Julio César González Pagés’ Macho, varón, masculino. Estudios de masculinidades en Cuba (Havana: Editorial de la Mujer, 2010) [Macho, Male, Masculine: Studies of Masculinities in Cuba] was featured this week at the Cuba 2011 International Book Fair. The book examines the construction on masculinity from different standpoints; for example, myths about masculine sexuality and cultural mandates of hegemonic masculinity, among others, are themes that, according to Antonio López Sánchez (La Ventana), are rarely dealt with in the Cuban context but are essential “for the understanding of cultural influences on the construction of masculine roles. López Sánchez interviewed the Cuban historian, anthropologist, and professor at the Book Fair.
López Sánchez explains: The author of this text, Dr. Julio César González Pagés is one of the most prominent scholars on themes related to gender in Cuba. Stemming from his work as a professor, he has gathered a group of young intellectuals that focus their gaze on the analysis of masculinities as an integral part of their research on gender.
What news aspects does this book contribute to the study of masculinities? With this book, it is the first time we have collected studies on masculinities starting from the perspective of scientific principles. It is the first systematic gathering of studies that may have previously remained as thesis work or research within a forum. Although the book is mine, there are many works that have been coauthored with several of my students, many of which are currently working towards their master’s degrees.
What are the tangible results, the main objectives? It is work done with the intention of closing a period, a stage of the work of a group of students that I have led, which of course gives way to another stage. “Our country will then have access to more specific studies on particular issues. Right now, the intention was to articulate as a whole work that has already been done: from conferences, workshops, and other spaces. What we already had available—and Editorial de la Mujer [Publishers] have been closely involved in this—was a series of journalistic and investigative approaches, and interviews, but not with the standpoint of research. That is why we say that this book is the first to stem from the logic of research, bringing together what masculinity is as a theoretical concept with a methodology aligned with gender studies. The contribution we can make is to create modes of inquiry and Cuban approaches to the subject matter. We do not reproduce, as it is done in other fields, foreign academic research. This book responds to a Cuban perspective of masculinities.
This is why the title includes the phrase “Macho, varón, masculino,” which is how we refer to hegemonic masculinity or machismo in Latin America; it has the intention of provoking [the reader].
For original interview (in Spanish), see http://laventana.casa.cult.cu/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5994