ANTA02 – In Search of Respect; Chapter 6
REDRAWING THE GENDER LINE
Process of carving out new public space for women = contradictory outcomes and pain.
• Made worst by fundamental status quos that enforce male domination not being altered.
• Males don’t accept new rights/roles women are obtaining &are trying to reassert their lost
‘grandfathers autocratic control’ over households/public space.
Crisis of patriarchy = experienced from econ failure to provide as head of house since such structural
transformations assault sense of masculine dignity.
• Stabilising community institutions don’t exist in the inner city thus men struggle in a hostile
vacuum trying to regain historical patriotic power.
• Crisis manifests as polarization of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Ex. Candy, who’s capable of commanding respect on the street.
• Embodies contradictory processes thru which gender & power rel’ps are being redefined in
• “from child-abused daughter to child-abused wife” via romantic elopement.
o In jibaro culture = legitimate cultural institution allowing girl’s resistance to paternal domination
so long as she resubmits herself to control of her lover and establishes a conjugal household
with him when she gets pregnant.
Battered women syndrome via intergenerational transmission of violence and substance abuse
(psychology) is applicable but lacking context.
- Because it ignores: systematic dislocation in family structure caused by massive rural-urban migration.
- Ex. Domestic brutality against Candy while pregnant emerges almost as expression of structural
Or perhaps husband’s sadism=attempt to retain jibaro ideal of large family.
Earlier generations might’ve understood violence (within limits) as legitimate role of
a father coordinating his household laborers on small farm.
Female liberation versus traditional sexual jealousy:
Candy shot her husband for cheating on her with her sister.
- Desperate attempt to hold onto traditional family values of a past.
- Also display of violence establish credibility/respect in the streets.
- ie. When gender confrontations and assertions of individual rights express themselves in the romantic
idioms of sexual jealousy.
- His affair violated kinship solidarity so she exhausted her battered-woman dependence on him by
Asserting individual needs whilst binding to principle of male-domination (compare:
like how romantic love allows subordinated women to both assert individual needs
and be bound to male-dom’d nuclear families).
- Jibaro explanation: ataque de nervios (P.Rican culture bound syndrome, commonly found in
women abused since childhood by men, similar to panic attack). Ataques = Legitimized forum for women to vent angst against dominant man when
his abuse oversteps accepted boundaries.
Jealousy = common provocation for these culturally scripted violent outbursts by
- T/F Candy followed traditional abuse survivor’s scenario by shooting husband - almost reaffirming
Candy subsequent depression at husband imprisoned &subsequent lack of econ provision solved by
falling in lo