hombres y machos - Fictions of Latino Masculinities

HOMBRES Y
MACHOS
MASCULINITY AND LATINO CULTURE
PRESENTERS:
IRIS FOLEY & PATRICK MURPHY
ALFREDO MIRANDE
•
Professor of Sociology and Ethnic
Studies at the University of California at
Riverside
•
Born in Mexico City, came to the United
States at age 9
•
Has degrees from Stanford University,
the University of Nebraska, and Illinois
State University
•
Fellow, Nation Research Council and
Rockefeller Fellow
•
•
Research areas include Law, Race
and Ethnic Theory, Chicano Sociology,
and Race, Class, and Gender
Multiple published works
GENESIS OF MEXICAN
MASCULINITY
Three explanations for the emergence of hypermasculinity
among Mexicans:
1. “the most prevalent and the most negative explanation
for the Mexican preoccupation with masculinity is that it
is the direct result of the Spanish Conquest” (34)
2. “the cultural emphasis on masculinity was a
characteristic of Spanish society prior to the Conquest
that was imposed on the native population” (35)
3. “masculine displays may have had pre-Columbian
origins that predated the arrival of the Spaniards” (35)
BASICS OF THE SPANISH
CONQUEST OF THE AZTECS
•
Invasion began in 1519, was declared victorious in 1521
•
Only about 500 men led by Hernan Cortes overthrew the powerful,
wealthy, sophisticated Aztec empire
•
First, Cortez made contact with coastal tribes and approached
Tenochtitlan, the capital city of the Aztecs
•
His men spent months living peacefully among them and won over
their ruler, Montezuma. While Cortez was out of the city, his men
massacred a number of Aztecs after they heard of a plot against the
Spaniards. The Aztecs rose up against them and drove them from
the city.
•
After being driven from the capital, the Spaniards ended their
gradual encroachment and made plans for military action, allying
with dozens of neighboring tribes
•
After a long and brutal siege, the Spaniards overtook the city of
Tenochtitlan within a year and with it, the most powerful empire on
the North American continent.
A RESPONSE TO THE
CONQUEST
• The conquest was an event so devastating that it
produced a form of “masculine protest,” an almost
obsessive concern with images and symbols of manhood
among Indian and mestizo men
• Assumes that masculinity is a response to intense and
persistent feelings of powerlessness and weakness
• Feelings of inferiority stem from a the spiritual and moral
downfall the Conquest caused – spiritual rape and
conquest of Mexico
• La Chingada – all Mexicans symbolically acknowledged as
offspring of this single mother, a mythical, violated,
metaphorical mother symbolized by the thousands of
native women raped by the conquistadores
A RESPONSE TO THE
CONQUEST
• The counterpart to La Chingada is Gran Chingon, the
great macho. He is powerful and aggressive, wounding
and penetrating, and distrustful of others.
• Cult of machismo developed as Mexican men found
themselves unable to protect their women
• Native men became overly masculine and aggressive to
compensate for deeply felt feelings of powerlessness and
weakness
• In this explanation, machismo is simply an attempt to
mask a profound sense of impotence, powerlessness, and
ineptitude.
• The Mexican man is not actually inferior but he feels
inferior
BEM SCALE (BSRI)
•
Scale that measures masculinity and femininity - the two measures
do not affect each other. You can score high on both or low on both
•
Findings showed that certain conceptions of sex-appropriate
behavior that have been assumed to be universal by the creators of
the scale appear to be culture specific
•
•
Many Latino men score highly on the traditional masculinity traits
(independence, assertiveness, leadership skills) but still remain
sensitive to others, warm, tender, loyal, and affectionate –
traditionally feminine traits.
These traits are more acceptable in Latino culture than they are in
Anglo culture
•
Despite the popular media representation of the macho Latino man,
it is actually more culturally acceptable for Latino men to cry, be
emotional, and demonstrate feelings.
•
Overall, loyalty was a highly valued trait that is not sex-linked.
BEM SCALE (BSRI)
• The study was also performed with a reversed scale that
measured not only how masculine men were, but also how
un-feminine they were.
