Title

Gender Construction in Contemporary Latin American Literature and Film

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Historically, societies have been predominately patriarchal; the Americas are no exception. Patriarchy and male-dominated societies are still a presence in the world in general, but my focus is on Latin America, a region where sexism and misogyny continue to have a great impact on the overarching culture. My presentation will draw on articles that range from Feminist Review to St. Thomas Law Review to the Journal of International Women’s Studies and such works as Phillip Swanson’s Companion to Latin American Studies and Raphael Lopez-Corvo’s Woman within: A Psychoanalytic Essay on Femininity. These works, coupled with a literary analysis of the poem “Kinsey Report” by Rosario Castelanos, and an analysis of the two films, Central do Brasil (Central Station) and The Official Story, as shown in my Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Class last semester, are going to support the theory that ‘gender’ and therefore ‘gender roles’ are socially constructed.

I argue that gender definitions of women are based on how women complement men. Women, then, are by definition secondary and hence inferior. If gender is a social construct and society propagates said constructs, then anything that defies or challenges the status quo is dangerous on social, political, economic, and cultural levels. These kinds of assumptions about how women are second-class citizens must be analyzed and deconstructed to help eliminate sexism, discrimination, intolerance, and violence. It is my hope, that my presentation will make a small yet important contribution to gender equality.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 11th, 3:40 PM Apr 11th, 4:00 PM

Gender Construction in Contemporary Latin American Literature and Film

Historically, societies have been predominately patriarchal; the Americas are no exception. Patriarchy and male-dominated societies are still a presence in the world in general, but my focus is on Latin America, a region where sexism and misogyny continue to have a great impact on the overarching culture. My presentation will draw on articles that range from Feminist Review to St. Thomas Law Review to the Journal of International Women’s Studies and such works as Phillip Swanson’s Companion to Latin American Studies and Raphael Lopez-Corvo’s Woman within: A Psychoanalytic Essay on Femininity. These works, coupled with a literary analysis of the poem “Kinsey Report” by Rosario Castelanos, and an analysis of the two films, Central do Brasil (Central Station) and The Official Story, as shown in my Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Class last semester, are going to support the theory that ‘gender’ and therefore ‘gender roles’ are socially constructed.

I argue that gender definitions of women are based on how women complement men. Women, then, are by definition secondary and hence inferior. If gender is a social construct and society propagates said constructs, then anything that defies or challenges the status quo is dangerous on social, political, economic, and cultural levels. These kinds of assumptions about how women are second-class citizens must be analyzed and deconstructed to help eliminate sexism, discrimination, intolerance, and violence. It is my hope, that my presentation will make a small yet important contribution to gender equality.