This article based on a project on becoming a man, in one town, Penrith (about which more later), started as an oral history of Penrith. Earlier, I had studied another major centre in Western Sydney, the settlement of Parramatta2. When I learnt that there was another major project based on a women's history of Penrith, I decided to take the unexplored territory of men's history. In short, I wanted to ask what it means to be a man - and how that has changed this century. As I examined newspapers and other sources, I became caught up in the men's movement and began re-examining my own life as a man, just as feminist friends were doing with their lives as women. I began to look at history in a new light. I recall the day I read, in the Australian National University's Library catalogue; 'for men, see sex'. That comment said a lot about how we expect men to behave.
West, Peter, Sons of the Empire: How Boys Became Men in one Australian Town, 1900-1920, Kunapipi, 18(1), 1996.