Criticism and controversy::Machismo


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Criticism and controversy

Controversy surrounding colonial connotations

There is controversy surrounding the concept of Machismo is originally from Spanish and Portuguese descent. The use of Spanish and Portuguese produces historical colonial connotations through its promotion of Spanish and Portuguese masculine social construction, when the term should be used to describe specific Latin American historical masculinities.<ref name="Mignolo">Mignolo, W. D. (2011). Local histories/global designs: Coloniality, subaltern knowledges, and border thinking. Princeton University Press.</ref><ref>Alcof, L. M. (2005). Latino Vs Hispanic: The Politics of Ethnic Names. Philosophy & Social Criticism. 31(4). 395–407.</ref> However, the word machismo does resemble words in Spanish and Portuguese language which is the cause why it is often associated with Spain and Portugal. In addition, by identifying machismo as a form of Europeanness, it offers legitimacy to the concept of a wicked formed of the same Western hypermasculinity known to Protestant Reforme-derived cultures and subjugates Latin America's understanding of itself and its cultural history and peculiarities.<ref name="Mignolo"/>

For example, the use of caballerismo{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, Cavalheirismo, to mean only the positive characteristics of machismo contains colonial connotations regarding the historical colonial power relations. This is because the origin of the word caballerismo{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} to intend for a wealthy Spaniard landlord during the colonial era, exalts<ref>Thobani, S. (2007). Introduction: Of exaltation. In Exalted subjects. Studies in the making of race and nation in Canada, pp. 2–29; 257–266. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.</ref> European culture in comparison to the so-called Latin American machismo (animalesque, irrational, violent, backward).<ref name="Opazo108"/> It cannot be avoided in Portuguese as cavalheirismo{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, the word for the more acceptable parts of machismo, is itself a loanword from Spanish presenting a palatalization process that Portuguese did not experience (the Portuguese word for a horseman is cavaleiro{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, and for horsemanship it has cavalaria{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}).

Consequences of a one-sided negative depiction

Researchers are concerned regarding the unbalanced representation of machismo within Latin American cultures; and are now focused on creating a balanced representation.<ref name="Opazo108"/> They have repeatedly pointed out the positive characteristics consistent with machismo, or caballerismo{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}: nurturance, protection of the family and its honor, dignity, wisdom, hard work, responsibility, spirituality, and emotional connectedness.<ref name="counsellingpsychology"/> Latin American scholars propose there are really two different constructs within machismo, one positive construct and one negative construct. The negative construct of machismo is based on the traditional Western concept of hypermasculinity, and is predominant within mainstream discourse, without an acknowledgement towards its resemblance towards hypermasculinty. Caballerismo{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}'s characteristics are exalted, while machismo's characteristics are seen as predominantly negative.<ref name="Opazo108"/><ref name="counsellingpsychology"/>

The other side of machismo, the positive side (caballerismo{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, cavalheirismo{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), refers to a connection to family and chivalry. However, the focus on the negative aspects and avoidance of positive aspects of machismo coincides with the concept of marginalization and powerlessness<ref>Young, I. M. (2000). Five faces of oppression. In M. Adams, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, pp. 35–49. New York : Routledge.</ref> of Hispanic and Latino, and more broadly Romance-speaking European culture-derived, narratives. This is because the focus on the negative and avoidance of the positive creates a power dynamic that legitimizes mainstream American hegemonic masculinity as the correct masculinity and subjugates machismo as a degenerated "non-white" form of abuse against women and backwardness. As a result, it creates a sense of powerlessness within Latino male in their expression of their masculinity.<ref name="Connell"/><ref>Mignolo, Walter D. Local histories/global designs: Coloniality, subaltern knowledges, and border thinking. Princeton University Press, 2011.</ref>

Academics have noted that there are consequences of only having a negative definition for Hispanic and Latino masculinity in popular literature. Researchers have suggested that, according to the Eurocentric (and to a certain degree anti-Catholic and/or Nordicist) views dominant in mainstream white American culture, Latin American manifestations of machismo represent "all that is wrong in a man".<ref>Adams, Carlos (2006). Machismo and Geographies of Hope. PhD dissertation. Program in American Studies, Washington State University</ref> Latino Academics have used this argument to explain why Latino male youth struggle in academic institutions and have high rates of criminality.<ref>Caravantes, E. (2006). Clipping Their Own Wings: The Incompatibility Between Latino Culture and American Education. Hamilton Books</ref> These are the same discourses that argue that Latino masculinity (machismo) is defined by violence, recklessness, and misogyny. Accordingly, they link these expressions as contributing to a lack of interest in academics as well as behavioral struggles in schools for Latino males youth. However, this focus does not reveal the other social forces that drive Hispanic and Latino youth to struggle academically instead of participating in criminal behavior,{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} or the fact that those cultural myths of the strong Latino male character, famed for its self-assertiveness and dominance, are often perpetuated by Latin Americans and their cultural descendants themselves.

Negative depiction of machismo in popular literature

Throughout popular literature, the term has continued to be associated with the negative characteristics. For example, sexism, misogyny, chauvinism and hypermasculinity and hegemonic masculinity.<ref name="Andersp14-20">Anders, G. (1993). Machismo: Dead or alive? Hispanic, 3, 14–20.</ref><ref>Ingoldsby, B. (1991). The Latin American Family: Familism vs. Machismo. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 1, 57–64.</ref><ref>Mosher, D., & Tompkins, S. (1988). Scripting the macho man: Hypermas- culine socialization and enculturation. Journal of Sex Research, 25, 60–84.</ref> Scholars<ref>mhof, D. (1979). Macho: Sit on it. Miami, FL: 3L Graphics.</ref> characterize macho men as violent, rude, womanizing, and prone to alcoholism. Authors from a variety disciplines that typified macho men as domineering through intimidation, seducing and controlling women and children through violence and intimidation.<ref name="Andersp14-20"/>

For example, in American literature, an example of machismo comes from Tennessee Williams' character Stanley Kowalski, the egotistical brother-in-law in A Streetcar Named Desire (play). In the play (and in the motion picture), Stanley epitomizes the tough guy stereotype alpha male (hypermasculine) socially and physically dominating and imposing his will upon his wife and her sister, Blanche Dubois. Bound up with Stanley's aggressive and occasionally misogynist views is a strong sense of pride and honor which leads to his hatred of Blanche. In the play A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, one of the main characters Eddie is a classic type who displays machismo. He wants to be the best of the men around him and when beaten, becomes very agitated and increasingly irrational. It is important to note that the negative stereotypes depicted in American literature are not representative of all the different layers of Machismo.

Some societies and academics place traditional gender roles – social norm for certain communities, followed by others by admiration or convention – as the most important component of machismo.

Machismo sections
Intro  Contemporary dominant view on the meaning of the term  Caballerismo  Criticism and controversy  Influences  Indigenous influence on Mexican culture  Implications  See also  References  

Criticism and controversy
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