Border Culture

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Complexity of the Masculine Role in the Border Culture
“In the past twenty years the population of border cities has exploded largely as a result of migration from poor, rural areas of Mexico.” (Broughton 569) This has resulted in a drastic change in the landscape of the culture in these border cities. “The movement to and beyond the border has been shaped dramatically by gender. Men have consistently made up about 75 percent of border crossers from Mexico since 1970.” (Broughton 571)
Anzaldua describes the Battle of the Alamo as the turning point in history for the Anglos and Tejanos. She said, “The battle of the Alamo in which the Mexican forces vanquished the whites, became, for the whites, the symbol for the cowardly and villainous
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Emilio represents the traditionalist in the article and he “marks clear moral boundaries in his discussion with regard to his ideals about work, family, and place”. Family, God, and his country are everything to him. “His traditionalist masculine views prioritize the cohesion of his family, a commitment to his hometown and his country, abiding by the law, and sustaining what he sees as a stable, authentic identity.” (Broughton 576) He goes on to describe the “dangers” of migrants assuming that the grass is greener on the other side. He believes that the “borderlands is a minefield of moral hazards, when approached without caution and with a sense of adventure and greed”. (Broughton 576) Ismael, Emilio’s brother, represents the second masculine stance which is the “adventurist”. Unlike his brother, he “embraces the rough opportunities and challenges that economic integration has fostered.” (Broughton 578) He embraces being an individual and “uses material possessions as progressive markers of merit and success for the migrant.” (Broughton 578) He talks about how he makes his choices for himself and not for Mexico. “Ismael rejects the traditionalists’ claims about the moral pitfalls of northward migration and the border, asserting…show more content…
In fact, it is not uncommon for four or five men to share a one bedroom apartment. Practically speaking, this allows the men to spend less on rent and be able to send more money home to their families. So, these men go from living in a home with their family to living with several men in a small space. But, when the house is all male, who is doing the domestic work? Out of necessity the men have to learn how to do household duties such as cooking, ironing, grocery shopping, and cleaning for the first time in their life which represents a big role change for them. In addition to these domestic tasks, “most of them also held restaurant jobs, where they worked busing tables, washing dishes, preparing food, and cooking: these work experiences also widened their repertoire of domestic skills”. (Hondagneu-Sotelo, 408) Culturally, their mom and/or their sisters would be the ones to take care of these tasks when they were younger and then once they are married it becomes the wife’s responsibility. With the absence of women in these bachelor communities, the men are forced to do things for themselves. Chores such as cleaning and cooking are tasks that are considered “feminine” resulting in not just the literal change of performing the task, but
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