Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Machismo: Peruvian Social Reality

Barbie: The United States of America's favorite lady.
These are my sheets in my host family's house.

For my blog post on machismo in Peru, I held a few highly professional interviews with a couple of male Peruvian friends on Facebook chat, as well as with my host family over pizza.

My first friend I interviewed is a professor, a very well educated Limeño. I asked if he believed machismo existed in Peru and he said yes. The rest of the interview went like this: (these are all direct quotes, but not all of the conversation is posted, only the questions and answers I found most relevant).

ME - donde lo ves? (referring to machismo)

Prof - en la familia, en la escuela, en la universidad, en el trabajo, en los servicios , en la ía publica, etc

Me - Crees que machismo va a cambiar en Peru?

Prof - yo pienso que sí, pero va a pasar muchos años.

peru es un pais con muchas culturas, algunas d ellas consideran q el machismo es normal.

yo pienso que el valor del respeto hacia las personas y por ello

la igualdad de derchos entre hombres y mujeres es universal

no tiene un relativismo cultural

no puede ser q a una mujer en el mundo arabe se le castigue con la muerte porque engaña a su marido

no hay excusas culturales para ese tipo de cosas

Me- ¿ves el machismo en la publicidad o los medios de comunicación? si es así, le puede dar un ejemplo?

Prof - asi es, comerciales d cerveza.
asi, pero creo q las mujeres que participan en eso comerciales tienen la culpa d aceptar eso

no tienen dignidad

(haz click here for the Brahma commercial)

After I mentioned the veneration of certain women, such as mothers and the Virgin Mary

This is one of two Virgin's in my host family's house.

My mom placed the flowers there "for the virgin".

he responded:

Prof- la religion catolica es muy machista

I found this interesting, as most of what I have witnessed has been women being the primary adherents to the Catholic faith. It is women who get together to say the Rosary, women who are often the readers and singers at masses and women who have spoken to me about the Catholic faith. At processions and special masses I have seen many men and, interestingly, when I attended a Catholic youth group with my host sister (16 years old) there were as many young males as females, but most day to day Catholic rituals seem to be female driven. I would like to speak to my friend more about why he believes the Catholic religion is machista (their stance on abortion? On no women priests?).

I briefly interviewed another friend of mine, a fellow student at PUCP:

Student- Si creo que hay machismo

Mayormente en las familias de clase mas pobre

ME- Tienes un ejemplo?

Student - Por ejemplo

Una familia pobre donde el papa trabaja y la mama se queda cuidando a los niños.

El papa llega a la casa borracho y le pega ala mama

ME - En tu opinión, ¿por qué existe el machismo en el Perú?

Student - porque, Hay gente que no recibe la educacion y valores, Que los puedan ayudar a superar esos problema. Es un resposabilidad compartida por el estado y tambien por cada familia

I then interviewed my host family. Well, I began by interviewing my younger host sister and was then joined by my host mother and father and the interview turned into a more casual conversation. Some highlights:

  • They first mentioned (like my student friend) that it was common in poor places, but then amended that to say it happens in places "con dinero" as well.
  • They said the origin was the beliefs of the parents and that machismo is a generational problem
  • My sister cited "not letting the woman work" as an example of machista
  • Like my professor friend, they mentioned the Middle East as a place with worse machismo
  • They also mentioned Mexico as having worse machismo because "men always command"
  • My host mom talked about her father (who passed away) as being very machista and saying to her mother not to share her opinion.
  • They mentioned how men often kill women in Peru
When I first mentioned machista to my mom, she said "Mira, él es machista, porque él quiere que sirva su plato." She referred to my dad as she said this, and handed him a plate of food. I thought she was joking, but no one laughed and he didn't respond. Later, he went and got the cola to serve, and my host sister joked "see, he's not machista!"

I feel that making a thorough analysis of machista in Peru would require more indepth research (obviously), especially within the younger generation, in which many values are changing. From conversations, advertisements, and getting cat-called on the streets, I would say Lima is very machista, but I do not wish to make such a statement without more research to back this up.


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  2. The machismo in Latin America understands in his bigger percentage for a great quantity of rural existent area, where families preserve any form of patriarchy.
    A lot less at the cities where the woman receives equal deal, except the rustic people that you have gone to the cities and they live pregnant of poverty, it is not that the city infect them with machismo, they right now get that culture, and mainly he is explained to for the members of the family' pauperism.

    It does not happen of magical form like many they imagine, that for very Latin being you right now are macho

    The bigger percentages of attacks take place to the femme at the region at countries that they right now have a level of violence or loud delinquency, like Venezuela and Colombia.

    Or with a lot of people still in the rural area, or country people that the cities ( pueblosjovenes, ghetto ), like Central America have invaded for example.