Rachel Korb and Katie Lakotko

Goal of “Hombres y Machos”
Provide integrated view of Latino men, masculinity, and fatherhood
Refute common myths and misconceptions
Argue that conceptions of men, masculinity and gender are limited

Alfredo Mirande
Born in Mexico City and came to the United States at age nine
Professor of Sociology and Ethnic studies
Attempting to introduce Latino Critical Theory to Critical Race Theory
Author of “Hombres y Machos”

Alfredo Mirande’s Childhood
Grew up in Tenochtitlan (Mexico City & Capital of Aztec Empire)
Went to live with his dad and grandmother in Tacubaya, near Chapultepec
He and his brother would go to the Castle of Chapultepec
Castle of Chapultepec is where Los Niños Héroes died defending their country
During US Invasion of 1847 they refused to surrender

Explanations for Emergence of Masculine Displays Among Mexicans
1. Obsessive concern with manhood by Indian and Mestizo men as a result of the Spanish Conquest. Most negative view because it assumes that “Mexican Protest” is a result of feelings of powerless and weakness.
2. Emphasis on masculinity was a part of the Spanish society prior to the Conquest and it was imposed on the native population.
3. Masculine displays may have had pre-Colombian origins that predated the arrival of the Spaniards. (Aztecs divided into separate spheres).
“Many societies build up an elusive or exclusionary image of manhood through cultural sanctions, rituals, or trials of skill and endurance”- Gilmore

¡Viva México hijos de la chingada!
Long Live Mexico, Children of the Great Whore!
– Battle cry on Mexican Independence Day on September 16- all Mexicans are acknowledged as children of a single mythical mother
– In The Labyrinth of Solitute Mexican philosopher Octavio Paz attributed feelings of inferiority to the conquest of Mexico which was a moral downfall as well as a military conquest. The problems were reflected through this phrase.
La Chingada is a metaphorical mother who is symbolized by the native women that were raped by the conquistadores. She is passive and inert. Represented by La Malinche in folklore, who was given to Hernan Cortes as a slave and was labeled as a whore and traitor.
– This view holds that the “cult of machismo” developed an overly massive and aggressive response to compensate for feelings of weakness and powerlessness acquired during the conquest.

-Samuel Ramos argued that hypermasculinity is a form of masculine protest which aims to mask feelings of inferiority.
-Argument does not suggest that they are inferior, they just feel that they are.
-Prototype of character is the pelado which means naked and connotes a lowly person.
-There exists a phallic obsession and attributes every type of power to the reproductive organ. The success of a man becomes attributed to his balls, despite lack of economic power and social status.
-“Yo soy tu padre” is used to assert power and dominance within a patriarchal society.
-Problem with theory: pelado is weak and cowardly. His aggressiveness and assertiveness are used to conceal feelings of insecurity.

Pancho Villa- Revolutionary Leader
-A man who is a mueriego or womanizer is referred to as a conquistador, for symbolically “conquering” women.
-Machismo was associated with the sexual sphere during the colonial period and transferred to the political area once independence from Spain was attained.
-The Mexican Revolution in 1910 produced machismo and Pancho Villa became the epitome of Mexican Manliness.
-He was appealing because like the pelado he sympolized the lower class person standing against the dominant classes. He was brave, did not back down, and would not take from anyone.
-Invasion against the United States was celebrated not because of the outcome but because he had balls enough to take on the yanquis.

Sanchez Boys
Yelled things, trying to be intimidating.
Very poor
Chapulin stood on tracks
At tía’s house the boys threw a rock into the window, challenging his family to a fight
Father made brother Gordo go outside and fight the boy, urging him to confront his fears

Role of Latino Fathers
“Wanted us to face our fear directly and conquer it”
“willing to defend the family honor”
Compare to Miguel Grande and Fausto

Bem Sex Role Inventory
-Created by Sandra Bem
-Measures the extent to which respondents sort information into distinctive gender categories
-Provides assessment of masculinity and femininity in terms of the self-reported possession of desirable personality traits
-60 Questions: 20 masculine, 20 feminine, 20 neutral adjectives.
-Rate yourself on each item, on a scale from 1 (almost never true) to 7 (almost always true)
-Add up your rankings for masculine and feminine characteristics. Divide the total of each by 20

Results of Latinos in Bem Sex Role Inventory
– Latino men found themselves to be self-reliant, self-sufficient, and willing to take a stand to defend their beliefs.
-They have masculine traits such as independence, assertiveness, and leadership abilities.
-Hypermasculine traits represented: self-reliant, self-sufficient, and forceful.
– They thought of themselves as loving children, being loyal, compassionate, sympathetic, and sensitive to the needs of others.
-Traits defined as “feminine” such as “affectionate, warm, sympathetic, tender, emotional, and sensitive are more acceptable to Latino men.
-More culturally acceptable for them to cry and be emotional.
-Loyalty highly valued.
Compare to worldes

Mirande Sex Role Inventory
-Taken from dichos, consejos, cuentos, and corridos.
(Cultural “truths”, words of advice passed on from elders to youth, stories, and folk ballads)
-Representation of traditional Latino values regarding role of men and women.
-Also concerns marital fidelity and the role of the male in the family.
-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 his permission

Categories of the Mirande Sex Role Inventory
1. A double sexual standard for men and women
2. The idea that the male is or should be the dominant figure in the home
3. The importance of maintaining honor and integrity in the family
4. Toughness and the notion that men should be tough and not cry or be too emotional


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