Often, there are more studies on women. It is difficult not to find in a bookstore Cuban four or five books that address that topic. Perhaps it shows part of the machismo that has marked human societies for millennia: “the male gender doesn’t need to be researched because it enjoys a privileged position, because he knows himself and does not require the help of science like women do , since the last ones have been ignored and weak to the demands of society.”
However, Macho, varón, masculino (Editorial de la mujer, 2011) proves otherwise. Julio Cesar Gonzalez, the author, not only takes care of opening the beginning of a long road to understanding men and their role in Cuban society, but also makes clear that some of the challenges women in the contemporary world face could be alleviated through policies aimed at the opposite sex.
González Pagés, professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and History, deals with a transparent style, which makes it worth raeding, the pressing issues of Cuba and the world today as divorce, feminism, violence, homosexuality, relying primarily on feminist theories.
But you can notice, especially in the early chapters, a hint of reproach that makes males responsible for both the position of women in society as certain roles that he should play. This trend, however, is qualified by socio-historical explanation in which he explains that gender differences are due, among other reasons, to economic relations and the inclusion of every individual in the workplace.
Following the phrase “Macho, male, masculine ", resulting in a somewhat rough affirmation of man to the world, we should write "macho or what?", a slogan that the world uses to chastise men.
We should recognize in this phrase the pain boys bear when they hear it, who are often called in vain to overcome certain fears or waive certain feelings because society won’t see them as men if they have them. And that phrase used to educate boys; by the way, it is not only uttered by fathers but by mothers as well.
As much as the situation is described in the work of Dr. González Pagés, the pain is not explicit regarding how a boy finds his way into adulthood while receiving fewer expressions of affection and support from both parents than his sister, since he is demanded to be tough and look after himself even at ages when it is logically impossible.
It is not mentioned that during adolescence criteria rooted in both females and males forced him to incorporate certain attitudes and behave in a certain way as a strategy almost exclusively to couple, and that in that election women are as responsible as the men themselves.
Neither is described the pain, once again silenced, of parents, pretending to be insurmountable and authoritarian with their children, they must accept with resignation their position in the background, while the mother may represent the imaginary that associates her, and only her, to tenderness, to delivery, to warmth.
Is that macho, male, masculine, that hitting male, that male that subjects the product of a comfortable personal choice, or the result of fire and blood of the majority will of the whole society in which men are so complicit as women?
In the world as we know it, the man can not complain about the status quo of what is responsible for, because from an early age they are taught not to complain, to avoid all sentimentality. At this point the male is even more vulnerable than the woman herself, which is allowed to mourn and seek protection from Cuban society, although we know that not all cases follow the rule.
For this reason, this research is valuable, indispensable. “Macho, varón, masculino. Estudios de masculinidades” en Cuba is perhaps one of the Cuban books on the subject that has got more easily to bookstores and libraries. We owe to Professor Julio César González Pagés the first spark, and we ask publishers and research centers in the country to keep that flame alive.