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Machisma
November 1, 2011 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Machisma: How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil’s fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.
posted by the young rope-rider (25 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
These soap operas are incredibly popular in (wait for it) Kenya, badly dubbed into English. When I went there in August, I spent about two hours in the visa line at the airport where a big flat-screen TV followed the romantic woes of some Brazilian cow-boy...
posted by kaibutsu at 12:55 PM on November 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's a fascinating article. It looks like Brazil has caught up to the US in the 80s, in a lot of ways, but with modern technology. Things should get interesting from here on out. I wonder what their tech base is like? Brazil's definitely the up-and-coming country in terms of online gaming - they have pirated servers of just about everything. No one's officially made them a priority yet, but World of Warcraft is on its way and I'm sure others will follow. If they have the education available, they may turn into a real powerhouse.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:38 PM on November 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ten, twenty years from now it really seems like we'll be talking about Brazil in the same way China is spoken of now (and Japan was in the 80's). Rapidly growing GDP and industrial base, soon to take over the world, etc. etc.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 1:42 PM on November 1, 2011


Orange Pamplemousse: "...seems like we'll be talking about Brazil in the same way China is spoken of now..."

The weird thing is that I remember a bunch of '80s SciFi that posited Brazil as the next big world power. Predicting growth is hard.
posted by straw at 2:13 PM on November 1, 2011 [3 favorites]



Brazil is fascinating, and I truly admire Brazilian women, who, while working in their own best interests, are also working in their country's best interest.

When women are educated, everyone's standard of living rises.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:17 PM on November 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's an interesting story, but what's with the silly title? "Machismo" comes from "macho", which means male (mostly used as an adjective for animals, but also as a noun, a male, or a manly man). Just changing the -a to -o doesn't really make it feminine, it just makes it... non-existent, and still recognizable as something that comes from "macho".
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:31 PM on November 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I read this when the article came out, and found it fascinating.

But yeah, the title kind of bugged me. In Spanish, "machismo" is usually taken to mean "male chauvinism", and the adjective "machista" means "sexist". I can see, though, how a non-Spanish speaker would mean it as a complimentary play on words.
posted by Specklet at 2:41 PM on November 1, 2011


How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil’s fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.

Correlation does not equal causation, humanities majors.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:42 PM on November 1, 2011


It's not a new term. I've seen macha more, which has more specifically queer overtones, but I've heard it in the more general sense too.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:44 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Boy, did this article remind me of Malcolm Gladwell's writing, and I don't mean that as a compliment.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 2:55 PM on November 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


mmm, I think Brazil is far ahead of China and India. And this is a good thing. Go visit. It's a nice place
posted by mumimor at 3:03 PM on November 1, 2011


Btw, Michael Pettis discussed Brazil while discussing China.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:13 PM on November 1, 2011


Machisma?
I thought this was about the Red vs. Blue guys.

And, finally, number 6: Make all your women Brazilians.

Aww, yeah. Number 6.
Double entendre fail... no wait...
The entendre is mighty thick beyond "stroke". Globo network? Really? Can't swing a dead cat in the piece without ... uh... I'll just completely stop.
Introduce electricity and television at the same time in much of the nation's interior, a double disruption of traditional family living patterns
You'd think Xuxa alone would have skewed the curve, but apparently television leads to less sex no matter what's on.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:41 PM on November 1, 2011


I remember a bunch of '80s SciFi that posited Brazil as the next big world power. ]

"Brazil is the country of the future, and always will be." (A play on a motto of the military junta.)

Ten, twenty years from now it really seems like we'll be talking about Brazil in the same way China is spoken of now

The thing is, based on population and GDP, we really should be talking about it like that already.
posted by dhartung at 4:06 PM on November 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have the same problem with the title. The word "Hembrismo" exists, at least in Spanish. However, just like "Machismo", it refers to sexist beliefs and practices.
posted by clearlydemon at 5:52 PM on November 1, 2011


hal_c_on --

Lowering infant mortality and providing women with birth control won't lower the fertility rate? Seems like causation to me...
posted by jrochest at 6:22 PM on November 1, 2011


Didn't you know? Every time we start talking about demographics, somebody has to say "correlation doesn't equal causation."

It's like "gesundheit" after a sneeze, or "that's what she said" after someone says "it's so big." This is just basic etiquette.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:54 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


They don't have to, it just happens a lot.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:20 PM on November 1, 2011


That was a fascinating article...a Catholic country, no governmental strategy or policy, just women figuring it out...raising fewer children is less work and less expensive...that and too many children makes you poor.
posted by shoesietart at 8:12 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


So machisma doesn't work in Spanish. How about in Brazilian Portuguese?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:23 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dudette? Studatrix? He-woman?
posted by straight at 9:32 PM on November 1, 2011


And, finally, number 6: Make all your women Brazilians.
"Your women"? Whose women?
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 10:25 PM on November 1, 2011


hal_c_on --

Lowering infant mortality and providing women with birth control won't lower the fertility rate? Seems like causation to me...
posted by jrochest at 6:22 PM on November 1 [+] [!]


did you see how what i referenced was about the steamy soap operas, and not birth control.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:38 AM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's actually "stoke" not "stroke", and they mention the machismo thing in the article.

The most interesting part to me wasn't the economy, although I led with it, but the numerous ways in which the women maneuvered to limit the size of their families in a Catholic country with illegal abortion.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:16 AM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


>So machisma doesn't work in Spanish. How about in Brazilian Portuguese?

Nope, doesn't work either, sorry.

Great article though, feels good to read something nice about your own country, thanks!
posted by Tom-B at 7:36 AM on November 2, 2011


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