Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Manliness in Britain, 1760-1900Bodies, Emotion, and Material Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joanne Begiato

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526128577

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526128584

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Appetites, passions, and disgust: the penalties and paradoxes of unmanliness

Appetites, passions, and disgust: the penalties and paradoxes of unmanliness

(p.68) 2 Appetites, passions, and disgust: the penalties and paradoxes of unmanliness
Manliness in Britain, 1760-1900

Joanne Begiato

Manchester University Press

This chapter demonstrates that unmanliness was written onto ill-formed, unappealing bodies and faces, which prompted disgust, fear, and shame. It shows that adult men were instructed on how to avoid unmanliness through emotionalised bodies: failing, uncontrolled, unattractive bodies created by unchecked appetites and bad habits such as drunkenness, and sexual vices. Men were thus taught that the inability to master one’s self caused literal physical, mental, and moral disintegration. Lack of self-control became more dangerous in the nineteenth century as excessive passions, bodily appetites, and feelings were increasingly pathologised as causes of disease and insanity. Responsibility was placed upon the male individual for failing to exert enough moral control to avoid his illness. The discussion of the relationship between unmanliness, bodies, and emotions that follows reveals the inherent paradox of masculine identity, since many unmanly behaviours were also those which, in a managed form, were central to the performance of normative masculinity. Thus, men had to navigate considerable ambiguities in performing their gender. The chapter shows how unmanliness was especially complicated for those men whose bodies were lacking, due to disability, age, or infirmity. (184 words)

Keywords:   Masculinity, Unmanliness, Bodies, Disgust, Fear, Drunkenness, Sexual vices, Self-control, Disease, Insanity

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.