Sexism in Latinx Culture

In Latinx culture there seems to be a lot of sexism. Especially in “This Is How You Lose Her” by Junot Díaz, Yunior conveys this there is a lot of sexism. The book isn’t sexist but there’s a lot of sexist characters. Yunior, the main character, describes women as if they are an object. The only thing he talks about are their physical features and describes them hastily. He doesn’tdoes not like these women for who they are,; he likes them for their bodies. In the story, sexism is a common theme and could be related to machismo beliefs.and the question is this common in Latinx culture correlating with machismos.

Yunior starts seeings a woman named Miss Lora who teaches at Sayreville High School and is Yunior’s neighbor. Miss Lora is described by Yunior, “Miss Lora wasn’t nothing exciting…too skinny. Had no hips whatsoever. No breasts, either, no ass, even her hair failed to make the grade” (Díaz, 153). How can someone describe a woman like this? Yunior describes Miss Lora likes this and then goes and have sex with her. It seems that this is very sexist of him to do. As The Atlantic said he describes women as a piece of meat as if he was a butcher talking about their cows. He goes and has sex with her even after saying these bad things about her. Yunior is a horny young man who only wants sex. He doesn’t care about women whatsoever and just wants sex. He then said, “Bitch made Iggy Pop look chub… Always a bikini despite her curvelessness, the top stretching over these corded pectorals and the bottom cupping a rippling fan of haunch muscles” (Díaz, 153-154). He talks about how she doesn’t have any body features, but he goes and barges into her apartment and has sex with her.? Yunior is a twofaced character because he bad mouths Miss Lora but then has sex with her.

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Yunior claims that Miss Lora has been after him. He says this to Paloma, and she is disgusted. Yunior brings this up to Paloma because he can’t stop thinking about Miss Lora. And hHe brings up talks about her in her bikini. Yunior bad mouthed Miss Lora in her bikini but now that he’s arousedhorny he can’t stop thinking about her. Paloma is told that Miss Lora has feelings for Yunior and she says, “That old fucking hag? That’s disgusting” (Díaz, 156). Why would Yunior tell his girlfriend that Miss Lora has feelings for him? Paloma She then talks about what it would be like if he had sex with Miss Lora, “that would be like fucking a stick… you better not fuck her” (Díaz, 157).

After this conversation with his girlfriend Paloma, Yuniorhe talks about what he does with Palomaher. He said, “that night you are allowed to touch Paloma’s clit with the tip of your tongue but that’s it” (Díaz, 157). Why does he talk about this to the reader? He doesn’t talk about why he likes Paloma or why he’s dating her he talks about what he does sexually with her. Yunior is a “pig” and an easily aroused horny teenage boy. He only wants his next sexual act; he doesn’t care about the woman he just wants to use them for his pleasure and his pleasure only.

What does Yunior do after Paloma says that he better not have sex with Miss Lora? Yunior goes to Miss Lora’sher apartment and has sex with her. He knocks on her door and kisses Miss Lora. She asked if he had a condom and Yunior asks if she is a worrier and they have sex. So, after all the time Yunior talks bad about Miss Lora he goes to her house and has sex with her.

He thinks about Paloma when he’s having sex with Miss Lora. Paloma told him to not have sex with Miss Lora and he does anywayid. Yunior disobeyed her as well as cheated on her. He describes his relationship with Paloma Paloma, “who didn’t give you any ass because she was terrified that if she got pregnant she wouldn’t abort it out of love for you and then her life would be over” (Díaz, 160). Yunior is a jerk because Paloma does not have sex with him, he goes out and has sex with another woman. He goes against her word just so he can have some fun. What is ironic is that when Yunior “blows his load” he tells Miss Lora that she has an excellent body. It’s quite different when he has sex with her. Before she had no hips and no breasts but once he has sex with her, she all of a sudden has a nice body. Yunior is in it just for the sex. He doesn’t care about Paloma or Miss Lora; he just wants to have sex and uses these women in the process. Paloma doesn’t have sex with Yunior so he moves on to the next woman. With Yunior is it to get a better relationship with Paloma or get as much action as he can.

