Gendering Imperialism Theodore Roosevelt’s Quest for Manhood and Empire by Gail Bederman

Gail Bederman In 1882, Theodore Roosevelt depicts a young man who assumes his first elective position in the government. Theodore was only twenty-three years old- overflowing with ambitious ideas and self-importance. He was the youngest person in the parliament and looked forward to a bright political future. Despite his success in leadership, competence, and zeal, no one took him very seriously. The more Roosevelt tried to be hardy and strenuous in playing the man role in politics, the more his opponents scoffed his manhood. His opponents attacked his character, high voice, fancy clothing, and tight pants to portray him as a weakling, with limited abilities.
This became very humiliating to Roosevelt since it threatened his political future. This master of public relations articulated the effects of criticisms directed to him by his opponents in the men-dominated society. Roosevelt was not the kind of man who would watch helplessly as his manhood is impugned. This came out evidently when he discovered that Tammany legislator wanted to toss up his political career. Roosevelt went to him and swore by God that if he attempts to do such a thing, he would not hesitate to aggressively retaliate in all manners including biting him and kicking him. This act helped him to restore his tarnished manhood.
His manhood character continued to play a significant role in the country’s politics. His political supremacy became clear when he was elected as mayor for New York. Roosevelt was also at the centre of pushing for strenuous masculinity of America in the world politics including the Annexation of Hawaii. Roosevelt argued that it was very important for the country to embrace imprealism. In his argument, laziness had no room in the country.He believed that America could become perfectly civilized by being manly and imperialistic.
Work cited
Bederman, Gail. Manliness &amp. Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. Print.