What struck me most about Carroll’s article entitled “Men’s Soaps” was the idea that blue-collar work is tied more closely than white-collar work is to the concept of masculinity in American culture. Today white-collar work is tied directly to money and success and therefore can be linked directly to the concept of the successful male. The article talks about mental labor as being more feminine than physical labor yet white collared work is considered powerful and dominant today.
This country has grown due to man’s physical labor so I can understand how blue collar work has come to emanate a sense of success based on the fact that many men worked long and hard to earn a living and provide for their families during times when women and children depended on men as bread winners. Blue-collar work is embedded in the American culture as admirable and encompasses the concept of success as it relates to fulfilling the American dream. Shows like American Chopper as well as Cake Boss illustrate this concept of what it means to work hard through physical labor and create a successful business and at the same time show what it means to be a family man. I think this contradicts the stereotype of women playing the active roles in rearing children. Both Buddy, in Cake Boss, and Senior, in American Chopper, are shown both at work and in their family lives which goes to show the various roles men can play that deviate from tradition. This concept of a reality show enlightening the dynamic of a father and son relates a new sense of emotion that men are allowed to possess as well as showing the role and importance of a hands on father.