Two I.S. Symposium Presentations

In both of the posters I observed, I saw parallels between Brazil and the US. In analyzing these parallels, I saw unique ways in which the US, Brazil, and other Latin American countries are fighting back against the same problems and systematic hierarchies.

  1. Machismo

I got to talk with the poster’s creator for a long time about the life of Mexican American women in Chicago, and the positive and negative impact of machismo that they experience. Machismo, deals with essentially the idea of toxic masculinity. Men are brought up in a culture where they are supposed to act a certain way. Otherwise, they are called out for it. Women are in the same boat, but are seen as subservient. As a result, Mexican American women are found to receive much emotional abuse from male partners.

One of her biggest findings from this study was that in contrast to people in Mexico, Mexican Americans, men and women alike, are fighting against this hierarchy of oppression. She found that many people believe that the both the oppressors and the oppressed can be victims of machismo. Their fight is based on finding their own identity, requiring them to challenge the system that seeks to rid them of that.

There is perhaps something to be said about America and American culture from this study. While sexism and the patriarchy still remains a problem in America, it would appear that fighting against the established order is deeply engrained in American society, both in modern times and historic times.

  1. LGBTQ Representation

In Danica’s poster, I got to see the amount of representation that lgbtq people receive in Brazil, as well as other Latin American countries. She found that the amount of representation this demographic gets can influence people’s views on same sex marriage. Danica analyzed and surveyed the impact of this representation in all different countries of Latin America using four different models. These models included church attendance, interest in politics, and even how preferences have changed from year to year. Given that the amount of representation varies depending on the country, she concluded that the amount of lgbtq representation does increase favorability of same sex marriage.

I’m not surprised with Danica’s results. A similar analysis could be made to the preference of race based on representation. The US government for example is currently predominately white. It is quite possible that racism levels would decrease if more people of color were to be elected to the different levels of government in the years to come.

While the US has made great strides towards sexuality equality, such as legalizing gay marriage nationwide, we still have a long way to go. Perhaps our goal should be to get more lgbtq people running for office. The election of transwoman Danica Roem in 2017 proves that a lgbtq candidates have a chance at winning elections.