Author: Aracelys Bedevia
March 9, 2021
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The enigma of femininity has made men of all times cavillers. [quibblers] —Sigmund Freud
One more step forward in the effort to build a more humane society, a victory for those of us who work and dream for a better world, represents the program Cosas de hombres [Men’s Things] which has been broadcast every Monday for the past two weeks at 10:15 p.m. on Cubavisión channel.
Masterfully conducted by Doctor in Historical Sciences Julio César González Pagés and directed by Yolanda Cabrales, the new proposal has already put on the table two topics that generate plurality of criteria: machismo and feminism. What is it? Are we or are we not?
The guests represent a wide range of professions and activities that relate male behaviors in different social spheres. Víctor Fowler (writer), Rochy Ameneiro (singer), Omar Franco (actor), David Blanco (singer), Norma Vasallo (university professor), Andrea Doimeadiós (actress) and Marilyn Solaya (filmmaker) have spoken with Pagés so far; all of them very committed to the struggle for egalitarian spaces where men and women have the same opportunities and are valued as human beings, regardless of sex.
In Men’s Things there will be, from the scientific area, research, communication and teaching, Félix Julio Alfonso, Patricia Arés, Clotilde Proveyer, Yulexis Almeida, Tania de Armas, Yonnier Angulo, Jesús Muñoz Machín, Andrei Hernández and Francisco Cruz. Alberto Roque, Lisandra Chaveco, Yohanka Rodney, Yosvel Hernández, Oni Acosta, Enmanuel George, Arlin Rodríguez and Neida Peñalver will also be present, said Julio César González Pagés to Sexo Sentido.
Edesio Alejandro, Cristian Alejandro, Maykel Blanco, Israel Rojas, Jan Cruz, Luis Franco, Jorge Luis Robaina (Karamba), Juan Carlos Rivero (Moncada), Ernesto Blanco, Adrián Berazaín and Raúl Torres will accompany the debate with music, acting and direction. The list includes Rodrigo García, Tony Ávila, Alberto Corona, Denis Ramos, Jorge Martínez, Maysel Bello, Lizette Vila, Marcos Herrera and Sebastián Milo. Representing the athletes will be multi medalist Victor Moya, in the high jump.
Dr. Pagés, leader of the Ibero-American and African Network of Masculinities (RIAM) and author of more than a dozen titles (Macho, varón, masculino and Por andar vestida de hombre, among others), says that “the idea came up in 2013 during a visit of director Yolanda Cabrales to my house.
“She had directed Ecos de mujer and wanted to create a space where men were the protagonists. In 2020 Rafael Pérez Insua, director of Cubavisión, called on us to rethink the project. With COVID-19 we had to look for alternatives. The original idea underwent changes, but gained nuances for discussion.”
-How much time will you be on screen and what other topics will you be discussing?
-We will discuss health, paternity, sexuality, violence… There will be 13 segments with a duration of 27 minutes, divided into four parts , with three guests and a section called Tangled Men, which is coordinated by Yonnier Angulo and addresses the impact of social networks on contemporary life and masculinities.
-We talk a lot about violence against women and very little about violence against men. Don’t you think that machismo is one of the reasons why this violence is invisible?
-One of the big obstacles is that women’s demands have been resisted by men who do not see them as a priority. A change of vision from hegemonic masculinities is to give them the prominent place in the effort to end inequalities in order to achieve a more equitable society.
“Revolutionary experiences have taught us that the inequalities suffered by women do not end with the end of capitalism, because there are men who are still interested in maintaining the subordination of women.
“Understanding the issue is complicated when a sector suggests that these demands can divert us from more urgent or important objectives at the national level or consider them sectoral demands, and believe that we can create the bonds of solidarity necessary to transform society without questioning male supremacy.
“More than defending men, it is about knowing [mens’] vulnerabilities and prioritizing an agenda that deconstructs the myths of [male] supremacy. We must first and foremost learn to be full humans in order to live in harmony and not be the source of so much violence and destruction.”
-Is it a good time for a program of this kind?
-Yes, it comes at an excellent time of changes in Cuban society. Laws related to our masculinities are being passed and it is important to be prepared for this. There is a great need to educate the population on the various questions related to masculinities and to offer ways to unlearn toxic macho values.
By Vladia Rubio/CubaSí
Sunday, June 16 2019 05:49
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Deyanira is in her third month of pregnancy and the fatigue and vomiting do not leave her alone. Neither does Osniel.
It’s not a mistake. She didn’t skip a line while reading. Osniel, the husband of the first-time mother, feels afflicted with symptoms similar to hers, but when his stomach turns as if he were on the roller coaster, he tries to hide the situation although sometimes the paleness betrays him.
And it is not that this young and future father is a hypochondriac. No mental illness afflicts him. He is simply going through what others are going through, even if they keep quiet about what they will say and even how they will look at them.
However, scientific research has shown that some parents, especially first-timers, are afflicted with the so-called Couvade Syndrome or empathic pregnancy.
As a result, it has been proven that they suffer interesting biological changes that bring them sensations similar to those of their partner.
They experience an elevation of estradiol levels (estrogen involved in the maternal behavior of mammals associated with tenderness and similar emotions) and a decrease in testosterone levels.
