‘Examining Machismo’ collects data on hegemonic masculinity

Lesly Beas, Fresno State student and Cross-Cultural and Gender Center (CCGC) coordinator, hosts "Examining Machismo" booth at the free speech area. (Adam Ricardo Solis/The Collegian)

The Cross Cultural and Gender Center (CCGC) hosted its “Examining Machismo” activity on Wednesday, April 20 at the speaker’s platform, where they collected data examining the effects of hegemonic masculinity in the Latino/a community at Fresno State.

The event focused on the socially constructed male practice and behavior that dominates over and subordinates women, as well as other men who do not follow typical gender roles. 

Organizers presented an interactive activity for students walking by to write down their thoughts through a questionnaire intended to collect data on how machismo has affected them.

Lesly Beas, a senior majoring in sociology and the student coordinator for the CCGC, said they hoped to find out if people have had a positive or negative experience with machismo, which is defined as strong or aggressive masculine pride.

“In shorter terms it’s rooted in toxic masculinity, and it affects both women and men in our households,” Beas said.

Beas said data will hopefully be used later in the semester to develop a workshop that will be aimed at providing resources and advice on how to discuss and handle machismo.

She said that when people first think of the term machismo, their reaction is usually negative. However, she said that isn’t always the case. 

“We’re also wanting to hear from people who have experienced or seen masculinity in general in a positive light, whether it’s pride from being a caretaker, or having a male figure in your life that you feel [has] taught you so much,” Beas said.

She said having the chance to work on this project and gather the information from other Fresno State students is work that she is passionate about.

“I was hopeful that hearing other people’s responses to the question would empower others to write their experiences as well. This is a very prevalent topic, or something that is prevalent in Latino households, so I think it’s important for us to talk about taboo topics like this and bring awareness to these issues and how we can deal with them,” Beas said.

As of fall 2021, over 51% of students at Fresno State identify as Latinx, according to university demographic data, and Beas said providing a safe space to have these conversations for people who may identify with the topic is important to provide

The CCGC’s next event is the African American Programs and Services “Sistah to Sistah” on Tuesday, April 26, at noon in the Harambee Room, located in the Thomas Building, Room 109.

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