Masculinity and Sexuality in Modern Mexico
Victor M. Macias-Gonzalez & Anne Rubenstein. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2012. 296 pp. $31.95 (Softcover). ($30.35 Kindle ebook.) ISBN: 978-0-8263-2905-9
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
by: Judith Falzon

Section: Adult Book Reviews

Reviewed by Judith Falzon, St. Joseph County Public Library, South Bend, IN

This collection of essays paints a portrait of early 20th century Mexico through minute, precise details. Like a pointillist painting, each discrete essay contributes to a cohesive picture of an emergent, modern Mexico. Folded into Mexico’s evolving national identity is the socio-cultural issue of gender identity roles.
Each of the nine cases studied presents complex, layered gender roles as seen: in a notorious ‘crime de passion;’ through the architectural/social significance of public bathhouses and cinemas; through the abduction/elopement drama of ‘rapto.’ The aggressor/submissive roles men and women played out in these real life dramas segue into topics that ponder how those real life roles are represented artistically in charros, films and tabloids.
Authors Victor Macías-González and Anne Rubenstein are professors of gender studies, anthropology and history.  The book is part of the Diálogos Series of Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico.

A fascinating, enjoyable contribution to social history. Recommended for academic libraries and bookstores.

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