Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Can See How A Latin Guy Could Get Used to This

The Latins, they treat their women a little differently than you and I. And by “you and I” I mean White people. So if you are not White, let me apologize before you lambaste me in the comments box. My point today is this: While this space is generally devoted to an admittedly biased criticism of Latin culture, today we are going to change it up a bit. I am going to put aside my “raised by a Berkeley Feminist Lawyer Single Mom” sensibilities and explain why I can kind of see where Latin guys are coming from in the way the approach gender roles. Not that I agree, but I can see why they wouldn’t want to change.

I had the pleasure of attending a little Christmas luncheon party at this guy’s apartment across the street form the Orange Bowl. For those not familiar with Miami, this area boasts about 5 English-speaking residents, one of them being yours truly. I arrive at the luncheon and in the living room are about 7 or 8 men, mostly contractors, watching Telemundo and drinking some Heineken. I join them and notice that in the kitchen are four or five women talking in Spanish and preparing some food. So I get up to go and get myself a plate and my friend, who is Dominican, tells me to sit down.

He then yells something in Spanish into the kitchen and out comes a woman with a tamale, rice and beans and some other shit the I couldn’t either pronounce or recognize. We’ll just call it arroz con culo. At any rate, as I take my first bite another man asks me, in Spanish, if I’d like a beer. I accept and he yells something into the kitchen and out comes another woman with a beer. Then more women with food for the other men. We sit, shoot the shit in English and Spanish about a variety of inappropriate topics, and as I finish my plate I get up to get more. Again, I am told to sit down, something is yelled in Spanish into the kitchen, and Voila! White Dade has another full plate of arroz con culo and a fresh fork. You know, in case my first one had fallen on the floor. So I got to sit down, drink several beers, eat three plates of food, and never once had to call “seatbacks.” I am sooo going over to this guy’s house for the Super Bowl.

It must be nice to have servants when you live in an apartment that probably costs less than my monthly bar tab. Not to disparage their living conditions, but most people I know with minimal cash flow generally have to get up and get their own beers, even if they are married. If you’ve been brought up like this in “My Country” and all of a sudden you move to a new country and the women are like “Get up and get your own fucking beer you lazy spic,” I can’t really blame you for being hesitant to assimilate. Is it ultimately more equitable and fair for men to serve themselves? Of course it is. But man, a guy could get used to never having to leave the couch.

I can see why a lot of White Boys I know talk about wanting to find a nice, subservient Latina wife. I don’t know too many white girls who, if I was sitting on the couch and I yelled at her in the kitchen to bring my big, goofy friend a beer, who would just bring it out and maybe a fork in case his had fallen on the floor. A white girl, or even an Americanized Latina, would be like “Fuck you.” Personally, I like a woman who challenges me and I see as an equal. But if you are the type of guy who believes in gender-relations like this (which are a lot more than you think) I can see why a Latin woman would be much more appealing than an American. Even if you’re White.

Of course, there is an inherent downside: If she’s going to act like the docile woman, you have to act like the Macho Man. Paying for everything, acting over-protective and jealous, and never showing any emotion or talking about how you feel. Basically acting like, you know, a man, something at which I am not very good. This is yet another reason I don’t do well with Latin culture, but more and more, I can see why some of them don’t really want to change.

23 Comments:

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"watching Telemundo"

I've made the decision to not learn Spanish so I don't have to watch any of the crap on that or any other Spanish language channel. Did you watch any good shows that reinforced this Latin culture you noticed?

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger Paul said...

double edged sword, man.

women here have a reputation for being subservient too, but (and it seems the same with latin women) pretending to be good little housewives every so often makes them think it's ok to act like a complete and utter lunatic whenever they feel like it.
"oh, well i made you look like a stud in front of your friends so it's ok if I flip the fuck out when you talk to any woman and chase you around the house with a knife."

 
At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you talking about? White women aren't supposed to be subservient anymore?
Maybe that is where I went wrong.

 
At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WD, that was hilarious. Only that doesnt make sense is that they were watching Telemundo and drinking Heineken? No Corona? No Tecate? Thats enough to make me think you made this whole thing up haha.

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger B-Brod said...

