Masculinities

Authored by: Jennifer Domino Rudolph

The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415666060
eBook ISBN: 9780203097199
Adobe ISBN: 9781136221613

10.4324/9780203097199.ch6

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Abstract

Muy Macho: Latino Men Confront their Manhood (1996), a collection of essays edited by Ray González, frames issues of imperialist history, racism, migration, and embodiment of Latino masculinities. González’s anthology represents the first published intervention on Latino manhood where, in this case, authors/essayists are tasked with reflecting on their individual and collective manhood as Latinos. The project called upon a group of established authors to define and question expectations of themselves as Latino men. Authors analyzed their life experiences, from intimate relationships with fathers and romantic partners, to wider social norms and perceptions of them. Muy Macho also writes Latinos into the men’s movement, which had previously all but ignored issues impacting many men of color such as urban violence, poverty, and racism. González contextualizes Muy Macho in other writings on manhood and masculinity of its time, particularly Robert Bly’s Iron John, as well as works by men’s movement activists James Hillman and Michael Meade. Until relatively recently, questions of masculinities have focused primarily on uneven gender relationships and the subordination of women, with insufficient attention to the complex experiences of Latino men and the need to question expectations of virility linked to machismo. The definition of masculinities must include both actions and social institutions which support an uneven patriarchal structure as well as the multi-layered subordination of Latino men as colonized subjects due to the historical and economic development of the United States vis-à-vis Latin America and the Caribbean. These gendered political conflicts constitute the core of Latino masculinities.

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