Emasculating the Charro through Illness

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 4:30pm

The Mexican cowboy has long been thought of as embodying the virile heterosexual masculine ideal, in José Villalobos Romero’s documentary, El Charro de Toluquilla, these associations are troubled. While the cinematography pursues the deployment of a masculinized Mexicanidad through images of a womanizing man, alcohol, mariachi music, and horses, the documentary is founded on the protagonist’s HIV-positive status and the maturing process he undergoes as he chooses between maintaining his “reckless” lifestyle or becoming a family man and committing to caring for his kin. I posit that the documentary offers a fierce critique of the political configuration––including Mexican nationalisms and male-dominant heterosexual communities––that leave many unprotected. I examine the cultural and social context in which the charro makes health decisions to show how health and disease are determined by factors that cannot be completely reduced to questions of individual choice.

A Lecture by Professor Lilia Adriana Pérez Limón

Join the MLL Department on October 28 @ 4:30 on Zoom

For the Zoom link please contact Olivia Landry, oll217@lehigh.edu