Yunior is an interesting character because he describes how terrible Miss Lora’s body is but after he has sex with her, he praises it. It’s also a jerk move to cheat on his girlfriend just because she didn’t do anything with him. The question is Yunior a sexist character or is he just a scumbag? It might be a little bit about because he’s Yunior is a thirsty teenage boy and will do whatever it takes to have sex.

In the article “Struggling with sexism in Latin America” Katy Watson the writer of the article was getting remarks about her body. In Mexico where she said she lived; two men were talkeding about her body which is with some sexist remarks to her. Watson talks about what it’s like to be in Latino culture and then compares it to living in Middle Eastern cultures. How Yunior describes Miss Lora is like how the two guys talk about Watson’s body. Although Yunior isn’t talking about Miss Lora’s body directly to her you don’t talk about women’s bodies that way. It makes it seems as if they are worthless to you and all you want is their body. Again, it’s as if the women are being used as an object which certainly isn’t right. Watson’s Portuguese teacher said, “Sexism is bad but machismo isn’t… it’s a way of protecting women” (Watson, Katy “Struggling with sexism in Latin America”). If machismo isn’t bad, then why doesn’t women have equal rights to men. Machismo hasn’t evolved in years even after protests for equal women rights.

Watson said that she has more freedom in the Middle East than in Mexico. In the Middle East women have to cover their bodies but in Mexico she saidys she’s always threatened by sexual comments. She saidys, “you are made to feel like an object and not a human being.” Women shouldn’t be constantly harassed by men with sexual comments or threats. There are a few statistics about sexual assault in Mexico she includes in her article;. iIn Mexico there are approximately 120,000 women raped per year according to Watson’s article. Watson also said that Brazil and Mexico were the top 10 dangerous countries for women to live in.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro says that sexism “hides under the guise of ‘a celebration of the female form”’ in the article “A Few More Thoughts On Sexism In Latin America.” Garcia-Navarro referred to a study and that study said that 65% of people in Brazil believed that women who wore “provocative” clothes deserved to be victims of sexual violence. What’s crazy is that women believed in this as well. Even if women dress provocatively why would they deserve to be victims of sexual violence?. It’s pretty cruel to think like that;. There’s aA lot of hatred in the world all for women being dressed a certain way. Another crazy statistic Lulu Garcia-Navarro wrote about in her article is that 80% of the women in Brazil knew who sexually assaulted them. Sexual assault as well as sexism seems to be common in Latin American cultures. Even though Yunior doesn’t go to this extreme but him being a sexist character at such a young age should raise concern.

In theis article “The Culture of Machismo in Mexico Harms Women” by Vironica Ortiz she talks about the definition of ‘machismo.’ The term macho is supposed to be a positive she said but machismo makes men superior to women she saidsays. Despite all of the feminist protesting the machismo hasn’t evolved over the years or has created equal rights for women. Ortiz talks about a time when a man stared at her creepily and while he was doing that, he verbally harassed her. This is ridiculous because she was a 12-year-old girl when this happened. The guy looked at her as if she was a “juicy steak” she said. Ortiz has examples of how these terrible experiences feed into machismo which makes the definition seemit more of a negative than a positive.

The Center for American Progress “conducted a study with TIME magazine, A Woman’s Nation and the Rockefeller Foundation” to see if more women in the workforce was positive or negative. In the last 40 years women began starting to make up roughly half of the workforce. Women in the workforce is becoming more common as time moves on. In the survey 77 percent of Americans surveyed said woman in the workforce is a positive and 19% said it was negative. The survey specifically looked at Latino’s views and beliefs and focused in on their responses the most; it said for Latino Men, 82% of them said it was positive and 87% of Latino women said women in the workforce was positive as well (John Halphin and Ruy Teixeira, “Latino Attitudes About Women and Society”). With the Latinos surveyed compared to the Americans, the Latinos said women in the workforce is positive more than the Americans did. Is machismo really that involved with sexism? By this survey, it doesn’t look like Latinos have a problem with women in the workforce. They have a higher percentage of positivity than the Americans did.

