24 / CHRONICLESnThe Gelded Age by Allan C. Carlsonn”If the Model Boy was in either of these Sundaynschools, I did not see him.”n—Mark TwainnBoys Together. English PublicnSchools, 1800-1864 by JohnnChandos, New Haven: YalenUniversity Press.nManhood: A New Definition bynStephen A. Shapiro, New York:nG.P. Putnam’s Sons.nThe Redundant Male: Is SexnIrrelevant in the Modern World? bynJeremy Cherfas and John Gribbin,nNew York: Pantheon Books.nWhat do men want? In the gloriedn1950’s, Sports Afield and Rodnand Gun exempHfied a male ethosnresting on the quest for game by thenprimeval hunting band. With Playboy,nHugh Hefner moved the Americannmale indoors. The plush apartment,nthe hi-fi, a cultivated taste fornGucci accessories and French cuisine,nand a string of willing sex partnersnbecame the marks of the compleatn1960’s man.nManhood now faces another redefinition.nJudging from the sheaf of newnpublications on the “men’s question,”nthe male of the 1980’s simply aspires tonequality with the new woman.nEsquire has repositioned itself as thenmagazine of the psychologically neuterednmale, seeking to frame a life-stylenfor the nonsexist rich and famous. Atnthe more committed level. ChangingnMen, published in Madison, Wisconsin,nseeks to define “a healthy, lifeloving,nnon-oppressive masculinity.”nIts regular section on “men’s history”nis edited, predictably, by a woman.nCalifornia’s Men’s Journal effuses overn”the excitement of men interactingnwith men, celebrating our commonnmasculine heritage.” The editors report,nwith straight faces, that “men arenheirs to a rich heritage of myth andnritual.” Meanwhile, The Men’s StudiesnNewsletter, “written by and fornAllan Carlson is executive vicenpresident of The Rockford Institute.nacademics,” chronicles the growingnfield of Men’s Studies, a recent outgrowthnof the Women’s Studies programsnthat are de rigueur on mainstreamncollege campuses.nAn old Saturday Night Live skitncomes to mind, a talk-show spoof entitiedn”For Men Only,” in which DannAkroyd portrayed the curator of a newnmen’s art museum. He showed hisnhost the Mona Lisa, which, he proudlyndeclared, “was painted by a man”;nthen. The Last Supper, also painted byn”a man.” The museum featured thenpiped-in music of Bach, Mozart, andnBeethoven, “who were all men.” Hownmany Americans, I wonder, still getnthe joke?nManhood, like everything else innmodern times, has become the pawnnof ideology. Torn from its roots in thengenetic code, gender is now a playthingnfor clever writers with politicalnambitions.nThe tremor began with the ideasnunleashed by the French and industrialnrevolutions of the late 18th century.nIn his wonderfully entertaining book.nBoys Together, historian John Chandosnshows how class envy, the quest fornnnpolitical power, and evangelical religionncame together to destroy the malenethos of the English public schoolsnthrough the reform of 1865. Chandosnfocuses on Eton, Winchester, Westminster,nHarrow, and Rugby, most ofnwhich began as charity schools. Overnthe course of the 17th century,nthough, these institutions were transformedninto the incubators of the rulingnclass, places where young mennfrom good homes were toughened andnreadied for their leadership roles. Innthe pre-reform centuries, the publicnschools held tightly to two distinctions:na curriculum based exclusively onnLatin and Greek; and an extraordinaryndegree of self-government by the boys,nallowing seniors or “fagmasters” tonrule over juniors or “fags” with nearnabsolute power. At Eton, 50 or morenboys would be locked up each night innsingle dormitories, without adult supervision.nFags would tend to the senior’snevery need—clip their hair, fetchna candle, wash their clothes, procuren;^ii«^&^^a^ii^&’^kii;;/:*•ii^•;^:^,nillicit liquor, and so on. Fagmasters, innturn, protected their fags from thendemands of other seniors.nThe fag system has acquired a reputationnfor cruelty and sexual exploitation,nreflected in the connotation ofnthe word fag itself Chandos shows,nthough, that fagging usually workednquite well. While sexual misadventurenwas not unknown among the boys,nmost of it took the form of heterosexualntrysts with village girls, mutual mas-n