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While there was a concerned panic about possible spy behavior of communists in America there was also a concern about homosexuality for some as well. While lesbianism is occasionally included in the conversation it was largely male homosexuality that was of concern. The ties between communism and homosexuality can be unclear but it was assumed there was a seduction aspect that drew in unsuspecting victims, specifically young men. -Savannah Alexander

I think it was very ironic how this moment that Epstein is talking about where Americans are working to combat totalitarianism…by acting totalitarian against supposed communists and homosexuals in America, especially in the federal government and public eye. McCarthyism and crusades against gay men fit the Nazi blueprint that Americans were so afraid of and wanted to combat. –Olivia Foster

Learning that the word totalitarianism was created and essentially a made-up word is suspect to me. In theory, the word seems to make sense when talking about Germany or the Soviet Union in the twentieth century. There government and structure was about total control in society and in Nazi Germany, everything was under control and a microscope. Maybe I have the meaning and understanding wrong, but I'm curious what other words that have been created and understood in the English language. - Daniel Childers

Homophobia and anti-Communism were both perceived societal issues during this period. While other things such as space invasion and juvenile delinquency were also great societal concerns, the publication of homophobic and anti-communistic pieces was much more prevalent, especially in magazines. -RJD

Communism was seen as a threat to American Individualism, scandal magazines painted it this way and insinuated that it was a large threat to the modern American. If you fed into the communist party, you would lose your individualism. -RJD

In the 1950's, homosexuality was seen as something that was increasing at an alarming rate. The concern for homosexuals had little real foundation, instead focussed on draftees and percentages, rather than actual impacts on American society. -RJD

I found the duality of concerns being raised regarding communism and homosexuality to be very fascinating. The two concepts where compared to one another as two of the more corruptive aspects of society to date. - Joey Welch

One thing that struck me was just how much media attention homosexuality was receiving during this time. Mass media definitely helped play a part in these sorts of homophobic rhetoric, and it only helped to perpetuate the ideals spread by the government. - Trey Reid

I found it interesting that they described homosexuality as “the threat to American manhood.” The author also mentions that male homosexuality gained more attention than lesbianism. “The growth of homosexuality, many writers argued, was a result of American fears of sexuality if expressions of sexuality between men and women were discouraged, then some people would turn to homosexuality” (34). -Moe Cushing

epstein_anti-communism_homophobia_and_the_construction_of_masculinity_in_the_postwar_u.s.txt · Last modified: 2023/04/21 15:53 by