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My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor, indexer, and proofreader. This blog is my website.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quote from the current project

Sorry to double-dip in one day on quotes, but this is just too good. From a series on politics and culture in the twentieth-century South . . . a book about the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina:

Of course, most Citadel backers [believed] instead that the mere presence of women in the classroom or the barracks would destroy the school. Besides the previously stated arguments calling females a distraction, many offered a far more intriguing analysis of how women would compromise their ability to build men. Contrary to the notion that the college's system spawned crude, loutish behavior and attitudes, several students claimed that The Citadel allowed them to establish intimate bonds with their cadet brothers. When referring to the barracks as "a place where a man can be a man," several cadets felt most free to express themselves in the communal showers. One cadet explained that, especially as freshmen, "We are in the showers, it's very intimate. We're one mass, naked together, and it makes us closer. . . . You're shaved, you're naked, you're afraid together. You can cry." Another continued, "I know it's all trivial but all of us in one shower, it's like we're all one, we're all the same, and--I don't know--you feel like you're exposed, but you feel safe. . . . I just can't explain it, but when they take that away it's over. This place will be ruined." One summed it up succinctly, "With no women, we can hug each other." The irony lies in the fact that these students believed that by shutting out the judgmental eyes of the outside world, their closed, all-male environment helped them become men by giving them the freedom and security to be more intimate and sensitive, traits some of them might have deemed feminine. (Macaulay, Marching in Step: Masculinity, Citizenship, and The Citadel in Post-World War II America, UGA Press)

1 comment:

moi said...

Um. Yeah. Kinda like the Romans.