By P. McDevitt
As Britain's nice strength prestige got here to be more and more challenged within the many years earlier than the 1st international conflict, one derivative of the ensuing uncertainty was once the weakening of the Victorian, middle-class consensus of what constituted excellent manhood. Britain's empire used to be not just the resource of wealth and gear, however it concurrently supplied substitute types of masculinity and nationhood. for that reason, the empire and the commonwealth performed a big function in defining imperial gender relatives in either Britain and within the colonies and dominions. might the easiest guy Win investigates the continuous second look and reassertion of assorted masculine beliefs linked to recreation within the British empire among 1880 and 1935.
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Extra info for May the Best Man Win: Sport, Masculinity, and Nationalism in Great Britain and the Empire, 1880–1935
For example, the caman has long held symbolic value as a substitute for a rifle. ”92 The conflation of sport and militarism seemed to suggest that if Gaelic athletes could conquer and defend the 34 May the Best Man Win borders of the playing fields of Ireland from the imposition of British institutions, surely it was only a matter of time before the same was done for the nation. The growth of scientific play and the attendant increased importance of discipline had direct and numerous effects on conceptions of masculinity for the Gaelic community.
For example, The Gaelic Athletic Annual of 1910–11 reported “Half the male population of the kingdom [Co. ”57 The camaraderie generated on trips “with the lads,” away from the stresses of work and families included restaurants and pubs with their attendant drunkenness, singing, and gaiety. The games reinforced the image of political unity, namely a brotherhood of Gaels, which, with their women in concomitant subordination, would reclaim their lost nation from a feminized oppressor. The participants and administrators of the game had little difficulty reconciling the incredible violence involved in hurling and their desire to portray the Irish man as peaceable.
Finally, an emphasis on strategy and artfulness allowed both games to contrast themselves favorably with rugby, where play centered on large packs of brutish men tackling, kicking, and otherwise bloodying one another to determine victory. Even though Gaelic games required strength and included violence within the normal course of play, it was held that the intellectual aspects of the games were paramount. In these ways, the progress of Gaelic football and hurling toward “scientific” play was in many ways symbiotic with the community that fostered them.