Imagining a life without machismo seems like a cynical utopia.
The struggle we face every day only seems to leap away from the longed-for equality, respect, and security we know we deserve.
How many women would not want to go a day without having to take care of a male at home or have the right to fair and equal pay?
By now, these wishes should be truisms, but they are not.
A life without machismo and gender equality would be so different that the system cannot compute it, and some continue to put obstacles in the gears of progress.
In a life without machismo, we would be paid more. We would not be afraid to go out at night; we would not be expected to cook and clean after a long day of work.
In a life without machismo, our needs wouldn’t be postponed to halftime at the game and making trips back and forth to the fridge for more beer.
A life without machismo would mean less domestic violence and more freedom of choice, without fear of dire consequences.
It hurts to think that machismo is so deeply rooted — especially in regions such as Latin America, where there was a 7.7% increment of femicides in the first half of 2020, according to The Guardian.
Think of all the unheard women that simply can’t escape machismo at its cruelest and remain voiceless to escape death.
But I try to be optimistic. A life without machismo would personally serve as an ode to those who couldn’t escape from it. I hope one day we can achieve it.
I hope there will be the day when you could walk down the street without a shirt (does that feel strange to think of? Because personally, I can do without unsolicited shirtless men walking down the street), a solo run without feeling the pressure of being attacked or followed, a night at a bar without the pressure of being spoken to, a business meeting with the equal respect and talk time males get, a holiday without being asked about children or when you’ll be getting married.
A life without machismo would feel light. We would feel less pressure, less anxiety, more freedom without having to second-guess our outfits, our mannerisms, or our life’s timeline. It would feel like an abundance of security on our side for the first time. It almost feels like I’m describing a fantasy — an unreachable euphoria for us all.
But what can we do now? We can continue fighting and reassuring ourselves that although less machismo globally takes decades in the making, we can access our personal life and see what we can tackle that’s in our reach. We can change our daily conversations and talk to our significant other to ensure none of the generational machismo assumptions get passed on. We can make a difference in our lives and get others in our social circle to do the same… because the bottom line is yes — machismo can absolutely be eradicated. We just have to be resilient.