By Matthew Basso

In around the nice Divide, a few of our best historians glance to either the historical past of masculinity within the West and to the ways in which this adventure has been represented in video clips, well known song, dimestore novels, and folklore.

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Because God had created woman as the weaker of the sexes and ren­ dered her helpless to the desires of men, male authority enforced through seclusion was one way to safeguard female shame and maintain the family's 30 RAM6N A. G UTIERREZ hon<;>r. Dona Maria Luisa de Aragon of Tome expressed a correlate of this conception of the female when she lamented in 1 766 that her married daugh­ ter had conceived a child from an adulterous liaison while her husband was absent in Mexico City. " Frailty to the ploys of men and the desires of flesh meant that it was necessary to seclude women to protect their virtue.

See also Barbara Meldrum, "Images of Women in Western American Literature," The Midwest Quarterly 17 (April 1976): 252-67. 30. See R. W. Connell, Masculinities (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1 995) and R. W. Connell, "Hegemonic Masculinity and Emphasized Femininity," in Feminist Frontiers Iv, ed. Verta Taylor, Laurel Richardson, and Nancy Whittier (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1 997), 22-25. 3 1 . Eastern fraternal organizations are investigated in Donald Yacovone, "'Surpassing the Love of Women': Victorian Manhood and the Language of Fraternal Love," in A Shared Experience: Men, Women and the Histmy of Gender.

If l owed her anything, I am a Christian and as such would act according to the laws of conscience . . but in this matter she appears to be acting more under the influence of her mother than of her free will, and as such, I am convinced that this appears to me more dementia than justice. Juana dropped her opposition to the marriage when confronted with her less than proper past. She said she no longer wished to marry Belasquez "because I fear a bad life with him, because of his threats, and because of the mistreat­ ments I have already experienced .

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