Advertisement

‘He-Notes’: Reconstructing Masculinity

  • Gail Cunningham
Chapter

Abstract

What was the New Woman’s construction of masculinity? The question may provoke some seemingly obvious answers: ‘masculinity’, as the concept embracing the social, political and sexual behaviour of men, was what upheld the patriarchal hegemony against which the New Woman was rebelling. Her attack — in the 1890s at least — on the social and domestic constructs of marriage, the family, sexuality, constituted a subversion of the male power-base so fundamental as to produce, in the words of Gilbert and Gubar, a ‘crisis of masculinity’.1 It is this crisis, they argue, which is responsible for such fin-de-siècle texts of demonized or marginalized female figures as Haggard’s She, Stoker’s Dracula, Wilde’s Salome or MacDonald’s Lilith.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, No Man’s Land Volume 2, ‘Sexchanges’ (London: Yale University Press, 1989), xii.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Elaine Showalter, Sexual Anarchy ( London: Virago, 1992 ), 79.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sandra M. Gilbert, ‘Rider Haggard’s Heart of Darkness’, Partisan Review, 13, 1983, 444–53.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure ( London: Macmillan, 1895 ).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Edmund Gosse, Saturday Review, 8 February 1896, 153–4.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Ménie Muriel Dowie, Gallia (London; J. M. Dent, 1995 ), 3.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    George Eliot, Middlemarch ( London, Penguin, 1985 ), 67.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    George Egerton, Symphonies ( London, John Lane, 1897 ), 64.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gail Cunningham

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations