By Danni Ybarra |Staff Writer|
The general consensus of “machismo”— be a man’s man; one who holds honor to the highest standard, usually with a small side of arrogance to accompany it.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines machismo as “an attitude, quality, or way of behaving that agrees with traditional ideas about men being very strong and aggressive.”
Simply, it is a man who is head of his household, makes the rules, and takes responsibility, all while upholding a firm demeanor.
He is a stereotypical “macho man.”
The term has been transformed in Latin culture in the past few decades, now with more of a negative connotation attached to it.
Many people nowadays may confuse the machismo type of man with the male chauvinist who believes himself to be superior to women in every way.
“When I first hear [machismo] I think of sexism,” said student Paula Garcia. “I believe it has a negative connotation in today’s society. At least in my mind it’s negative.”
There is no doubt that there is a fine line between the two.
Student Gloria Escobar explained that “machismo isn’t what it used to be. It’s almost extinct now.”
Escobar believes that in the past, it was expected for a man to be machismo, to take care of his family, and his wife would wait on him hand and foot.
Studies surrounding the idea of a machismo man and his family have mostly concluded the same results.
The man is supported by a women who allows him to fulfill the machismo role.
The women is submissive and obedient because, studies show, that is what she was raised to believe is right.
In turn, she teaches the same ideals to her children who will start the cycle over for the next generation.
“Before women didn’t get divorces, they put up with the man because the man was the machismo. He took care of her, she had no choice. In Mexico its still like that a lot. Men never wash dishes or clean the house, that was the woman’s job. But that’s all changed now,” said Escobar.
“I don’t think it was a bad thing,” continued Escobar, “it was the norm, but in today’s culture women just don’t have to put up with it anymore. They can be independent now.”
The submissive woman of course cannot be accounted for as the only reason for machismo in men, however it cannot be denied as a contributing factor.
There is no doubt the definition and idea of the word changes from person to person, or that the meaning of machismo has taken on an identity of its own, giving birth to a particular breed of “macho men.”