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Machismo in Argentina

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Karissa Kieler

on 10 December 2012

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Transcript of Machismo in Argentina

Machismo in Latin America: How is Machismo expressed in the Argentine society?
By: Karissa Kieler What is Machismo?

Machismo is "a strong or exaggerated sense of manliness; an assumptive attitude that virility, courage, strength, and entitlement to dominate are attributes of masculinity." The Three Images of Manhood The Authoritarian Image

Men are in charge and are supposed to have the first and last word. The Breadwinner

Taking financial care of their wives and children The Virility Image

It was accepted for men to commit adultery and participate in public sexual joking(piropos). Two major characteristics of machismo Aggression
-strong
-masculine
-physical Hypersexuality
-sexual conquest(bragging)
-adultery Linguists think the word Macho comes from machar and machacar, meaning “to pound, break, crush, hammer, beat, bruise, screw.” Machismo in Latin American Culture Hispanic Saying: "la mujer en la casa, el hombre en el calle." With Machismo being a relevant theme in the Latin American culture, it had a major role in Argentina in the past. Today, it still exists, but isn't as present. Machismo has been a theme in Latin America for decades. Some countries, such as Mexico, still have a very machista society The machista believes that he is superior. He is allowed to have a mistress in addition to his wife, plus many casual encounters. He isn't affectionate to his wife, but merely wants to have control over her. He gets jealous easily and will be violent when necessary to show his strength. The women give into this stereotype. They want their men to be strong and take care of them. They often pretend not to know about male adultery or choose not to accept it because "men have stronger sexual desires." Where do we see Machismo today? After interviewing people of different ages and socio-economic levels it shows that the Machismo behavior occurs more in the working classes. "In today's society, we acknowledge equal roles in society for the most part. Machismo isn't something we talk about or even think about. It is the heritage. In my family, I work but also help out as much as I can with cleaning and helping with the new baby. My wife, who also works, shouldn't have to do all of it by herself." - William, age 34, computer specialist "Who makes the decisions in my house? My husband. He makes more money than I do and should have control."
-Mariana, age 43, fruit vender Machismo in Argentina
Past It is said that Argentina's Machismo comes from their Italian and Spanish ancestors, which are known to be very machista. Between 1880-1930, women mostly stayed at home and spent time only with other women and children. The only women who had a lot of male interaction were prostitutes. Even married women didn't spend much time with their husbands. The men spent more time at bars and brothels. During this time period(the early 20th century) is where we see a lot of Machismo in the Argentine culture. Men spent a lot of time in the streets. This was a time of a lot of sexual jokes and vulgar piropos were constant. Sexuality was a competition for men. The more sexual, the more of a man they were. Images of the gaucho expressed and emphasized this idea of Machismo. Why does this behavior happen in the lower or uneducated groups? One of my interviewees thinks that without a formal education these groups have a more traditional mindset and don't know as much about women's rights. Even though Machismo isn't as relevant in today's society, it still exists. According to a marketing study on Entremujeres.com, 85% of women think that the Argentine male is machista. A major reason for that was the idea that men have the upper hand for job opportunities A researcher investigated the auto industry in Argentina. She found that not only were women not hired for on the floor work, but they weren't even hired for managerial positions. Women weren't strong enough to operate the equipment and lacked leadership skills for the management positions. This research showed that the companies thought that women weren't suitable for the job. They need protection from the heavy, dirty work. It also said that women were "problematic workers." They were more emotional and it caused more problems. "I have an all-male place. We discussed this in the interviews. We always consider women the weaker sex intellectually. But they're physically weaker. Take the injection machines, for example. Conditions can be quite dangers. I did see women in Italy working with machines. But since this is a heaver job, or dirtier, because of the moulds, it requires more strength. So we have an unwritten rule to take men." -line manager for an Argentine auto factory "As a supervisor, I’ve been in charge of women. Whenever I reprimand women, they start crying. You can call a guy a voludo (asshole). But you can’t tell a woman she’s a conchuta (cunt). And you know what else women do when they’re reprimanded? They tell you ‘you’re confused’. [And he pretends to cry]. They come up with all these weird things. They’ll say stuff like, ‘the girl behind me made the mistake’ and make other stupid excuses. So you have to treat her with more. . . . You can bullshit with a guy. You relate more easily. It’s easier to talk to a man about things than it is to a woman. It’s not that it has to be like that. It just seems like something makes things work that way. . . " (Male team leader)
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