Read e-book online Shrinking Violets and Caspar Milquetoasts: Shyness, Power, PDF

Read e-book online Shrinking Violets and Caspar Milquetoasts: Shyness, Power, PDF

By Patricia McDaniel

Considering global battle II americans’ attitudes in the direction of shyness have replaced. The women’s move and the sexual revolution raised questions about communique, self-expression, intimacy, and character, resulting in new matters approximately shyness. while, the expansion of psychotherapy and the psychological well-being introduced shyness to the eye of execs who started to regard it as an disorder short of a remedy. yet what's shyness? How is it with regards to gender, race, and sophistication identities? And what does its stigmatization say approximately our tradition? In Shrinking Violets and Caspar Milquetoasts, Patricia McDaniel tells the tale of shyness. utilizing well known self-help books and journal articles she exhibits how triumphing attitudes towards shyness often paintings to disempower girls. She attracts on proof as varied as Fifties perspectives of shyness as a womanly advantage to modern perspectives of shyness as a barrier to intimacy to focus on how cultural criteria governing shyness reproduce and hold energy transformations among and between men and women.

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Extra resources for Shrinking Violets and Caspar Milquetoasts: Shyness, Power, and Intimacy in the United States, 1950-1995 (The American Social Experience)

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If this form of torture was not sufficient to silence scolding women, they could always be sentenced to death, particularly if their scolding was perceived as evidence of a witch’s curse (Macfarlane 1970, 159). But despite these prohibitions, scolds were sometimes given license to play an important role in the community: that of its unofficial conscience (Davis 1975, 147). 9 Thus, women were frequently cen­ tral players in riots and tax revolts throughout western Europe. One such The Emotional Culture of Shyness • 27 tax revolt in 1645 in Montpellier was led by a woman “who shouted for death for the tax-collectors who were taking the bread from their chil­ dren’s mouths” (Davis 1975, 146).

32 • The Emotional Culture of Shyness Women’s gossip, while less threatening than displays of female anger, was also viewed as a danger to community order and was discouraged in the European manner by the threat of gagging, ducking,11 and cleft sticks “slipped over too-busy tongues” (Carson 1966, 55; Spruill 1938, 330–31). These disparities in punishment and in sanctioned forms of speech suggest that colonial women’s verbal assertiveness was more threatening to the social order than men’s. Against this backdrop, the ideals of meekness and modesty that women were expected to emulate acquired heightened political meaning.

But at the same time, men were ex­ pected to know when to abandon submission and quietness in favor of assertiveness, for “the very duties that demanded submission to some people and to some social expectations required action against others” (Rotundo 1993, 14). Thus, men were expected to chastise subordinates when necessary, and lay claim to scarce resources on behalf of their fam­ ilies (Rotundo 1993, 14). Similarly, modesty and meekness could not in­ terfere with a woman’s ability to manage the household, a task that re­ quired frequent contact with neighbors of both sexes, in private homes and in public taverns (Ryan 1975, 76).

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