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This idealized behavioral pattern is slowly changing in Spain, as it accompanies the transformations in Spanish society. Certain public policies have provided momentum for a change in the way that the issue of gender in general and gender violence in particular are approached. A study carried out under the auspices of the University of Valencia between and interviewed experts and activists from an association of men seeking equality with women in an attempt to analyze the present situation and, above all, and to examine the future of masculinity in Spain as it relates to the gains made in favor of feminism.
Using the opinions of several actors as a basis, certain questions emerge and the difficulties confronting this process are revealed: Is a rupture with traditional models possible?
What is the present status of the coexistence between the most traditional and the most egalitarian approaches? Received on Although we cannot speak of a current as such, there are researchers who have analyzed this topic thoroughly.
The trend toward interdisciplinary studies in the s was consolidated by the works of Enrique Gil , , , Carlos Lomas , , Teresa Torns on the relationship between economy, employment and gender , etc. However, one cannot — or should not — forget the importance of the men involved in the discourse on gender — and of their practices. The issue of gender, masculinity, and the relationship between men and equality is generally considered a minor issue, and thus it is not on the agenda.
We considered that the most appropriate approach to study this problem would be from the traditional analytic perspective of social anthropology, which also implied an evident methodological positioning. We also considered the current qualitative method as ideal for a study of these characteristics. Our interest was in understanding the social phenomenon from the point of view of those involved in it. There is a certain current of emotions and evaluations between interviewer and interviewee that are affected by a number of concurrent elements, namely those he calls socio-spatial and temporal circumstances — the venue, day, time, etc.
The pertinent features of the interaction are:. The scope of the interview. Even though we knew from the start what groups to address, on certain occasions some interviewees provided us with information to further examine relevant issues: 1. Enlarging the pool of interviewees. One interviewee can open the door to the next. The interviews describe their personal relationships with the others. The interaction viewed as a power relationship between the inter viewer and the interviewee can change over the course of the interview.
One starts off with a fixed script of questions, but in practice these are continually modified as the interview progresses and the interviewee develops different viewpoints. We did not look for statistical representation, but rather an understanding of the viewpoints.
As the most important consideration was the content of the information, we applied the saturation principle. In the end seven interviews were performed, all with men, except for one female researcher from the University of Barcelona. The objective was to get to know the status of the question on a theoretical level, the status of the research that had been carried out and the research being carried out, and also to ascertain the opinion of the man in the street, how questions such as equality, new forms of masculinity, etc.
On the Iberian Peninsula these appeared during the Civil War, and the regime that emerged thereafter. This model was prevalent throughout the remainder of the 20 th century and into the 21 st. The masculine is affirmed by the exercise of power Bourdieu, as a sample of autonomy. We never seem to look like the model. This functions as an unreachable element, as an idealized sample of what we should seek.
It is the configuration of a stereotype as a normative ideal that is projected onto the whole of society. We must realize that there is not a single masculinity: masculinity is a multiple fact and, therefore, we must talk about masculinities.
There are different ways to embody an identity position, to own it, to readapt it, to construct it [ Men are expressing their masculinity in different contexts. In each specific context, we update, pull, and turn these models into different ones.
I cannot talk about what it is to be a man, if I do not understand what it is to be a woman. What we have are different ways of being a woman. Therefore, you cannot give a single answer to what it is to be a man, it is a mistake. And it is advisable to put it into context in order to understand the discursive meaning of the context of what we speak about. If we look at men and women in different times in history, and analyze them in a synchronous way, that is, comparing different concepts at different times, we find several concepts of masculinities.
Of course, no studies have been done on all this plurality. So the new masculinities are different ways of facing identity, and that identity is a powerful referent of oneself, rather than the social representation of a structured, destructive patriarchal model. This may not be novel, yet what is new at present is a stronger social conscience. In fact, in the Spanish State studies dealing with new masculinities have been carried out for between 10 and 15 years.
However, there is a clear need to persevere in this field, especially from the approach to the issue of violence. He fights deep inside himself, in his personal behavior, and then tries to pass the result on to others [ You want to change it inwardly and you struggle in your daily life to change it.