Another interesting topic to look at is health issues relating to gender. In an article by NCBI, the article states that women “experience twice the rate of depression” compared to men. The article then goes on to talk about the definition of what machismo means, “beliefs and expectations regarding the role of men in society; it is a set of values, attitudes, and beliefs about masculinity, or what it is to be a man” (J, Psychol “Machismo, Marianismo, and Negative Cognitive-Emotional Factors: Findings From the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sociocultural Ancillary Study”). There’s research that proves gender roles playing a key factor in “negative cognitive-emotional factors” specifically in the Hispanic culture. The opposite of machismo is a marianista. A marianismo “emphasizes the role of women as family- and home-centered; it encourages passivity, self-sacrifice, and chastity.” The article says that a marianista shows women with “nurturing roles.” This article shows how machismo beliefs play a role on women’s health instead of the previous article stating how much of a positive it is that they’re in the workforce. This is definitely interesting to look at because women are sexually harassed all the time. Does this sexual harassment cause the depression? If a woman is body shamed in the streets of Mexico or men are constantly talking about her body this is essentially the cause of their depression. Machismo belief hasn’t evolved since it first begun and as women fight for equality the machismo hasn’t given them it. The underlying meaning of machismo is that men are superior to women as stated previously and the women stay home with the kids and look over the house. As times change women have become more involved in the workforce and it is a positive. The article saying the reason for why women have twice the rate of men is unclear and wrong on so many levels. The machismo belief could be potentially tied to women’s inequality.

Yunior talking about the women he meets as he does in the book is disgusting. If he writes it down or thinks it, it is a lot different than saying it to them. However, if he talks about women like how he does and his friends or someone else tells the girls/women how he feels about their body they might not feel too great after. These descriptions of woman’s bodies that Yunior talks about could be causing health issues to these women. If Miss Lora heard what Yunior said about her before he had sex with her, it’d be whole lot different of a story. Miss Lora wouldn’t have had sex with him and would’ve thought highly different of Yunior. She might’ve become emotional and depressed as well as thought negatively about her body.

Paloma isn’t the type of girl to give in and give up her body to the filthy pig. If she heard the way Yunior talked about her body, she definitely wouldn’t have been with him as long as she was. Yunior is an example for why men in the machismo culture cause extra problems for women. The fact is that he says, he’s just like his dad raises questions. It makes the reader wonder if Yunior’s dad did the same as his son. Yunior’s brother wasn’t very respectful to women either. Their family doesn’t show women any respect, but they also think women are only objects. Women have feelings too and the number one thing they don’t like being talked about is their body. Their body is the only thing that Yunior talks about. That’s the only thing he cares about, he doesn’t care about them.

The article by The Conversation says that macho culture isn’t to be blamed for sexual violence. Catherine Whittaker, the writer, said, “given that macho culture has many different meanings and it’s difficult to find a perfect embodiment of it in real life, using macho culture to explain violence against women is inadequate” (Whittaker, Catherine “Why ‘macho culture’ is not to blame for violence against women in Mexico”). In Mexico City she said women protested “against rape, murder, and other violences.” Whittaker states that in the first half of 2019 there were 1,835 women who were murdered. The thought of all men being machismo is the cause of sexual violence is unfair. In the article there were men who were violent and didn’t believe in macho culture. As shown, “qualities commonly associated with being a macho… some alcoholic men were caring, nonviolent husbands, while some women beat their children or cheated on their husbands…some less “manly” men who avoided alcohol and did not seem like machos did beat their wives.” It isn’t fair to associate all machos to violence. Just because someone believes in something doesn’t mean they express violence. This article shows this by recognizing other cases of where people who don’t associate themselves with macho culture being violent to their wives or other family members.

Sexism is seen in the book but doesn’t go as deep as examples in the other articles. Miss Lora and Paloma’s body are talked about but not said directly to them. This doesn’t make it right but it’s definitely a lot different than saying it to their face. The term machismo means the belief of masculinity. As many of the articles said this belief feeds into sexism making men having more power than women. Women deserve equal rights but they aren’t granted them in Latin American culture. Men need to stop using women as objects and enjoy them for who they are and not for their body. There are many articles that have contrasting beliefs. Some articles say that machismo is sexist and then there are others that says it shouldn’t be. It wouldn’t be fair to shoot down machismo beliefs because not everyone is sexist who believes in machismo. However, it’s important to know that there could be ties to sexism in Latino culture.

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Sexism in Latinx Culture. (2021, Aug 25). Retrieved from