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The Wimp Factor

Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity

Author: Stephen J. Ducat

In this landmark exploration of how male anxiety has come to define our political culture, Stephen J. Ducat shows the link between the desperate macho strutting of male politicians, the gender gap in voting behavior, and fundamentalist holy wars. He argues that a direct association exists between the magnitude of a man’s femiphobia-that is, his terror of being perceived as feminine-and his tendency to embrace right-wing political opinions.

From the strenuous efforts by handlers to counter George H. W. Bush’s “wimp factor” to the swaggering arrogance that led to the moral and military quagmire in U.S.-occupied Iraq, anxious masculinity has been a discernible subtext in politics. Ducat shows how this anxiety has been an underlying force in public life throughout the history of Western culture, and also explores why and how certain political issues get gendered. Analyzing various aspects of popular culture and drawing on pioneering research on the gender gap, The Wimp Factor is a fascinating expose that will alter our understanding of contemporary politics.
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“A deeply important insight in the hands of a gifted writer.” -Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of The Commercialization of Intimate Life

“[Ducat’s] fresh and complex insights may reach a new generation of swing voters.” -Publishers Weekly

“Even those who disagree with Ducat’s values can appreciate his skillful deployment of anecdotes, media, and wordplay.” -Psychology Today

Reviews

Review by: Neil Altman, Author of The Analyst in the Inner City - September 7, 2005
"The Wimp Factor is a timely and incisive analysis of the contemporary American political situation. It integrates the personal and the political as Ducat forges links between insecure masculinity and the appeal of aggressive, 'lone ranger'-type leaders . . . . The Wimp Factor is not only an urgently needed guide but, indeed, a trail blazer."
Review: Publishers Weekly - September 7, 2005
"[Ducat's] fresh and complex insights may reach a new generation of swing voters."
Review by: Arlie Russell Hochschild, Author of The Commercialization of Intimate Life - September 7, 2005
"A deeply important insight in the hands of a gifted writer."
Review: Psychology Today - September 7, 2005
"Even those who disagree with Ducat's values can appreciate his skillful deployment of anecdotes, media, and wordplay."

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The Wimp Factor

ISBN: 978-080704345-5
Publication Date: 9/7/2005
Pages: 304
Size: x Inches (US)
Price:  $16.00
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.
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