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Race and the Obama PhenomenonThe Vision of a More Perfect Multiracial Union$
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G. Reginald Daniel and Hettie V. Williams

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460216

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460216.001.0001

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date: 15 December 2017

Obama’s “Unisex” Campaign

Obama’s “Unisex” Campaign

Masculinities, Race, and Law

Chapter:
(p.225) 11. Obama’s “Unisex” Campaign
Source:
Race and the Obama Phenomenon
Author(s):

Frank Rudy Cooper

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628460216.003.0011

This chapter confirms theories of “bipolar black masculinity.” That is to say, the media tends to represent black men as either the completely threatening and race-affirming Bad Black Man or the completely comforting and assimilationist Good Black Man. For Obama, this meant he had to avoid the stereotype of the angry black man. Meanwhile, though, the association of the Presidency with the hegemonic form of masculinity presented difficulties for Obama. He was regularly called upon to be more aggressive in responding to attacks and more masculine in general. As a result, Obama could not be too masculine because that would have triggered the Bad Black Man stereotype but he could not be too feminine because that would have looked unpresidential.

Keywords:   Race, Gender, Masculinities, Femininities, Unisex

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