Machismo is a prominently exhibited or excessive masculinity. [ [ Entry for "macho" at] ] As an attitude, machismo ranges from a personal sense of virility to a more extreme male chauvinism. In many cultures, machismo is acceptable and even expected.

The trait may be seen as the product of runaway evolution, as Frits Staal notes,

The peacock's tail, the grotesquely enlarged claw of the male fiddler crab and the machismo of members of the human species are all exaggerated features that may cause injury to individuals that display them but attract females. [Staal, " [ Noam Chomsky Between the Human and Natural Sciences] ", Janus Head (2001)]

In literature

In American literature, a memorable example of machismo comes from Tennessee Williams' character Stanley Kowalski, the egotistical brother-in-law in "A Streetcar Named Desire". In the play (and in the motion picture), Stanley epitomises the hyper-masculine alpha male, socially and physically dominating and imposing his will upon his wife and her sister, Blanche DuboisOr|date=May 2008. Bound up with Stanley's aggressive and occasionally misogynist views is a strong sense of pride and honor which leads to his hatred of Blanche.

In the play "A View from the Bridge" by Arthur Miller, one of the main characters Eddie is a classic type who displays machismoOr|date=May 2008. He wants to be the best out of the men who he is among and when beaten, becomes very quiet.

In Spanish

The English word "machismo" originates in an identical Spanish word, which however has a somewhat different meaning. Spanish "machismo" refers exclusively to the belief in the superiority of males over females, that is it means "sexism" or "male chauvinism" (along with the Spanish adjective "machista", "sexist" or "male chauvinist"). [ [ Entry for "machismo" at the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy] ] "Machismo" itself derives from "macho", a latin word meaning "male [animal] " or, when used metaphorically, "masculine" or "very masculine." [ [ Online Etymology Dictionary's entry for "machismo"] ]

ee also

* Girly girl
* Marianismo
* Masculinity


External links

* [ Definition of "machismo" at the Spanish Wikipedia]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • machismo — n. 1. A strong, and by some considered exaggerated, sense of manly pride, associated with an attitude that the proper expression of masculinity includes virility, courage, and an entitlement to dominate, especially over women. [PJC] 2. An… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • machismo — (n.) 1940, from Amer.Sp. machismo, from Sp. macho male (see MACHO (Cf. macho)) + ismo (see ISM (Cf. ism)) …   Etymology dictionary

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