Women were not alone in facing fundamentally incompatible demands of traditional gender roles and religious faith. Catholic men were asked to submit to social, religious, and governmental authority in ways that challenged their understandings of masculinity and restructured their relationships with the Catholic Church, government, other men, and women. The story of Francis Wodehouse, “The Man with Brass Bowels,” introduces the frustration that many Catholic men experienced trying to fulfill their personal, familial, economic, social, religious, and political responsibilities as men. Men experimented with options, from finding innovative ways to husband their wealth and cross-dressing to avoid the authorities, to constructing elaborate rationales for how to lie to the authorities while still remaining “true” men. Eventually, men such as Wodehouse redefined masculinity along lines that allowed them to be good men, Catholics, and subjects, but only after it became clear that traditional definitions of manhood no longer worked for many Catholic men.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa McClain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA

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