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Cow Boys and Cattle MenClass and Masculinities on the Texas Frontier, 1865-1900$
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Jacqueline M. Moore

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814757390

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814757390.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Men and Women

Men and Women

(p.141) 5 Men and Women
Cow Boys and Cattle Men

Jacqueline M. Moore

NYU Press

This chapter describes how the relationships that cattlemen and cowboys had with women also led to differing ideas about manhood. The cattlemen often had their choice of respectable women to marry, and thus defined marriage and the ability to provide for a family as essential markers of manhood. As social outcasts, cowboys had few opportunities to meet with “good” women, and had mixed feelings about the prostitutes who would associate with them. Both cowboys and cattlemen shared prevailing Victorian attitudes about respectable women as innocent and in need of protection, though the women the cowboy could associate with were not the sort that society deemed worthy of protection. For cowboys, women could just as easily detract from their masculine image as enhance it. Cowboys thus both feared and pursued affairs with women, but given the complications surrounding these relationships they often preferred the company of men.

Keywords:   women, manhood, prostitutes, society, masculine image, marriage, cowboys, cattlemen, Victorian attitudes

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