Every day, we are confronted with comments, gestures, and situations that we have normalized but that hide expressions of violence against women. Although the evolution of societies allows us to think that machismo is a story of the past, it still persists and is often normalized.
And although many people may think that it is only men who engage in this type of behavior that seeks to degrade women, many women also perpetuate it. All of this is part of a set of behaviors that we have learned since childhood, that we reproduce every day, and that even today continue to pass from one generation to the next.
Although sometimes we do not notice it, many of the phrases we use in our daily lives cover up sexist violence. Can you identify some of the following phrases?
– “You look prettier when you’re quiet”.
– “She asked for it”
– “She who doesn’t show, doesn’t sell”
– “Aren’t you going to dress up to go out?”
– “That’s for men”
– “Boys will be boys”
– “You run like a girl”
– “Crying is for girls”
– “Where there are men, women don’t suffer”
There are many phrases like these that not only seek to detract from the value of women for the simple fact of being women but there are also comments that point to men who do not fit into hegemonic masculinity patterns as weak or “less of a man” and negatively affect the construction of egalitarian societies.
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8 everyday expressions of machismo
The fact that gender roles have been perpetuated for centuries, makes many of the daily macho behaviors go unnoticed. Today, we want to invite you to be more aware and identify some common expressions of machismo in order to combat them. Here are some examples.
Pink for girls and blue for boys. For centuries, gender categorization has been perpetuated. A good way to break the stigmatization that exists is to break these patterns.
Praise for men who “help out” at home. Everyone who is part of a family unit should contribute to the well-being of the household by getting involved in various tasks. Chores should not be the exclusive responsibility of women.
The man is the one who pays. For a long time, it has been thought that the man is the provider, but this does not necessarily have to be the case. It should not be understood that the man is always the one who must pay.
A man and a woman cannot be friends. It is a common mistake to give a sexual or romantic connotation to the relationship between men and women. Friendship is possible between men and women.
Questions to women about motherhood to determine a job position. It is common for women to be questioned in job interviews about their intention to become mothers. This is a personal decision that should in no way interfere with a person’s professional development.
Pigeonholing people into tasks according to their gender. Surely you have heard of “things that women can’t do” or “women’s work”, especially care work. Gender-based pigeonholing is a major obstacle to achieving egalitarian societies.
Working women cannot complain. Various studies have shown that many women, after finishing their working day, must continue with household chores, which is a difficult burden to bear. For some, the decision to work outside the home is the woman’s decision and she must bear the burden alone and in silence.
Judgments about women’s sex lives. There are many taboos surrounding female sexuality and for centuries it has been thought that women should not feel pleasure. Even today, there are still many prejudices surrounding women who claim to enjoy sexual activity.
These are just some of the expressions of covert violence against women that are perpetuated in our societies. As you can see, machismo is still present, and only through our actions can there be a change.
In the #YoDigoNoMas Movement, we believe that building egalitarian societies free of machismo is possible and it is important to stop scourges such as sexual violence, that is why we share with you valuable tools to break with those patterns that we have perpetuated for centuries. Learn more about our Movement and join our cause.