9 Ways My Dad Challenges Machismo Without Even Knowing It
Latino men are overwhelmingly stereotyped as machistas. Thankfully my dad was never phased by these societal expectations nor does he feel pressured to act like a “real hombre.” Here are a few machista stereotypes my dad continuously breaks – and I can’t love him more for this.
He’s all about la limpieza, more so than my mom.
Shocking, right?! Well, my dad has his limpieza routine down to a tee and early morning mopping to “Suavemente” is his favorite Saturday ritual. And rather than expecting his two daughters to wake up early and clean, he knows we work hard during the week, so he lets us sleep in to conserve our energy in order to take over the world.
He makes me breakfast… and lunch and dinner like a total pro.
He doesn’t wake me up to clean, but the smell of huevos con chorizo y frijolitos gets me out of bed like nothing else. Even though people say women belong in the kitchen (which is total BS), my dad loves to cook! He’s even developed a science to the way he packs my lunch! But seriously, have you ever seen anyone take such great care of a piece of lettuce? He learned at an early age from chopping onions and cilantro for his dad’s taco stand in Mexico that food is the way to everyone’s heart, especially mine.
People say “que los hombres no deben llorar,” but my dad isn’t afraid to shed a few tears.
I never have to guess how my dad feels because he wears his heart on his sleeve and he’s definitely not afraid to cry in front of anyone. I mean, if Chente cries in movies my dad shouldn’t be ashamed to do so IRL.
He’s also a low-key chismoso.
My dad is shameless and he’s always the first one out the door whenever drama goes down in my neighborhood. He always wants to know what Fulano did to Panchita and como Panchita se las pagó. I’m always the last one he spills the beans to, but once he starts, it’s hard to get him to wrap up the story.
We normally don’t see older men bodyroll, but my dad tears it up on the dancefloor.
Celia Cruz anything is his jam and he’s not afraid to shake his hips no matter who’s watching! Thanks to his many hours of patience, I’m proud to say I have some lit salsa moves of my own. And if it weren’t for him, I’d still be an awkward penguin with two left feet. I used to be pretty bad, but trust me the glo up has been real.
He’s not afraid of learning something new from his little girls.
I have a lot of opinions. And much like other fathers, my dad can be very attached to his ways. But I know he’s soaking it all in when my sister and I start ranting about universal solidarity, tree hugging, human rights, animal rights, capitalism, feminism, and the all the other -isms in the book (to name a few).
He never comments on what I’m wearing when I go out with my girl friends.
He knows that what I wear is my own personal decision. Instead of freaking out because I’m in a skirt, he’s more of the type to say, “Do you, girl.”
He tells me que me ponga las pilas because he believes I can do anything.
My dad knows that my future isn’t limited because I’m a woman. He wants me to achieve my dreams, whatever they may be. When I want to give up, he reminds me that I can take the world by storm con que le heche las ganas.
He’s not afraid to use the L-word.
I already know my dad loves me. He tells me every time he wakes me up with breakfast, or lectures me to try harder, or lets me sleep in when I’m tired, but it’s also important for me to hear him say it – and he has no problem doing so.
Thank you to all the Latino daddies out there challenging sexist institutions for their daughters – whether they know it or not. Comment below on other ways your dad challenges machismo!
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