You would have learned this long ago back in high school had you come to the La Raza meetings with me during 3rd period. I told yall.

arroz con culo... i'm still laughing at that.

I think this gender roll could be true in many other cultures - not just Hispanic. The Japanese for example. You know me and the Asians.

 
At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Assimilated said...

Blind mind: Corona is for gringos and Tecate for Mexicans. We didn't board a raft to come here and drink piss. Heineken it is.

WD, Paul is completely right. She may be all sweet and subservient on the outside, but step out the box one time too often and you may wake up in the middle of the night to the smell of gasoline and the scratching sound of a match being lighted...

 
At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two words for what happens when you get outta line:

Lorena Bobbitt

 
At 8:06 AM, Blogger SuperBee said...

My secretary used to bring me my coffee in the morning, and make me toast and bring it to me...

Except she couldn't manage to bring me coffee without ants in it (she used the powdered non-dairy creamer, I liked the liquid stuff) and her coffee was too sweet.

So... I get my own ant-free and non-sweet coffee now. And it also made me feel awkward that my secretary was also playing waitress...

 
At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

-eye twitch-

i'm not going to comment on the subject of this post but instead point out something that has been irking me since i started reading your blog.

form. it's f-r-o-m.

 
At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are nice and subservient... Until you cheat on them. You, WD, would have to sleep with one eye open for the rest of your life.

 
At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul, you are ridiculously right on the money. It is so true, the girls that do their best to pamper you and feed your ego also are so into you that they will flip the fuck out like a ninja on 8-balls if you cross them in the slightest way.

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger Manola Blablablanik said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Manola Blablablanik said...

Arroz con culo! You are learning, grasshopper! :-)

The machismo double standard is bad for both men and women. Thankfully, I think it's safe to say it doesn't last long after a generation or two. In a perfect world a woman wouldn't be subservient even if she wants to be nice and a man wouldn't be an asshole all the time power-tripping over the household.

I remember making my ex-bf sandwiches and bringing him beer during football games because I knew how important it was to him and it was my way of saying hey you are special and I don't mind doing this for you ... but it's not like I was doing this all the time. He just so looked forward to this all week and if I was making myself something it didn't kill me to bring him something too. On the other hand, he did all the laundry. Pretty equitable, huh?

 
At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot of subservient, tan blonde white girls in Minnesota. I can vouch for it.
But I was not one of them. Just one of the 8 million reasons I had to leave that fucking place. Subservience in women is one of the most disturbing traits I can imagine. I don't think I could be friends with someone who was.

 
At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two quotes, one from an historic leader in the fight for equal rights, and one from a current-day feminist scholar, may help put this in perspective:

1) "I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute. - Rebecca West

2)"Well-behaved women rarely make history” - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

 
At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If by bringing my man an ocassional beer and snacks makes my man happy and content, I be happy to do that instead of having to give him a bj or handjob every five minutes.

 
At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! every 5 minutes! You must be able to lift 350lbs with your neck by now!

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Shodan25 said...

Yo, Anonymous. Skip the beer. I'd rather have the bj or handjob....

 
At 7:59 PM, Blogger klank said...

lets be fair, you have to treat guests like royalty

 
At 3:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know what the funniest or should I say the most screwed up thing here is this. Have you began to notice that Anglo girls coming to Miami will put up with the macho or again should I call it sexual abuse in the work place here in miami when it's from an hispanic man? It's like leaving the US when they come to miami and blend in rather than rebel like they do in the rest of the US.
Kinda makes you wonder do all Anglo women want the liberation that's in your face across the states?

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger Carlos Balbás Espín said...

Dude... or actually, Dade, you're such a motherfucking Latin-hating racist asshole.

Let me guess... Mommy grew up in a... house with wheels, let's call it that, and passed her 'beliefs' on to you? Why don't you just go get a life instead of whining about feeling alienated by us spics in your own city?

You know, "aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda" ;).

 
At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latin women actually run things. And we like our men to be men, not whiny mommas boys. Good food is our specialty. We don't mind serving our men. It's called "making them happy". We also enjoy music and dancing. Happiness and spiciness... white folks should try it sometime!

 
At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not about change is that if you bring the money you at least deserve the right treatment

 

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