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Hidden Machismo (Answer to Hot Topic: Do You Think Machismo is a Problem in Our Culture?)

Do you think machismo is a problem in our culture?

I will answer YES, but I have to explain, for its a Yes on many levels and a No in some others.

When I was growing up, I remember (male) friends discussing how they weren't machos anymore, how society had changed, evolved. That machismo was a thing of the past. I wanted to agree, because I believed (and still) that I deserved same rights as men, same opportunities, but later on I discovered that there are creeks were Machismo is still hidden even in well-educated, middle-high class. I decided to be an engineer, and the obligued question was always "wow, so you're an engineer?" with the undertones of amazement at a woman having such an abnormal career choice. The fact that this question exists is part of machismo. As well as the fact that, on several projects on my education, I had to fight for making myself a space in them, for having a turn at the tools, for ... everything. I always get very mad when someone tells me I can't do something, and more if its because I'm a female. I've even kicked out of my car friends who decided to joke about woman's driving skills. Let me tell you: statistically, women have LESS car accidents than men.

Even though this level of problem is small and personal, it shows that deep beneath it still exists. And the most serious part of it is the way it makes relationships evolve. Home violence is still a big issue, and too many women are still dying of it, even if people don't talk about it anymore. I've seen women stopping from doing things (like dancing) just because his bf or husband may get mad, even if it is something completely normal or that they would have done before without any remorse or doublesided moral. I've also seen women justifying being scolded or insulted orally because they should have behaved differently. This type of violence is still violence and lays not far away from becoming physical.

It is important to notice that machismo still exists and the reason for that is that it is being kept alive by the same women. Women seem to think that this possessiveness is a proof of love, of security, and justify men being like that and want to be under their command. But really, it isn't. But it takes more than words to discover that and come out of the cultural loop, specially if it does benefits in some things, like not paying the ticket for the movies because he is going to cover it.

As a last note... I always fight for equality, not for superiority. Feminism is as bad as machismo if it tries to get us over the men, and not leave us in equal standing. Actually, there should be another word, for the status in the middle (for feminism and machism are the too extremes, and extremes are always bad).

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