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Hispanic (LGT) Masculinities in Transition


Rafael M. Mérida-Jiménez

The objective of Hispanic (LGT) Masculinities in Transition is to investigate the cultural representations/intersections of masculinity and sexual minorities (lesbians, gays, and transgenders) in Spain between the passing of the Law of Social Dangerousness and Social Rehabilitation (1970) and the reform of the Penal Code in 1995. In order to meet this aim, this volume analyzes the artistic production of a number of Spanish and Latin American male and female individuals who, first, were able to question the structures of control and domination in Spain in the last years of Franco’s dictatorship; second, were able to open up new horizons of freedom in the context of the criminalization of the previous decades; and, third, were able to bring about new models of masculinity that were more egalitarian during the first years of the new democracy.
More specifically, Hispanic (LGT) Masculinities in Transition will interlink the fields of political and historical change and artistic production in order to assess whether cultural representations can be understood as mere reflections of social and political change. In terms of the materials being examined, these are, in the first instance, literary, although other narratives are also addressed (filmic production and plastic arts). This volume is essential reading for professors and students of contemporary Spanish history and culture, as well as for those interested in lesbian, gay, transgender, and masculinity issues.
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9—Demasculinizing: Challenging Hegemonic Masculinity in Spanish Art and Culture


This chapter explores the group of cultural movements (musical, photographic, pictorial, performative…) that were born in Spain from the end of Francoism and the establishment of the democracy—the historical period known as the Transition.1 The identification and the analysis of these esthetics and political experiences allow consideration of the changes Spanish society experienced regarding the gender rules and codes as well as, and especially, the dominant masculinity. This predominant situation spread not only through the patriarchal hierarchy within family life, where women and the feminine were underestimated, but also through a diverse group of power mechanisms and gender technologies: the presence of the police and the army, the impact of sports (especially soccer players), film stars, television and music.

For those who had different sexual desires from the heterosexual ones, and who did not behave according to the rules of the Spanish macho, 1970 was a decisive year. Five years before Dictator Francisco Franco’s death, the Ley de Peligrosidad y Rehabilitación Social (“Law of Social Dangerousness and Social Rehabilitation”) was passed. That was a time of clear repressive atmosphere whose aim was to end up with the progressive resistance, a ressistance which during a long time struggled in order to express its urge of freedom. In that climate, the law chased to accentuate the principles of a former law—the 1954 Vagrancy Act, following the one passed in 1933, known as La Gandula2 (“The Lazy”). It is true that during that period, homosexuals were not identified...

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