Paso Doble Standard

Keep your tequila-hoisting paws off my virginal daughter

I was sitting around with my daughter and her Mexican husband the other day talking about her past. Jokingly, I mentioned that when she was a teenager (30 years ago), lots of boys came by the house to see her. Her husband flew into a rage and said that Mexicans consider such a comment extremely discourteous. Because his anger seemed out of proportion to my comment, and most men are even a bit flattered to hear that their wives are or were attractive to other men, I’m wondering whether his anger is his problem or whether he was right about Mexican customs and I unwittingly had been discourteous.
Pendejo-in-Law?

Dear Gabacho:
You were being rude, according to Mexican standards. That said, fuck your son-in-law. You've stumbled onto one of the great hypocrisies in Mexican society — while men boast about their previous conquests with the fervor usually reserved for tales of midnight runs across the border, women are expected to stay mum about any past chorizos they might've stuffed. This double standard is a tool of power — not to squash female sexuality, mind you, but to placate the pussy egos of the seemingly macho Mexican hombre, which can't comprehend a mujerwho exists outside the Madonna/whore duality. All this might change, though, if Alicia Elena Perez Duarte gets her way. She's Mexico's special prosecutor for crimes against women and is trying to pass a law that would punish overly jealous husbands. I can already hear the snickers from the Dobbsians out there: See? Mexico is so backwards it needs to appoint someone to protect women! And we want to give these savages who booed Miss USA amnesty?! But refry this: The fact Mexico created Duarte's position, along with a recent proposal in Mexico's Congress to grant amnesty to its Guatemalan invaders, shows that the country is willing to right its wrongs. Are you listening, Dubya?

Why do we always think Mexican men drink tequila and sing mariachi tunes, while the women are pretty señoritas?
Viva Mexico

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Dear Gabacho:
Mexicans frequently blame ustedes for perpetuating various stereotypes about nosotros over the centuries, but a big part of the blame also falls on us. During World War II, a time when Mexico's film industry experienced a renaissance that scholars refer to as La Época de Oro (The Golden Age), Mexican movie studios produced great social tales, comedies, and horror films, but the ones that received most acclaim were the comedias rancheras. They starred matinee idols such as Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete, who meted out frontier justice and wooed the chicas guapas from underneath sombreros — while always guzzling tequila and riding on horseback. The image came from the state of Jalisco, birthplace of mariachi and tequila. "Needing a people who could personify hispanismo," wrote Joanne Hirschfield in "Race and Class in the Classical Cinema," an essay in the anthology Mexico's Cinema: A Century of Film and Filmmakers, "its proponents found them in Los Altos de Jalisco. The mythology of Los Altos created a horse-riding people who were devoutly Catholic and capitalistic, had never intermarried with Indians, and played mariachi music." Mexico thought Americans would think better of beaners as singing caballeros, but Hollywood didn't care — they inverted the Jaliscan tropes and created the fat, drunk, gold-toothed greaseball archetype who sleeps under the shade of a cactus and gets up only to booze it up or write columns about America's most calienteminority. As for Mexican women being sultry and spicy — that's all documentary, baby.

¡ASK A MEXICAN CONTEST!Want a free, autographed copy of my book? Send a picture to the e-mail below of yourself or an amigo reading the Mexican while standing outside your local Mexican consulate. Photo must clearly show the consulate and the newspaper (or printed Web version) in which you read this pinche column. One winner per consulate only, so the first picture from each region gets the book! Don't live close to a consulate? Don't worry — the Mexican invasion will bring one to a neighborhood near you soon!

 
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3 comments
madchen
madchen

I really appreciate this column. I am native american, but was adopted into a mexican family, and grew up almost exactly like this columnist writes...that said, I also grew up in a very gringo, San Diego, California in during the 1970's.

My father was so over-protective, and yes, that comment would have been considered rude about the girl, as if her father didn't care enough about her to keep her protected from all the attention, or that she was basically a puta--slut. It is definitely a double standard.

I remember my first date, my father put a gun on the table and had an hour and half lecture with this poor white guy who just didn't understand what a big ordeal it was...luckily he liked me enough to put up with it! Anyway, I have tried to assimilate, and have my "white"-side too, but sometimes I just don't get caucasians either. You have to grow up that way...watch a lot of George Lopez HBO specials..to get it...lol.

Shannon
Shannon

Andrea needs to read the article again I think...

Andrea
Andrea

Why would you want to make a comment like this anyway? There are many mouthy women out there who speak before they think and are too stubborn to admit their faults. Most of these women are divorced or on their 2nd-3rd marriage. They run their husbands off by constantly criticizing anyone they some across. If she really loved her daughter and her daughter is in a healthy relationship, why try to stir anything up, unless you are jealous of what she has? Because now this thoughless woman has just started something between the couple. Some people are just not raised witg respect. Your in-laws should be the main people you respect because this is how it has always been. Unless he is abusing your daughter or something like it, then I would understand where the dislike comes from. She was wrong and needs to swallow her stubborness and apologize.

 
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