Today I will be discussing Gender roles in the Latino community and how it has created an entire culture surrounding it. It does not go unnoticed that there are many people who have profited off of making jokes about the gender roles in the Hispanic community, in the YouTube video, “Effects of gender socialization within the Latino culture” the video opens up with a clip from comedian George Lopez making a joke about how if one was to see a man, alone walking his dog on a leash one would think, “Mas Puto” which in English translates to Gay. Saying that a man is gay because he is walking his dog, and walking your dog is not “manly” is a prime example of a Gender Role. Gender Role is, a set of societal norms dictating the types of behaviors that are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for people based on their actual or perceived sex (Coleman 2017 p. 24). The man walking his dog did not announce that he was gay, but because he is portraying a behavior many would consider feminine, he is assumed to be gay.
Gender biases go even beyond that, in an article called, “The Culture of Machismo in Mexico Harms Women” , Veronica Ortiz tells us about the men in Mexico who are often called “Machismo” which translates to a male chauvinist. “Machismo reinforces the idea of women as second-class citizens whose rights and opportunities are undermined in their households, in the streets, at school or work” (Ortiz 2018). An interview conducted in 2011 with former Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto he was asked a remarkably simple question, “What is the price of a kilo of tortillas?” In his response, he proved that he too is part of this misogynistic society, instead of simply saying, “I don’t know” his response was, “I am not the lady of the house, I’m sorry. I guess it must be around 18 pesos” (Ortiz 2018). A simple I do not know would have sufficed, but former President Nieto had to make sure the people knew that he did not know, (in his opinion) something only a woman would know. This is just another example of how misogyny is still a hurdle women are fighting to overcome. The men demonstrating this behavior display an obvious illustration of misogyny and fragile ego. The results of the toxic patriarchy going on in Mexico are in plain sight, Ortiz said, “According to the World Economic Forum Mexico remains one of the countries with the largest gender wage gap, being number 83 of 135. In addition, Ortiz also stated that the World Trade Organization revealed only 4.2% of CEO positions in Latin America are occupied by women.
These statistics are not entirely surprising, many Latina women grow up to accept their submissive roles due to Gender Socialization. Gender Socialization is, “The shaping of individual behavior and perceptions in such a way that the individual conforms to socially prescribed expectations for males and females” (Coleman 2017 p 24). Young girls in Latino cultures grow up watching their mom stay home taking care of the kids, keeping the house clean, dressing “appropriately” and making sure there is always a hot meal for their husbands with little or no reward. Young girls grow up with reinforcements of smiles or compliments when successfully making a meal or learning to wash laundry. The bar for success for a Latina woman is set exceptionally low in the traditional sense of culture but Latina women have so much more to offer than that. Latina women are smart, strong, and capable; however, they are not applauded for being any of those traits. If Latina women as a whole want to start seeing these women in positions of power it is imperative that they are taught at a young age that they are capable of so much more that just being a good wife and mother. They need to receive positive reinforcements when they decide to go to college, or get a corporate job so they know that it’s okay to be a good mother, but it is also okay to be strong and independent. It is okay to chase whatever dream they may have, even if it is seen as radical or out of the ordinary. Dismantling cultural norms is the only way we will ever see change.
I was able to obtain information from “Introduction to Women’s Studies”. This is one of the textbooks we are currently using for this course, it was published in 2017. My second source came from an article written by Veronica Lira Ortiz who was a visiting student at Yale University. The information used was from an article she wrote for Merion West which is a cultural and political magazine with a variety of viewpoints. Her position in this piece came from experiences she witnessed as a child and young woman in Mexico and conducted them in this article to give examples of the misogynistic culture that would bring awareness to the situation and spark conversation. The YouTube video called “Effects of Gender Socialization within the Latino Culture was created by Bianca Castillo, Bee Aguilar, and Joksan Perez. The video portrayed many aspects of gender roles and socialization in the Latino culture in a way for people to understand, although it was not a credible source is was illustrated well for the topic.
Coleman, K. (2017). Introduction to women’s studies. College of the Canyons.
Ortiz, V. (2018, January 28). The culture of machismo in Mexico harms women. Merion West. https://merionwest.com/2018/01/28/the-culture-of-machismo-in-mexico-harms-women/
Bee Aguilar. (2017, May 5). Effects of gender socialization within the Latino culture [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioHy4__Wn-A
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