You want to renounce the privilege you have. I do not think he even exists. I have been working on this for 17 years, and many of the people who work with me in this area continue to find new spaces of microviolence, micro-male chauvinism, not as evident as in other cases, but those traditional forms of power expressed in a very subtle way still exist.
That is, to the moment in which we can give words to an emotion. As soon as we can put words to what we feel, to what we think, we open the possibility of communicating and relating in another way. We are living in a period of great disadvantages in the different levels of Spanish society, economy, politics, ideology [ There is no society, none, not even Nordic societies. The first is unwavering and categorically denies that our society promotes equality.
The family and the school are places to correct, practice and children must change. We cannot change society either from a discourse, or from politics: it has to be education, from day to day routines.
If children see in their environment how we interrelate, and when they go to school they keep on watching the same thing happening, those children will change. But that does not happen. He also explains the need for the environment to change, but nowadays that environment is not favorable for these issues, 3 since.
Advances have been claimed but this has simply meant that we have moved a little bit. In fact, with the socialist government, 4 equality policies apparently once seemed to be on the point of changing us now there are no equality policies. Erik Pescador CEGM points out that although society is generally in favor of equality, men are afraid of losing power in an uncontrolled space. And Spanish society in the process of equality is an uncontrolled space since, on the one hand women are making profound changes to their ways of proceeding, 5 and on the other, there are men who do not act in the way men have traditionally acted:.
On the subject of equality, Spanish society is deeply polarized. One part profoundly questions their daily lives, with men who are reluctant to change, and even violently against doing so. It has become a driving principle, but we see that it is being continuously perverted, and our politicians pervert policies.
Does our Spanish society foster equality? I do not think we live in a society that is getting more egalitarian. No, here we are going to turn around every year, but we continue the same or maybe a little worse. Formally, I believe that there have been many advances, but I cannot say the same about the values that are being put on the table by the institutions. I want to think that people, the average citizen, are much more sensible and able to see that this identification is an outrage.
In this case, I trust society more; I believe that in society there is more power of equality than there is in our institutions right now. I do not say that there is more equality in society: I say that there is more potentiality […]. What is feminism and what does it mean?
I think that, as a society, we have neglected something that was fundamental: in order to be more egalitarian we have to be more equal, and we have to somehow invest, rethink ourselves, and we must pay attention to what all these women have said. And I think there is a problem, a difficulty on that plane is how we make men and many women understand again what is behind feminism, make them understand again why there is work to be done and what is being asked for.
In the case of gender, this leading role has been historically attributed to man. How to break this trend? I can appeal to the responsibility of people for them to be more egalitarian, but I think that as people who take part in the social processes, we would be wrong if we thought we are going to change that through the relational. We have to change a lot of guidelines, a lot of ways of doing things So I do not think it is a lack of interest.
Is there a lack of interest? For sure there is; is there a certain amount of ignorance? For sure there is; but I also think there is a feeling of security that everyone is afraid to lose, 7 so how can that change be made? That is the difficulty. That is why I think that many times the fundamental factor is being with someone, either in a group or with a partner, to treat you in a different way.
He introduces the question of whether men can be feminists or if that is only possible among women:. In fact, in the same debate about the concept of how we define men, lies the essence of the debate, that is, why do we not call ourselves feminists?
Why do we call ourselves pro-feminists? Or why are there so many terms for self-designation? And there we enter into a more complex debate of a philosophical nature that implies a bit of how identity is experienced.
Yes, probably, but maybe not being black does not allow you to experience the discrimination that black people have felt. In cases of gender issues, if you are not a woman, can you call yourself a feminist?
It is a bit complicated, I insist, as we are in the middle of a process of transformation, of transit. This is, perhaps, a somewhat drastic action that can be misinterpreted and manipulated but neither can it be categorically rejected, since it is necessary to create places for reflection among men.
There are women who accept that we call ourselves feminists. But other women do not accept that due to historical tradition.
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