Unbridled Stallions and Mad Bulls: Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality in Hemispheric Perspective


This article juxtaposes two very different authors from very different locations: George Winston, a largely forgotten Southern college president during the Jim Crow era in the United States, and Gilberto Freyre, arguably Brazil’s most famous social theorist. Both men offered emblematic accounts of uncontrollable masculine sexuality that helped to consolidate particular visions of their respective nations in an uncertain post-emancipation moment. Winston denounced post-Reconstruction black male sexuality as bestial and rapacious and a threat to white women in a characteristic statement of the myth of the black male rapist, while Freyre depicted the Portuguese settlers of Brazil as wildly lascivious and particularly drawn to black and indigenous women. Each depiction of unbridled masculine sexuality serves to justify distinct regimes of racial, gender, and class hierarchy. Ultimately, I show that juxtaposition of thinkers from different hemispheric locations, as recommended by Juliet Hooker, helps to rejuvenate and deparochialize intersectional feminist theory.

Publication Title

New Political Science