Saturday, January 8, 2011

ArtTraveler discovers who really lurks behind Spain's Macho Myth

Three reposing campesions along the ancient goat trail between Canillas de Albaida and Competa.
After a few months living in the mountains above Torre del Mar on the Costa del Sol in Andalusia, I noticed that men, usually older men, seem to dot the countryside and sit idly alongside roads waiting to be amused or awakened by passing motorists or tourist walks.

Or perhaps telling stories they told each other for years but savor with renewed interest.

But rarely did I see men and their wives walking along together during the day. At fiestas, yes. And women with grandchildren, yes; grandfathers with grandchildren, of course. Spain is famous for being family-centric.

Just as it is famous for the Macho Myth, that the man rules the roost.

Well, yes, most Spaniards at one time or another could be found guilty of overacting. Here, the men play the macho role well, especially the younger ones. As they enter their 70's and 80's, they appear not to have lost any visceral interest in the opposite sex, but they appear almost abandoned.

And that's because they are, sort of.

The women kick them out of the home early in the day after morning walks. Men are invited back for lunch, for dinner and evening with family but during the day when work needs to be done, couch potatoes and other forms of listless male life are eschewed, told to leave.

Another myth debunked?

Two campesinos enjoy nature along the goat trail.
Taking it all in along a Competa street.

The Spanish are very observant and intensely social.

All images by Stefan van Drake.

Rock on and practice peace and love. Also, see ArtTraveler videos at YouTube.

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM)