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MEXICO: Machismo and Globalization

We have been bombarded with stories about the cruelty of men to their "women", as the Spanish say. Machismo, derived from macho, a male animal, i.e. crude, animal-like sex, is supposed to be part of the Spanish tradition. Spain has set up a special service to take care of women victims of machismo. Much as I sympathize with them, looking back on my own personal observations, much more common are men showing great patience under constant nagging for their "women". Women nag, not men.

Now in Mexico, a poll shows that two thirds of men complain that they are victims of physical abuse by their "women". The place with the highest level of complaints is Guanajuato, the home of President Fox. This raises the mystery about the divorced ex-wife of Fox. Did he divorce her because she beat him up? In view of his size, she must have been quite a woman.

Fox presided yesterday over a charming festival of old women, planned to encourage them to take exercise. Fox, a great charmer, wowed them by repeatedly saying "I'm from Guanajuato!" What did he mean? The old women loved it and staged a series of beautiful folk dances, with all the charm of the past. Can a Mexican please throw light on this puzzle?

Ronald Hilton - 6/30/01