Chicano and Mexican Men’s Sexism

Chicano and Mexican men’s sexism is not easy to think about. And it’s especially difficult to find places where we can discharge about it.

It’s true that every group’s sexism is equally overt, insidious, and pervasive and that Chicano and Mexican men’s sexism is no worse than that of any other group of men (in particular, men of the dominant culture).

I grew up with the sexism of male Chicanos and Mexicans. I know it as well as anything in my life. I expect it. At other times I’m completely surprised by it, although it is as familiar as my mother’s voice.

I understand needing to defend against the racism that comes at men of non-dominant groups. I do it all the time. Defending male Chicanos and Mexicans is one of our women’s main duties. We defend our men against racism.

We even defend our men in RC by (1) not working on the sexism aimed at us by Chicano and Mexican males, (2) not standing up for ourselves or for those we witness receiving the sexism, and (3) not insisting that our Chicano and Mexican males work to end sexism.

There are few places where I can work on this sexism. Every time I try to work on it with a Co-Counselor who in not Chicana or Chicano, I know that she or he might be confused by (1) thinking our men are bad, or (2) being fascinated by our men. Either of these is useless to me, and to other Chicanas.

Working on it with other Chicanas is also difficult. Chicanas tend to be either completely infuriated by the sexism of our men, and angry with them, or completely disgusted by the victimhood of our women and only wanting to defend our men. There has to be a way to move off of both of these. I suspect it is by working on sexism without trying to defend our men at the same time. I think it’s impossible to do both. How can you work on sexism when you are constantly defending the men from whom you first experienced sexism?

Clearly, we can’t be waiting for racism to end before we get to the work of ending sexism. And it’s clear that we can’t wait for the men to work on sexism of their own volition. I think it is we who must begin the work, especially with other women who are fighting the same battle. We might as well trust each other.

Sparky Griego

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of Latinos/as and Chicanos/as

(Present Time 185, October 2016)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00