The hormonal variations that are presented to them at the same time that to their companion can generate symptoms similar to those of her as the well-known nausea and vomiting.
At the same time, knowing the good news that they will be parents, the glucocorticoids decrease, a hormone associated with cortisol, which is released as a result of stress.
In parallel with the above, they secrete more prolactin (the hormone related to the ability to breastfeed) and this results in lack of appetite, fatigue, intolerance to certain odors, drowsiness and weight gain.
After the birth of the child, it has also been observed that in certain first-time parents the levels of oxytocin rise as happens in the mother, and this leads to a closer bond with the newborn.
Among the first scientists to investigate the subject, biologist Katherine Wynne-Edwards, from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, notes that along with psychologist Anne Storey, she verified the role of prolactin in the sensations and feelings of the “pregnant father”.
Another study carried out by Dr. Arthur Brennan of Kingston University in London confirmed the decisive role of prolactin, to the point that levels of this hormone increased when parents carried their babies.
It seems to be, according to some experts, that being close to the pregnant wife can influence those unique sensations experienced by some parents. It happens that the saliva and sweat of pregnant women emit chemical signals that impact hormonal changes in their partners.
Husbands who are physically farther away from the bellies do not receive the above-mentioned influences or perceive them in a very slight way.
They assure that the paternity also influences in the brain to the point of increasing the gray matter as a consequence of the many new conduct that they incorporate following the birth of the baby.
All these new ways of doing things are reflected in changes in the brain. This is what Dr. Juan Blanco López states in his thesis to obtain the scientific degree “Men. Masculinity as a risk factor. An ethnography of invisibility”, from the Spanish university Pablo de Olavide.
Although, obviously, men do not experience the arrival of the new being with the same changes that happen in the body and mind of the woman -who, moreover, must give birth to her child-; they are besieged by fears, curiosities and doubts about how to assume the role of parents.
They are so overwhelmed by these feelings that some even suffer from so-called postpartum depression.
In the journal of the Spanish Association of Neuropsychiatry, Dr. Emilia García Castro states in her article Psychology and Psychopathology of Parenthood: “The latest studies have shown that there is indeed postpartum depression in men. It is said to affect between 5% and 10% of fathers, presenting symptoms similar to those of mothers, and is more common in those who do not live with their children or are first-time fathers…… ».
Although they are undoubtedly curious, the perhaps most important changes are not those mentioned so far. Those who really deserve applause are those who have occurred in the ways of conceiving paternity.
Although traditionally, the father figure was seen as the one in charge of giving permission, the voice of authority, and also the provider; interesting transitions in that order have been taking place for some time now.
At present, parents, as a trend, show a cultural transition in their role, opening more spaces to demonstrations of affection and tenderness towards their descendants, at the same time that they are also in charge, to a certain extent, of offering welfare care, that is to say, those referring to cleanliness, food and others.
On an international level, and obviously also on this Caribbean island, there is a growing understanding that children are the equal responsibility of mother and father. Both have the same rights and duties with respect to their offspring.
In Cuba, where paternity research began to glean since the middle of the last century, although an archaic hegemonic masculinity continues to prevail, transitions in that order are also evident.
Stereotypes persist, but the National Gender Equality Survey revealed that 40 percent of men and women interviewed stressed the importance of the father during the childhood of their children.
However, the burdens we dragged poked their hairy ear when nearly 60% said they “agreed” or “partly agreed” that babies need to be closer to their mother than to their father. Fifty-one percent said a man can’t give them the same care as a woman.
A lot has been studied, but there is still a lot of research to be done regarding fatherhood, especially considering that they are increasingly behaving according to their condition of being emotionally active, sensitive beings. Therefore, more and more people are convinced that kissing their son, showing him their tenderness, nothing is left to them and it does contribute to their stature as contemporary parents.
November 19, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
International Men’s Day is celebrated in 45 countries around the world on 19 November. The date was first established in 1992 by Thomas Oaster, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas in the United States, and popularized in 1999.
It is currently supported by the United Nations (UN). In Latin America there are few countries that have officially joined the celebration, however, each year its recognition increases in the region.
November 19 seeks to promote gender equality, male non-discrimination and highlight the contributions they make to society on a daily basis.
It also aims to highlight problems affecting men on a global scale, such as mental health, toxic masculinity and the prevalence of male suicide, adds The Independent.
The date has not been without criticism. As leaders of the global MenCare.org campaign ask: “Why do we need an international men’s day when we already have the rest of the year?
In a column published in the Huffington Post, Michael Kaufman and Gary Baker criticize the existence of a day that tries to resemble International Women’s Day, March 8, as men occupy a privileged position in society.
Scholars instead call for existing days, such as Father’s Day, to be used to highlight how men can contribute to gender equality and how toxic masculinity is one of the factors contributing not only to inequity, but also to impoverishing men’s mental health and relationships, both familial and personal.
Men die by suicide at a higher rate than women worldwide. Most of the more than 800,000 people who take their own lives each year are male, according to the World Health Organization.
In the tweet, he alluded to the role that men play in Bolivian society and their contribution to the country’s development.
On International Men’s Day, greetings and congratulations to our Bolivian brothers. To all the grandparents, parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends, who contribute with their effort and work to the development of our beloved homeland.
1:22 AM – 19 Nov 2018