Where Widespread Machismo Is Entrenched, Mexico's Focus Moves to the Trenches
Women fight back against Mexican machismo (BBC/Latest News Online)
Machismo has long been widespread in Mexican society. Male entitlement — reflected in telenovelas, movies, work settings, families and romantic relationships — has been tolerated, even celebrated.
But times are changing for the Mexican macho man, or “machista.”
Soaring crime rates against women in recent years, and a strengthening women’s rights movement, have forced Mexicans to begin addressing machismo and the harm it does through sexism, misogyny and violence.
The effort got a boost on International Women’s Day last month, when President Enrique Peña Nieto called on Mexico “to launch a frontal assault against all expressions of machismo.” He urged the eradication of “a deeply rooted machista culture,” one that “ultimately and truly generates violence against women.”
While women’s rights advocates view the public acknowledgment of the problem — as well as some political and legislative gains for women — as a good start, they are skeptical about societal change. They say that can happen only by confronting the entrenched ideas fueling machismo.
Gendes, a research and advocacy group in Mexico City that seeks to improve male behavior through counseling, education and public awareness campaigns, is trying to do just that.
...The free therapy, given three times a week, seeks to question and address the cultural beliefs that lie at the heart of machismo, said Antonio Vargas, director and founder of Gendes, which is privately funded.
Read the rest at The New York Times
Related: Group Curbs Machismo in Mexico Through Counseling (teleSUR)
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