Machismo Culture: What Is It?

Definition 

First things first, machismo culture is a sense of masculine pride. Machismo has many different sides to it. American machismo culture is different from the Hispanic or Latin version. The American version is what we see today. Males seeing a female’s actions and attributes as inferior or incompetent in the work environment will trigger this machismo. American males are expected to be the strong and masculine gender, and can never appear weak. Therefore, many of them compare women in this light. This comparative mindset leads to prejudice and discrimination, which lead to patriarchy or sexism.  The Hispanic version of machismo is something you see within the family unit. It unites members and guides their roles in their collectivistic family dynamic. This attitude is more of a learned aspect of the culture. This common masculine value is passed down throughout generations. The custom enriches the culture and endures the last names of these individuals. Males carry on the legacies of their fathers and so on. This is why there is an immense stress on honor and pride within the family. 

The Hispanic version of machismo unites members and guides their roles in their collectivistic family dynamic.

http://blog.time2track.com/big-boys-dont-cry-navigating-masculinity-in-therapy

In both versions, there are many roles being played. 

Girls are taught at a young age that they should learn to cook, clean, and cater to their husbands. The older generations would have to hide their husband’s adultery. They couldn’t leave their husbands because they would not have the means to live on their own as they had no jobs. Meanwhile, boys are expected to hide their emotions. They are expected to be the breadwinners, having to work hard for their families and make names for themselves to provide. Oftentimes, they are unable to spend time with their loved ones because they are working to provide their families with everything they need. Boys are also expected to venture out and travel independently. An example of this are the many Mexican men who leave home at young ages to come to America to find jobs. This creates a huge separation in the household. My grandfather left his wife and family to work in the fields, and my father was unable to meet his father until he was nine years old. This shows how separated many families had to be around that time to search for better lives for their children. 

Girls are taught at a young age that they should learn to cook, clean, and cater to their husbands.

https://food52.com/blog/16176-13-women-who-have-influenced-our-lives-as-cooks-and-eaters

Thoughts

Growing up we were faced with more of the American version of this machismo culture. I grew up experiencing the struggle of being a minority and being a female. I grew up with so many strong and independent women in my life, from my grandmother helping take care of her four grandchildren to watching my independent mother bring home the bacon. My mother worked so hard for us to have what we needed with back-to-school clothes and supplies; I often wonder how she did it. She was a force of nature. We grew up with the necessities and that was enough. We had a pool to swim and play with all our cousins and a half-acre lot to explore. Once I had a boyfriend, I was taught that I had to make his plate before I made my own. This would irritate me as I would never understand this concept. I am a strong independent woman and to feel like I need to cater to someone that I loved out of responsibility or a job is not why I want to be in a relationship. This is the concept that the Americanized version of machismo had struck in me. Now I understand that women like to feed their husbands and be there for them not out of duty, but out of respect and love for them. This is what the difference between the Hispanic version and Americanized version of machismo is. 

Now I understand that women like to feed their husbands and be there for them not out of duty, but out of respect and love for them.