I will outline and discuss in Spanish what exactly is marianismo and machismo, especially focusing on how machismo cannot function without marianismo. Machismo is a deeply embedded power in Hispanic cultures and societies. It is the tradition of male superiority, irresponsibility, promiscuity, toughness, etc., that dictates the male ideal and that oppresses females and perceived inferiors. Marianismo is its counterpart that dictates the female ideal: submissive, a woman of the house, highly pious and pure based on the example of the Virgin Maria, etc. I will discuss marianismo and its implications as it is shown at its extreme in the work “La Casa de Bernarda Alba” by Federico Garcia Lorca. As exemplified in the work, I focus on how it is actually women instead of men who are the harshest oppressors and proponents of the marianistic system while at the same time those who are oppressed by it. Machismo and its oppression cannot exist without marianismo and its self-inflicted oppression.
Kelsey Beal, ’07 Hackensack, MN
Major: Ethnic Studies
Sponsor: Marcela Ochoa-Shivapour