By Patricia McDaniel

Given that international warfare II american citizens’ attitudes in the direction of shyness have replaced. The women’s flow and the sexual revolution raised questions on communique, self-expression, intimacy, and character, resulting in new matters approximately shyness. even as, the expansion of psychotherapy and the psychological well-being introduced shyness to the eye of pros who started to regard it as an disorder wanting a medication. yet what's shyness? How is it on the topic of 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 renowned self-help books and journal articles she exhibits how winning attitudes towards shyness often paintings to disempower girls. She attracts on facts as different 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 retain energy alterations among and between men and women.

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

Example text

Hence arise the various modes of attack and defense between the sexes; the boldness of one sex and the timidity of the other; and, in a word, that bashfulness and modesty with which nature hath armed the weak, in order to subdue the strong. Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile (1765) I n their discussions of shyness, self-help authors writing for a white middle-class audience in the last half of the twentieth century fo­ cused a great deal of attention on its impact on intimate heterosexual relationships.

The important difference between salons and the court was that salons were run by women, and although men participated, women The Emotional Culture of Shyness • 29 set the tone of the gathering (Lougee 1976, 5). Presiding over salons was considered a public role for women, and it was not without controversy. Those who defended women’s participation in salons did so based on a new conception of womanhood. Where once woman’s nonrational “ani­ mal” nature had made her predisposed toward sin, it now made her predisposed toward virtue: [A] revised epistemology which emphasized the value of human feel­ ings made non-rational women the repository of sentiment.

This verbal, physical, and emotional self-posses­ sion was a source of power in the world of business, and a sign that the man was “well bred” (Hilkey 1997, 147–48; Kasson 1990, 149). By defin­ ition, those who were loud, unrestrained, and emotional—men from the working classes, for example, who “swagger[ed] along the street, shout­ ing and laughing”—were neither successful nor well bred (Kasson 1990, 123). White men may have shared an “Anglo-Saxon” identity, but class differences remained, with “loudness” rather than awkward bashfulness as the primary mark of lower-class status.

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