A "Firm" Myopia: Johnson’s Masculine, Imperialist and Anti-Communist Policy towards the Cuban Revolution, 1963-1967
Mentor:José Ortega , Assistant Professor of History, Whittier College
This study explores the extent to which gender, in terms of masculinity, informed, defined, and formulated the Johnson administration’s post-missile crisis era Cuba policy. Using a cultural approach, the project explores how domestic pressures, gender understandings, and the Cold War ideologies intertwined to formulate the continuity of the "isolationist" policy period towards Cuba. Moreover, this study takes rhetoric and discourse seriously as means of understanding how the policy was constructed--as it was not generated in a vacuum, absent of personal reputation. Thus, this study explores the meaning of gender-coded. Although these concepts are central, it does not discredit racial, economic, geopolitical and political interpretations of the time-period. Instead, it entails that gender can add another dimension to other historical interpretations of the Johnson administration.. Ultimately, I argue that the Johnson administration continued isolating Cuba partly due to a highly sexualized and masculine anti-communist ideology and as a result did little to improve Cold War tensions.