Boys and Men in Families

Jihmmy N. Sanchez 

Boys and Men in Families

This reading a long with the other readings assigned focused on masculinity and the idea of “Guyland” and the consequences that come from being a part of a societal driven idea. In Boys and Men in Families the idea that manhood and masculinity has a lot of consequences on adolescent boys who through the genderalization detach themselves from their mothers and learn to hide their emotions and separate themselves from their families. Years later these teenage boys, now men return to their families, but now with families of their own. This separation of males from their families brings consequences with them. Men cannot connect on an emotional level with their spouses and have a difficult time connecting with their children, men see them selves as head of their families. They also see their wives not only as a spouse but as a servant. There to provide for their needs, the reading suggest that this seems to be the trend because men are for the most part the financial providers of their families. The reading also mentions that as women have slowly entered into the paid work force and have become and financial providers for their wives as well, male dominance in the household has come to decrease.

            This trend of male dominance in households is something that is very common in typical Mexican families. I first visited Mexico about seven years ago. I noticed that most if not all husbands and males of the families were the ones who participated in all of the physical work around the farm. From milking cows, branding livestock, slaughtering livestock, and taking care of pastures all of these activities were done by men. The only exception that I noticed was my aunt Maximina who was the owner of a pork slaughterhouse and where she was in charge of all of the financial and physical work that went into the business. I also noticed that most of the women were in charge of the household work, from cooking to cleaning to tending to children and small animals like chickens and small animals. Typical female dress in rural Mexico also consisted of skirts and aprons, very rarely did I notice that women wore pants even in the early mornings when the temperature was colder.


            I wonder if in rural places in Latin America if women became financial providers for the family if the same trend mentioned in the article would happen?


Comment on your thoughts!

3 thoughts on “Boys and Men in Families

  1. Luis Ramos:

    Being of Mexican descent, I can DEFINITELY agree and relate to your personal experience example. Most Mexican males tend to grow up to be “machistas,” which in America, we would refer to them as chauvinistic. My grandfathers were chauvinistic before passing away. My father, on the other hand, was also chauvinistic at some point in his life. As for me, I’ve never been accepting of such characteristic, just because I tend to be a bit more liberal due to how I grew up closer to my mother, always making sure I was by her side no matter what.

    The trend Jihmmy referred to in his post continues to exist in my own household. I don’t live in a farm milking cows, branding livestock, slaughtering livestock, or taking care of pastures, BUT I am for a fact in charge of several tedious and menial chores around the house, whether it is mowing the lawn, raking leaves, washing the automobiles, or even helping my dad out with his tools. I remember growing up, if I were to complain about the labor, I would basically get scorned by my father. He never forced my older sister to help out, just because she was responsible for other household chores, those that are often attributed to women. Now that I’m far away from home, it’s my younger brother’s responsibility to make sure those chores get done. I just find it unfair that he gets paid to do them, while I received nothing in return. I just know for a fact that my children won’t be condemned to such things.

  2. I think it’s definitely important for us to revaluate what it means to be a man or a woman in today’s society. Women are being pushed to take on more financial responsibility, finding a place in the workforce, but in many respects it hasn’t gone the other way. Although there are more men becoming stay-at-home dads, the house/family work is done predominantly by women. There would need to be major shifts in masculine and feminine ideals before women and men are actually considered equal in the family and in the workforce. In recent years our society has seen some very superficial changes, but it will take some fairly drastic changes before we really experience greater equality for women and men.

  3. Gracie Hall:

    Jihmmy, I loved reading about your gendered observations in Mexico! I think that your observations are very relatable to whats going on in this country as well. As we read about last week, because white is normalized and is the hegemonic standard in the US, men and women who are not white are seen as deviant. Therefore women of color, like the African American school girls, have to “perform” their gender under stricter guidelines. Now although I can’t speak about Mexico intelligently, I can say that in the US men of color are held to a higher standard of masculinity, and are often hypermasculinized.

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