Machos y Putas Masking Mexico’s Violence

Machos y Putas-masking Mexico’s violence

My analysis piece that appeared in the special May/June issue of NACLA Report on the Americas expands on the critique contained in the post-Sexing Violence in Mexico.

He’s dead and she’s half naked. Two images I encounter at every newspaper stand in Mexico City– blood and babes. A magazine cover shows a marijuana leaf and a stiletto heel in the shape of a gun. One newspaper regularly divides its front page with a preening bikini clad woman and cadavers. The graphicness of the individual images is enhanced when harmonized.

I whipped out a video camera and asked a few questions.

Sex and violence in the media isn’t new; but in the case of Mexico, fantasy is built on painfully real violence. Newspaper vendor, Victor Luna, tells me the pairing is meant to catch readers with a double barrel shot- the violence of “daily life” and sex, for a touch of ‘glamour.’ One, the sex or the violence is sure to hit.

Michelle García, a border-crossing Mex-American journalist, deconstructs the daily press orgy of “sex and violence.” It is a visual force that diminishes the real victimization of women as well as their often genuinely heroic responses,” as summarized by Froylan Enciso, co-curator with Paul Gootenberg.

I highly recommend visiting the site and reviewing the incredible reports by including gems by Howard Campbell and Elaine Carey.  I especially enjoyed Natalia Mendoza Rockwell’s piece Boots, Belt Buckles and Sombreros:Narco-Culture in the Altar Desert. Many thanks to both Froy and Paul for inviting me to be part of the issue.

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