Spirituality and Sexuality in African-American Experience.
To The Seminal Truth? Table of Content.
Semen Representations in Middle Ages & AIDS Era.
The 'Unconscious': Explorations
Machismo in Cuba

De La Torre, Miguel (1999). Beyond Machismo: a Cuban Case Study. The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics, 19, 213-33.

History is forged through one's cojones (balls)... [Meaning: like phallus is to penis.]
"El colmo" (the ultimate sin) is to be called a "maricón" (a derogatory term meaning queer or fag), the antithesis of machismo. We white Cuban elite males look into Lacan's mirror and recognize ourselves as machos through the distancing process of negative self-definition: "I am what I am not." The formation of the subject's ego constructs an illusory self-representation through the negation of cojones, now projected upon our Others, whoever identified as non-machos...

Unlike the United States, sexual identity for Cubans is defined in terms of masculinity, not in terms of gender...  The phallic signifier of machismo is located in the cojones. For Cubans, cojones, not the penis, become our cultural "signifier of signifiers." The Other, if male, may have a penis, but lacks the cojones to use it. I conquer, I subdue, I domesticate por mis cojones (by my balls)...

To tell a man not to be a maricón, also means "don't be a coward." Cuban homophobia differs from homophobia in the United States. We do not fear the homosexual; rather we hold him in contempt for being a man who chooses not to prove his manhood. Unlike North Americans, where two men engaged in a sexual act are both called homosexuals, for Cubans only the one that places himself in the "position" of a woman is the maricón. Only the one penetrated is labeled loca (crazy woman, a term for maricones). In fact, the man who is in the dominant position during the sex act, known as bugarrón, is able to retain, if not increase, his machismo...

As our Mexican friends Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes point out, the feminine is screwed beforehand . . . [Machismo's] negative hero is the dictator (one of Batista's motto was "Batista is the Man"), and its positive hero is the rebel. They are at odds in politics, but they both love power. And both despise homosexuality, as if every macho had his hidden gay side . . .

The supposed effeminacy of the Amerindians was further demonstrated by emphasizing their lack of body hair and pictorially displaying their supposedly small genitals. Simultaneously, the Amerindian woman was portrayed with excessively masculine features and exaggerated sexual traits, justifying the need for macho Spaniards to enter the land and restore a proper phallocentric social order....

When machos gaze upon the Latino's Other, what do we see? How we "see" them, defines our existential selves as machos. To "see" implies a position of authority, a privileged point of view. "Seeing" is not a mere innocent metaphysical phenomenon concerning the transmittance of light waves. It encompasses a mode of thought which radically transforms the object being seen into an object for possession.

Specifically, when a macho gazes upon one of God's crucified peoples, they perceive a group which is effeminate. When the macho looks at himself in Lacan's mirror, he does not see a maricon hence he projects what he is not into his Other so as to define himself as a white, civilized macho. The power of seeing becomes internalized, naturalized and legitimized in order to mask the dominant culture's position of power. Our task as Hispanic ethicists is to move toward dismantling machismo, to go beyond machismo, by shattering the illusions created in our hall of mirrors.

Spirituality and Sexuality in African-American Experience.
Semen Representations in Middle Ages & AIDS Era.

Visitor Numbers

Search
for

Get a Search Engine For Your Web Site

Search This Site Via Google:

This free script provided by JavaScript Kit

To the Home Page for this Web Site: GB Suicide Problems.