The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines machismo as the arrogant attitude of the mens regarding the women. It is a set of practices, behaviors and sayings that are offensive against the female gender.
Machismo is a type of violence that discriminates against women or even homosexual men. One can also speak of machismo against the so-called metrosexuals or any man whose conduct exhibits some characteristic that is usually associated with femininity.
Throughout the history, machismo has been reflected in various aspects of social life, sometimes in a direct way and, at other times, in a subtle way. For many years, the right to vote of women was denied, for example. In some countries, on the other hand, adultery of women is still punishable by death, although men do not receive the same penalty.
The woman’s submission to her husband is still often seen as a positive value. There are those who maintain that a woman reaches her fullness when she marries and becomes a housewife to care for her husband and children. Another reflection of the machismo established in the society appears in phrases like “María is Facundo’s wife”, since the reverse sentence is not usual (“Facundo is Maria’s man”). The woman is still seen as the property of the man.
Sexist advertisements (with scantily clad women to encourage the sale of products) are another example of machismo. This can be seen even in advertising campaigns for products for all audiences, so it is not even a provocation for adults. Many of the advertisements for ice cream and chocolate are two clear examples of machismo, since they show us women consuming them in suggestive ways.
On a day-to-day basis, machismo seeps into all aspects of life without us even realizing it. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this series of ideas So toxic is it that they sneak into all people, even those who disown them. This is because during our upbringing these twisted values are instilled in us as if they were normal, as if it were the natural way to perceive the balance of living beings, and we absorb it without asking questions, because we are too small and we do not have a second opinion.
In this way machismo infiltrates us, as part of fundamental education. Adolescence arrives, a time in which sexuality awakens, and then many women begin to experience the limitations that their destiny brings them: they will no longer be free spirits with their whole lives ahead of them, with the right to say what they please to call the attention of their parents and teachers (if they ever enjoyed such Liberty), but wives, housewives and mothers. They should love and respect the one who barely does it, clean their house, make their food, wash their clothes, and raise their children.
Machismo is injected into children and intoxicates them with unfair ideas, but it is not impossible to combat. As we get older, we access better and more equitable ways of treating others, and it is then that we can finally contrast the concepts that were instilled in us as children to replace them with new ones. In other words, machismo is overthrown with justice, with compassion, with principles of equality, never with violence. And in this way it is possible to educate the women and men of the future to prevent them from falling into his trap.