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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 10. December 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 22, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2528.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(December 1976). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 10. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2528

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 10, December 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 22, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2528.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date December 1976
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
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Title Page 10
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Transcript iMACHO! brutal or brave ? C /Comptroller Leonel Castillo and prominent feminist Cilia Teresa met recently to expire the concept of mac ismo. Ti e discussion, held at the horr of Olga Soliz, was moderate', by Elma Barrera, KTRK- TV ,ews reporter, and was a ben it for Sylvia Garcia, a seo sd-year law student at Tex s Southern University. Cas^llo had researched the traditional, idealized attributes asso iated with machismo, while Teresa addressed herself to its negative manifestations. Below are some excerpts from that discussion. Teresa: Macho or Machismo — male or super-male or super- redneck . . It's very hard to define because it's not something you can grasp and say this is what it is —any more than one can describe what is racism. I often make the comparison. It's a very subtle thing that runs through our society. It's a conditioning from the time we are born. It is the belief that being male is better than being female. It is being happy to see a firstborn son and being very sad to find out that your firstborn is a daughter. It is having the male sex looking into the mirror and seeing all the human qualities that he does not want to relate to and throwing them off on the other sex and calling them unacceptable, unwanted, less than, inferior. Castillo: I did collect some material and found a lot of opinions. I'll start with some of the myths about it. The first myth is what I call the media or the James Bond version of a macho. He's a fighting, loving, hell-raising individual who must never have his honor offended by anybody. Some people say that Chi- canos are more likely to be machos —as proof of it we have more medal of honor winners . . . But the more poor you are, the more likely you are to be assigned to combat areas. So, that whole idea of machismo being bravery as proven by medals of honor has to be rethought... The most pronounced sexism in the media comes from the Anglo media and not from the Latin media. The Latin media are much harder on machismo. There are statements attributed to President Echeverria that machismo is a bad institution that should be wiped out, yet people are saying things about Mexicans being machismo. People from Mexico I talked to unanimously say that machismo is a bad concept that is dying. There is very little equivocation. Where I ran into some equivocation was with the Mexican- American community . . . An article appeared in the San Antonio Express about a young man named Domingo Guerra who killed his buddy because they got into a fight about something. The press said Domingo was very ruthless —he shot down his friend. Then the reporter had to add "Macho is a gutter culture. It wanders ruthlessly looking for a fight. Glint of defiance in unfeeling eyes. It's a cowardice of evil ..." and so on. The Chicano intellectuals got upset and wrote a big long article for the San Antonio Express saying that the paper was horrible, was degrading all Mexican-Americans and all real machos. It was signed by women and men- all of them scholars of one sort or another and they cited good uses of the word. They concluded by saying LEONEL CASTILLO and CILIA TERESA unconditional, self-directed fulfillment of a man's role as a protector and provider for a family." Barrera: What is your definition? Castillo: My definition is it's a word that over the years has become identified with male dominance or superiority but is not necessarily as negative as some people see it. There are some people —writers, including women writers, who claim there are positive aspects to it. The idea of protector, provider The sad part about it was that it was reported in the media as a joke. We need to look at first defining relationships between men and women. What are these relationships? We've been told —we the feminists — that we started a war between the sexes. Men and women have been battling each other for centuries. We need only to read the Bible. We can begin there —centuries old —and see how women were abused, mistreated, sold into slavery or He: Macho's a word that has become identified with male dominance or superiority—but there are positive aspects—the idea of protector/ provider is not altogether bad. She: It is the belief that being male is better than being female. to be macho is to be a noble man, a just man, a complete man, a man of his word, a stable man, a sensitive man, a valiant man, a man who defends all the goodness that mankind stands for. Then some social science articles said that macho is just a social role that some people play. And so the Chicano Training Center here in Houston, which tries to collect all these opinions on Chicano cultural concepts took all of these and came up with this operational definition (to train social workers in Texas): "Machismo—cultural expectation that calls for is not altogether bad. It's only bad when you use it in the sense of oppressing other people. Teresa: I venture to say—I say venture because I have not read them—that these articles were written mostly by males . . . Everything you read, Leonel, is true . . . But the thing is that macho is defined in terms of the male who beats up his wife or his girlfriend; those are news stories that were not mentioned. One that I read not so long ago ... it came from France, so it is an international situation ... of a man who killed his wife because she did not prepare a meal to his liking. killed off. To me this is what machismo is about. Castillo: I think the problem is that if you stretch the word to mean sexism, then you no longer need the word. Either we're talking about this word or another word. I even looked in the dictionary of all places (Simon & Schuster) —the latest bilingual edition and there is no word in English — macho—. It's only in Spanish. And it has at least eight definitions. The first definition is "male chauvinism." Second definition is "bravery." I think if you say it is only one you are not talking about machismo anymore. If you ask most Mexican-American men what they think of machismo^good, bad or indifferent?—most think it is good but do not think that it means male superiority. Barrera: What did the Mexican- American women say? Castillo: Well, the Mexican- American women that I asked personally thought it was OK in the sense of bravery and cited the wars . . . One woman was very careful to make a distinction between being a man and a man being a macho. And it was much better to be a man in her definition on the other hand. I've heard the word all my life and although I don't use it and didn't think about why 1 don't use it, I think it's clear that today the word has been popu larized . . . and it's slipping into the Latin world as a term that's bad. In the Anglo world it's not as bad. The Anglos are much more likely to market "Macho" cologne. Echeverria wouldn't let you get away with that in Mexico. 1 feel that the discussion helped me to understand a lot of these things that I grew up with and that I guess I'm going to live with. Teresa: Something else came to mind when you mentioned Mexico's President Echeverria. He is a socialist or he is into socialism ... He says machismo is a bad institution and must be eradicated because he needs the support of all peoples. In other words, you would never see a socialist being racist or sexist . . . But eventually, when the programs are put over, the women are sent back to the kitchen to take care of the kids and the homes. Sent to clean the toilets or whatever they used to do, while the men get the rewards, the credit, the compensation. Question from the audience: Don't you think that women encourage machismo? Teresa: I think to say that a woman encourages a man to be a macho is like saying that the Mexican-Americans encourage the white folks to oppress them. It's victimizing the victim. And talk about a protective sense . . . You see, I think that women have always protected men. They have protected their egos, sustained their balls through crises. We are supposedly emotional jockstraps for man. When things go wrong at the office —guess whom they come home to? The quote little woman unquote. We're talking about a patriarchal system that pervades our whole world. It doesn't matter if we're socialist, if we're Mexicans, if we're Black or whatever . . . Castillo: Our popular culture has much more evidence of it. I had thought the official statement from Mexico would be different and the U.S. would be more egalitarian . . . Audience: Perhaps the U.S. is the last bastion of macho since Spain and Mexico began to see it as a bad thing. (k HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH - DECEMBER 1976 PAGE 9