Even worse memes

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While many men worried about female activism, they worried too about their own masculinity. To anxious observers, industrial capitalism was withering American manhood. Rather than work ing on farms and in factories, where young men formed physical muscle and spiritual grit, new generations of workers labored behind desks, wore white collars, and, in the words of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, appeared black coated, stiff jointed, soft muscled, and paste complexioned. * Neurologist George Beard even coined a medical term, neurasthenia, fora new emasculated condition that was marked by depression, indigestion, hypochondria, and ex treme nervousness. The philosopher William James called it Americanitis. Academics increas ingly warned that America had become a nation of emasculat