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Gender Roles In Spanish Culture

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Every saga has a beginning and on October 12, 1492, a handful of Europeans began their quest for the invasion, control and conquest of what came to be called Spanish America. When invasion ended conquest continued as assimilation saw a merging of cultures between Spaniards and many indigenous people over three centuries. The indigenous people of Latin America had a unique culture, one that suited their way of life. Once the Spanish infiltrated their homeland, it was to change forever. Spanish ideology was vastly different from that of the simple-minded ideology of the Indian. An aspect of conquest, assimilation would involve the gradual acceptance of culture. However, this gradual acceptance did come as easily as the Spaniards had hoped…show more content…
This male ideology influenced culture greatly in Spanish America as women were assumed to be weaker and lacking in character stronger physical and moral character in comparison to men.[20] Besides being weak women were perceived as “submissive and passive.”[21] Double moral standards saw Spanish men involved in promiscuous activities that were condemned for women. “A double standard existed with regard to social behavior.”[22] This issue of honor and virtue saw the inequality of the sexes as “honor-virtue prescribed gender-specific rules of proper social comportment. Honor (honor) was strictly a male attribute while shame (verguenza) was intrinsic to females.”[23] If a women in Spanish America was a sexual promiscuous or went against the norm of Spanish society she was labeled as a social outcast. Women with an ideology of rebellion fought and spoke out against Spanish male dominance. In doing so they were stigmatized as witches. Pueblo Indian women who practiced medicine were among those stigmatized as witches. These witches were believed to “wrought calamities, and illness by shooting objects into the bodies of their victims or by stealing their heart.”[24] Considered to be socially deviant activity witchcraft was mostly the extension of the male ideology that viewed women as being…show more content…
Th the saga of Spanish conquest not only reveals a story of defeat, exploitation and control it also tells a story of the “negotiation of culture,” between the Spanish and the indigenous people of Spanish America. It is a saga where the fusion of the old was brought together with the new. The friction experienced by many indigenous people, as well as Africans, refused at times to accept the ideas that the Spanish were imposing. In the end the end the strong hand of Europe was able to conquer these people, but not entirely. In on in which there remained after conquest resistance, accommodation and negotiation of cultures. In the duration of three centuries the Spanish had waged a hard fought battle not of a physical nature but rather of a cultural one. The cultural war between the Spanish and groups of indigenous people in the societies of Spanish America saw no real victor since cultural contact created many sub cultural mixed-population groups of indigenous people such as the mestizo, mulatto and zambo. Despite a valiant effort by the Spanish some cultural aspects of Andean society would never cease to exist. Through the saga of conquest the Spanish had hoped to remove the culture from that of the conquered, but instead the conqueror had implanted allowed his culture through resistance, accommodation and negotiation to be altered. The result for the Spanish was that the saga of
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