Machismo as a Cultural Identity

With the rise of feminism throughout the world, there are still many countries plague by this phenomenon that is called “Machismo.” Although many argue that this is a dying form of male dominance, It is something that most women have to endure in their lifetime. This term comes in as a way to emphasize gender role base on sexuality throughout Latin America; however, it’s experience all across the world, even here in the United States.


Our system has evolved overtime allowing females to enjoy a more equal opportunity environment; however, it is still on the rise as females are encouraged to pursue leadership roles. I grew up in a system that allows me to believe in my own talent, to pursue my dreams not because of my biological gender, but my intellectual capability to reasoning. I became a feminist through this system.

I have experienced machismo by watching females become objectified, as well as being subject to it throughout my life. Whether here, Venezuela, China or anywhere in the world. Females are seen as less than their counterpart. Oppressed by the lack of knowledge.

As a females, depending on your understanding and acceptance of this phenomenon, there are a couple ways by which you will react:

  1. Smiled and think is a compliment.
  2. Not care.
  3. Feel disgusted, uncomfortable, and intimidated.
  4. Feel offended and want to punch the shit out of whoever just cat call you.

Flora Baker, a blogger, wrote “Sexism and Machismo: the Attitude to Women in Latin America” This was her experience traveling solo in South America as a female. She faced the challenged of extreme cat calling, hissing, and harassment through the streets of Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Cuba and other Latin American country. Reading her blog, I became aware of her rage, yet she came to the realization and understanding why Latin women weren’t standing up against this form of oppression.

As she recalls in one of her passages in the street of Cuba, she aggressively attacked and mimic a male that had cat called her by which they just laughed and told her it was “un piropo” a compliment. She then asked a bystander “The girl – a Colombian – laughed and said she didn’t mind it, exactly, but she could definitely do without it.” Baker showed how Latin women have culturally accepted this as part of their identity.

This has nothing to do with the Colombian girl who said she”didn’t mind” but more with how our society believe this it’s okay. I can’t picture a world where I would be okay with seen my sister, girl friends, future daughters, granddaughters be objectified to feel like just a piece of meat. I’m not okay with that. I don’t think It’s fine. The way to stop machismo from being culturally acceptable is by educating our children to understand their bodies are not just to be prey by demanding respect.





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