preview

The Dominican Masculinity

Good Essays
The Dominican Masculinity In the novel a typical Dominican male is portrayed as powerful, full of charm and physically attractive. Oscar, weighing over 300 pounds, and living an extremely nerdy life is a complete opposite of the Dominican stereotype. According to the book’s narration the most important part of DR masculinity is sex and this is again something that Oscar struggles to experience, but no matter what he does, he can’t. On the other hand, Junior is the exact representation of a Dominican male. He possesses all the properties that a DR man is supposed to have and even these are extraordinary potent. Junior seems to be superior to Oscar in every aspect of their lives, as narrator wants us to believe. However,…show more content…
He is emasculated and challenged by women all the time, but still has a higher social standing than them. In order to understand that, one has to look at the stories of the most “masculine” women: Beli and Lola, who despite their efforts are just females and therefore are lower than any male character. Beli is constantly struggling to climb up the social ladder, but she is unable to reach the desired equality with man. She often displays her desire to control everything around her, Junior saw her as she “slapped grown men, pushed white police officers onto their asses.” She also tries to make her children bend to her will, especially rebellious Lola. If anything slips out of her power she becomes furious and uncontrollable. The fact that she doesn’t have the power that she wants drives her crazy. And as we learn from Junior Beli is powerless: “what could she do? Beli was a girl, for fuck’s sake. She had no real power…” (81) Women inferiority in the novel can be also seen in the sexualization of their features by all the males, even Oscar. Women also have to face constant sexual harassment from the males, especially from Trujillo’s regime. The dictator “has hundreds of spies whose entire job was to scour the provinces for his next piece of ass” (217). That depicts women as a material target, a sexual object that can be obtained and used, while at the same time takes away all the power from females. Presenting Oscar as much a non-masculine character as possible, without undermining the fact that he is a male, places him in the lowest possible place in the male society, so low that he is sometimes “treated like a woman.” However this place in the society gives him a different view on the world and women, such that will baffle and provoke some jealousy in
Get Access