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But as the star of her feverish nighttime fantasies, the man was simply divine. Still, Opal Lockhart had no chance with Detroit's self-made millionaire. What would a high roller like him want with a buttoned-up, naive secretary like her? Paxton, Nancy L. Piscataway: Rutgers University Press, Perry, Adele. Raub, Patricia. Reardon, Patrick T. Rose, Sonya. National Identity and Citizenship in Wartime Britain Sharoni, Simona. New York: Syracuse University Press, Sharpe, Jenny. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Shohat, Ella.
Matthew Bernstein and Gaylyn Studlar. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, Stoler, Ann Laura. Durham: Duke University Press, Studlar, Gaylyn. Valentino and ethnic masculinity in the s. London and New York: Routledge, Tabili, Laura.
Cornell: Cornell University Press, University of Sydney, January Silents Are Golden. Ward, Paul. Webster, Wendy. Englishness and Empire, Whitaker, Brian. The Guardian, 23 March Woollacott, Angela. It would be another decade before they were enfranchised on the same terms as men. Modern romance novels written in English have a pedigree which stretches back to the eighteenth century:. Modleski 15 . Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Margaret M. The human body is both naturally and culturally produced, and each body has three distinct points of analysis and perspective […].
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While the most obvious body is the individual body, or the embodied self, the human body is also a social body and a political body. This tripartite approach to understanding the human body can usefully be applied to the protagonists of romance novels. We can think of them as individuals with physical bodies the individual body , as representations of cultural identities the social body , and as characters existing in a particular political context the political body.
Since each protagonist has three bodies, there are six bodies in a monogamous romantic relationship. Although we will discuss all six bodies, our discussion will centre around some socio-sexual aspects of the social bodies and a few socio-political elements of the political bodies. We focus in particular on one configuration of the six bodies which is both extremely common in modern romances and has a long history within the genre, and then briefly discuss a few alternative configurations, some of which are relatively recent innovations and others of which have been present in romantic fiction for centuries.
As humans, we understand that we have a body; our consciousness is embodied in a physical self. Was he looking at her nose? Her nose was too big for the perfect oval of her face, too distinctive. She knew without vanity that she was beautiful, but not in the classical sense of the word. Her features taken piece by piece were far from perfect — apart from her nose, her blue eyes were too widely spaced, her mouth too full — but together with her gleaming cap of midnight-black hair they formed a striking whole.
Napier 6. The body of the romantic hero may represent an ideal of masculine beauty, […] beauty here is the equivalent of physical strength, and physical strength itself becomes a sign of something more, a definition of authentic virility as a power that is always scarcely contained.
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Cook Harlequins revitalize daily routines by insisting that a woman combing her hair, a woman reaching up to put a plate on a high shelf so that her knees show beneath the hem, if only there were a viewer , a woman doing what women do all day, is in a constant state of potential sexuality. Snitow Bodies are more than flesh, blood, and bone: the social and political bodies co-exist with, and are written on, the individual body. The social body can be thought of as the way in which the individual body relates to its cultural context.
His avoidance of ostentatious dress reveals his lack of vanity and is a culturally approved masculine behaviour, albeit perhaps a historically anachronistic one for a novel set in the Middle Ages.
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Women, for example, are expected to construct their social bodies through how they dress and adorn themselves. Turning woman into an ornamented surface requires an enormous amount of discipline and can cause discomfort, not to mention untold feelings of inadequacy. King Cross-cultural studies have found that. Such ideal statuses and their attendant images, or models, often become psychic anchors, or psychological identities, for most individuals, serving as a basis for self-perception.
Gilmore Zilbergeld suggests that sexuality is an area in which men feel under particular pressure to earn and demonstrate manhood:.
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One of the cornerstones of the masculine stereotype in our society is that a man is one who has no doubts, questions, or confusion about sex, and that a real man knows how to have good sex and does so frequently. For a man to ask a question about sex, thereby revealing ignorance, or to express concern, or to admit to a problem is to risk being thought something less than a man.
Manhood, then, is a status which once achieved must be maintained, and it therefore appears to be a status more easily lost by males than womanhood is by females. Despite all evidence to the contrary people would persist in seeing him as fragile, even his family who certainly should know better.
He had to fight duels with nearly every new officer in the regiment to establish his manhood. It usually involves questions of body ornament or sexual allure, or other essentially cosmetic behaviors that enhance, rather than create, an inherent quality of character […], femininity is more often construed as a biological given that is culturally refined or augmented. Even if she chooses not to augment her femininity but instead performs actions and behaviours associated with masculinity, a heroine may do so without losing her womanhood.
By contrast, cross-dressing heroes are extremely rare, and if a hero acts in ways which are associated with femininity, this will tend to be dealt with circumspectly, so as not to impugn his masculinity. In another romance, analysed by Mary M. Artists are assumed to be male, but at the same time there is some sort of problem with having an artist as hero.
There is a shadow of doubt cast on the gender identity of artists. Being artistic is not masculine. The hero […] is established as artist but reassuringly masculine, meaning heterosexual. Gender ideologies create, and are simultaneously created by, beliefs about human sexuality. There are deeply ingrained cultural beliefs about the differences between male and female sexuality Kane and Schippers.
Far from being entirely innate,. These processes provide the interpretive context for sexual feelings, desires and longings. Blackwood This may explain why so many romance heroines, particularly in older romances, are virgins who are initiated into sexual activity by a romance hero, although thereafter they may enjoy sex immensely. This giving of virginity adds an immeasurable element of drama and power to the story.
It changes the heroine, of course, but in romance novels it also changes the hero. It is significant that Owens Malek only discusses the virginity of female characters. Was my gift such a paltry thing?