From From canal boy to president by Horatio Alger, 1881

The Creepy Backstory to Horatio Alger’s Bootstrap Capitalism

In a famous essay, a scholar uncovered difficult truths about Alger, whose name has been associated with the "rags to riches" myth.
A man with well-groomed hair

Why Some Men Go to Salons for Haircuts

The difference between a clipper cut at the barber shop and "pampering" at the salon has roots in gender ideology and class structure.
A man with binoculars

The Manly Birdwatchers of Ontario

Finding a hobby that doesn't undermine your 19th-century masculinity can be tough.
Saturday Evening Post cover, Jan 14, 1956

How DIY Home Repair Became a Hobby for Men

It was only in the 20th century that toolboxes became staples in the homes of middle-class men.
Beatles hair 1963

The High School Hair Wars of the 1960s

Following the introduction of the mop top by the Beatles, the battle over how long school boys could wear their hair in the 1960s and 1970s went to the courts again and again.
speech bubbles me too

Finding the Words We Need to Talk About Sexual Assault and Harassment

"Me too." As the conversation around sexual assault has spread, it's become clear that not everybody is prepared to talk about such a difficult issue.
Presidential facial hair

The Meaning of a Mustache

To shave or not to shave? At the start of the twentieth century, a trend away from facial hair reflected dramatic social and economic shifts.
Boy biking

How World War I Put Boys on Bikes

The first modern bicycles were for adults. Ads for boys’ bikes drew from, and fed into, a changing vision of boyhood during World War I.
WPA mural masculinity

What Kind of Work is “Masculine”?

What's the fate of "masculinity" in a world where it’s hard for many men to achieve personal success? It's a question we asked in the 1930s, too.
Dagwood

What Father’s Day Jokes Really Mean

Comic strip dads give us some sociological clues into how views surrounding masculinity and fatherhood have changed.