• It was found that hypermasculine men who took part in the
study see themselves as being “self-reliant, self sufficient,
and forceful, as defending their beliefs, and; because the
items are reversed, definitely not as being shy, softspoken, or gullible.” (87)
AN ALTERNATIVE
MEASURE: THE MIRANDE
SEX ROLE INVENTORY
• Mirande found that the isolated traits the Bem scale
measured were not the most accurate measure
• Latino conceptions of masculinity and femininity are better
understood in a collective sociocultural context
• Response of the collective to your behavior
• Issues of honor and integrity in the community
• Cultural truths, sayings, and advice passed down from elders
to the youth on how to act:
•
•
•
•
“The man should wear the pants in the family”
“A man’s word is his most important possession”
“It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees”
“A real man has complete respect and authority in the family”
THE MIRANDE SEX
ROLE INVENTORY
•
Opposite sayings passed down to women
•
•
•
“A woman should always be faithful to her husband”
“Even if a man cannot provide for his family, he should still
be the boss”
• “A married woman should not dance with another man
unless her husband gives her permission”
The MSRI has four components that it studies:
•
•
•
•
The double sexual standard for men and women
The idea that the male is or should be the dominant figure
in the home
The importance of maintaining honor and integrity in the
family
Toughness and the notion that men should be tough and
not cry or be too emotional
MSRI FINDINGS: TRADITIONALISM
MSRI FINDINGS: TOUGHNESS
MSRI/BSRI REGIONAL AND
SOCIOECONOMIC DIFFERENCES
• BSRI
• Men with professional occupations, higher incomes, and
more education were actually more likely to endorse
traditional masculine items
• Socioeconomic differences in the measure of femininity
were generally negligible and insignificant
• MSRI
• Men with professional occupations, higher incomes, and
more education were less “traditional”
• Toughness scores were higher among those with
moderate or low incomes
• Sensitivity scores were also slightly higher among those
with moderate or low incomes
HOUSEHOLD CHORES, POWER,
INTERACTION WITH CHILDREN, AND
MARITAL HAPPINESS DIFFERENCES
•
MSRI
•
•
Those who scored high on traditionalism were less likely to take part
in household chores
• Those who scored high on toughness were more likely to perform the
chores
• Those who scored high on sensitivity were less likely to perform the
chores
• Place of birth, language, education, and occupation did not
significantly impact interaction with children or marital happiness, but
income did. People with higher incomes were more likely to report
that their marriage was happy or very happy.
• Traditional and tough men were found more likely to interact with
children than those who scored high as sensitive.
BSRI
•
•
“super-macho” men less likely to rate their marriages as happy
Those high on the BSRI femininity component were higher scorers
on marital happiness
CONCLUSIONS
• Conventional conceptions and measures of gender may
have limited applicability as the BSRI and MSRI were
somewhat conflicting
• The findings show that the two inventories, BSRI and
MSRI, are not equivalent measures of gender role
orientation – many of the key variables turned out to be
inversely related when using the two different measures
• Findings show that certain conceptions of masculinity that
have been assumed to be unvarying and universal are
actually variable and culture specific
DISCUSSION
1.
Which do you think is a better measure of masculinity/femininity – the
BSRI of the MSRI? Why?
2.
What impact do you think income, possessions, bilingualism, and career
success have on masculinity? Do you think men with more power
scored highly on the BSRI masculinity test because of these?
3.
Why do you think higher income led to “happier” marriages?
4.
Do you understand the impact the Spanish Conquest had on Mexican
masculinity? Do you think that Mexican men today still identify with and
are affected by the Conquest and all of its consequences?
5.
Do you see these defensive masculine traits in other cultures? Do male
immigrants to the USA lose these qualities over time or do you think they
are passed down?
6.
American culture is noted as being masculine and having “internalized
dominant societal conceptions of masculinity and gender.” Do you think
these conceptions have developed over time and are a combination of all
the masculinities of different immigrant groups and cultures?
SOURCES
http://www.heritagehistory.com/www/heritage.php?Dir=wars&FileName=wars_az
tecs.php
http://www.facultydirectory.ucr.edu/cgibin/pub/public_individual.pl?faculty=2261
http://latinomasculinities.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/mirand
e-hombres-y-machos.pdf
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