The buzzing scandal of Junot Diaz’s misogynistic behavior has cost him dearly. He recently withdrew from the Sydney Writers’ festival, and stepped down as Pulitzer Prize chairman. However, there is a possible reason for his recent male chauvinist demeanor. As a Latina, I know that the old school Latin cultural norm is to deeply program men to be machismo.
Hearing about the allegations against Diaz on the news did not phase my family and me. As an Americanized Latin family we saw his alleged behavior as the typical behavior of a Latin man. It did not rattle us because we do not tolerate that form of behavior in our household. I realized then and there it is an on-going common male behavior in my culture, that is unacceptable and should be addressed.
According to a study on Machismo Sexual Identity from Stanford,
Machismo sexual behavior is a source of pride for males and men must prove their manliness by upholding their sexual dominance. The overemphasis on sociosexual reputation explains why males often act in socially safer yet physically more risky ways.
The famous Dominican writer Diaz denied the allegations. He stated it made him feel “distressed,” “confused,” and “panicked”. I can imagine the whiplash this unwritten social rule caused for Diaz. Diaz probably doesn’t recognize the negative reality of his behavior because it is the social norm in Latin American Culture. This is a deep psychological custom people live up to.
Recognizing a custom that is inappropriate and needs to be challenged is important for new generations. Instead of rejecting our traditions, let’s transform them. This issue can be the green light for a cultural movement, to teach men about positive boundaries.
Featured Image Via Vulture