The Harm of Machismo Culture in Hispanic Households

Angelica Castro, Reporter

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Sexism has been a problem all throughout history, especially in the Hispanic community. Machismo has become a detrimental factor in Hispanic households. Machismo is the sense of  being “manly” and self reliant, the concept is made of a strong masculine pride. Machismo culture has created conflict when growing up, due to both genders being taught such cruel expectations and the favoring of one gender more than the other.

 Being born a male in a Hispanic household is of high prestige compared to being born a female. From an early age, men are taught to be the “head of the house” and to be strong, meaning almost never showing emotions. Men easily find satisfaction in finding respect from others and gaining power. Men are taught that they are going to be ones to be in charge of the family and provide for them. Machismo is strongly associated with a man’s responsibility to protect and defend his family. 

On the other hand, women are taught and treated to hold such little value compared to a man. From an early age, women are taught to marry a man while having to perform the smaller jobs, such as cooking and cleaning for them. It would be wrong for a woman to be in charge of a family, let alone do anything other than housework. In the Hispanic household women are meant to do all the cooking and cleaning while any of the work men may do in the house is yard work, usually referred to as the “harder” job. The woman’s future will be to become a housewife while the man’s is to work in order to provide for the family.

 Although machismo can bring positive concepts such as, a male showing bravery for providing for a family and also quickly grasping a strong work ethic, machismo can quickly lead to misogyny. Women are seen as weak and only useful to perform jobs such as cooking and cleaning. Common phrases that are made from this are “Women belong in the kitchen.”, “Man of the house.”, and “This is a man’s job.”,  just to say the least. With the concept of machismo it has led to harm both men and women. Women are refrained from following their dreams, women should not be the ones to be working. Women are placed in conformity, having to follow the expectations of what a woman “should’ do.

 The concept of machismo has embedded limitations on women, only holding purpose to produce a family and eventually only doing the housework. Women also have such little freedom compared to a man. Parents tend to be more strict with the females making them have stricter rules. From an early age, girls have to be home earlier from a social event, or sometimes not even able to go. While men are free to attend without a care in the world. It would be more of a challenge for a woman to gain freedom than it were to be for a male. While machismo does strongly affect females it also does for a male too. With the concept of strong masculine pride taught at such a young age, men are also refrained from self expression. Men are taught to show no emotions, making them rarely ever express their feelings. Machismo has also made it difficult for men to explore their sexuality, making them stay away from anything feminine. Men are seen as “weak” and “weird” if they were to act feminine and show emotions.

When growing up both male and females are taught such drastic concepts. Machismo culture has placed limitations on both genders, which refrains them from having self identity.