Machismo

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∞ Tania Romero 

ma·chis·mo
mäˈCHēzmō/
noun meaning:
strong or aggressive masculine pride.

Throughout the years women have been oppressed and have tried to find ways to be recognized and create equality between genders. Although women have constitutional rights in present day, such as the right to vote, unfortunately there is still a long way to go to be treated equally. The fight continues around the world, in some areas more than others due to certain ideals.

Machismo for example, is a term used for strong or aggressive masculine pride. This has been a term that many latinx have heard growing up and still happens everyday in Mexico. There are ideals that are taught to many of us growing up. For example, women should stay at home, have children, cook, and keep their husbands happy. Men should work and do “manly” stuff and not show sensitivity or emotion. Also some are not categorized as men if they do not know “how to control their woman.” But why is it that these social roles and patriarchal oppression still exist?

These ideas begin circulating in early days but are definitely still around in many households including Mexican homes. Some men may need to feel a sense of superiority to a woman in order to feel powerful and controlling. The question is why not be equal? There is often comments saying, “Don’t cry like a girl,” or “Only girls do that.” What is so wrong with being a woman? It is almost as if being a man always means more power and being a women is seen being weak or less.

In Mexico, woman are taught to keep their husband happy and follow their orders—and if they do not how to cook or do these things they are not “mujeres.” Also, in some cases women are told that they should not go to school, or even have a job because they belong in the kitchen. Machismo plays big part in this because in some households men feel the need to control, be the bread winners, and have their wifes at home, not letting them be independent and claiming them almost as property. Although men and women have a long way to go, there are fortunately movements going on around the world, including Mexico, that step by step will hopefully liberate us if we come together to get rid of ideals such as “machismo”.