare, liberty, manliness, patriotism and success. Masculinity in colonialism though may have been attained ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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