The "Paradox" of Hegemonic
But remember that a man in a gray flannel suit is also a man and that for two or three years he was away from you in one or another war. For two or three years he lived as undomesticated men do live: without the bills and taxes perhaps, living among other men and not inhibiting man's natural impulse to obscene language and obscene storytelling, seeing men die and perhaps expecting to die himself, free in the sense that he often had no idea what the next day would bring. And free, if he wished, to lie on his bunk evenings, to think and dream.
There are certain deep and perfectly normal masculine drives that were "permitted" during a war as they are not permitted in a suburban back yard. They are an inborn attraction to violence and obscenity and polygamy, an inborn love of change, an inborn need to be different from the others and rebel against them, a strong need for the occasional company of men only and an occasional need for solitude and privacy.
Certainly all men do not feel these drives to the same degree. And certainly these drives shouldn't all be permitted in that clean, green, happy back yard. But if they are always and completely inhibited—the man in the gray flannel suit will stop being a man. ( Lyndon107)
In this conclusion to an article entitled " The Paradox of the American Male," appearing in Woman's Home Companion in 1956, writer Louis Lyndon displays the confidence with which cultural commentators of this era felt they could represent masculinity in singular terms. The several paragraphs quoted above simply assume not only that The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit personified masculinity of every caste and color in U.S. society, but that he came equipped as well with a standard biography common to all adult American men: their experience first as soldiers on the battlefield in World War II (or Korea), then as heads of a middle-class household upon their return. According to Lyndon, married men now have to adopt a docile persona that is fundamentally at odds