top of page

029. estamos saliendo mucho: gender constructs at home

*this is an automated transcript, please excuse the typos*

[00:00:00] Carmen: Hey, Carmen. Hey, Fryda. What's up.

[00:00:12] Fryda: So I'm reminiscing about our early days as roommates in New York

[00:00:16] Fryda: city, when we were like constantly dishing about our upbringing, which was like the filter with which both you and I saw the world and, and. One thing we got into. So, so many times was the difference in the way we were treated as Latina women, as Cuban women, as Cuban girls growing up and how different we felt we were being raised from our fellow, you know, boys,

[00:00:43] Carmen: I mean, yeah, that's not so far fetched.

Because I think ultimately that this is still relevant. I think you're reminiscent about this time in our lives that we were like spending together, which like, I'm sorry, R I P end of an era. It makes me so sad. But at the same time, I also remember those conversations were happening during a time when a lot of those attitudes were really relevant.

You, you know, you were working in an atmosphere where you were surrounded by Latino people. And so the same sort of constructs kind of continued. On in your professional life. And mm-hmm I had obviously been, you know, living my own life and as well, and noticing them, express themselves in my life as well.

And we kept asking ourselves like, well, what, like, why are we like that? You know, why, why, why do we have such a double standard when it comes to not only, not only the way that we interact with each other now as adults, but also we were able to even think about how it existed back when we were younger and growing up in Miami.

So, yeah, if you don't already know, welcome to take it easy, we are welcome Carmen and Fria. And we make this podcast where we talk all about being Cuban American. We were both born in Cuba and raised in Miami. And that is the context that we're talking about being around Latino people in Miami and always growing up around Cubans.

Yeah. We

[00:02:00] Fryda: also. Talk a lot about the experience of being raised by immigrants and the kind of perspective that our parents had while raising us in a new country and what that does to our psyche and what it does to, how we see everything. This is definitely one of those things the way in which. We both saw the elements of a Cuban household and how gendered our experience was.

[00:02:24] Carmen: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that we have some really interesting perspectives because Frida you're an only child, whereas I have a brother. So I think we're able to observe a lot of these differences, that being girls, but from different perspectives.

[00:02:39] Fryda: Yeah. , I'm an only child. I feel like I was just like that little quiet girl in the corner taking notes, you know?

And I was just like taking notes on all of you. I was, I was like, you know, freedom alert for

[00:02:52] Carmen: freedom. Agree. yeah. But you know, freedom, one thing that I have noticed though, not just talking about this with you, but also talking about this with other Latina women. And I feel like this is a very Latina woman Senti.

Like across the board. I feel like a lot of the other women that I know that come from, like other Caribbean countries from Mexico, from Latin America. And I feel like a lot of them are like, wow, me too. That happened. That's exactly how I was raised.

[00:03:21] Fryda: Yeah. Yeah. I feel like with just like minor differences here and there, and little quirks here and there mm-hmm, like we manage to relate to each other.

[00:03:30] Carmen: It kind of brings up this question of immigrant culture, right? That you are a little bit closer to the way that things were back in the home country, the closer you are to the immigrant of that home country. And I think that has really shaped a lot of this double standard that we're talking about, because I think if I really put myself in my parents' shoes, I'm able.

See how actually the way that they did things in their eyes was super, super progressive because the way they were raised back in Cuba was even way more restrictive and way, way more gendered. Oh my

[00:04:03] Fryda: God. Totally. The difference between. Like my grandmother's life and then my mom's life. And now my life is like the, they are miles away from each other.

Like my grandmother at like 14 years old was like a honey farmer who like stopped going to school and eventually got picked up by my grandfather in like a horse. And they like went away off to the other side of town, like nearly eloped. And that was like a super, super dramatic thing. They had to go back and get married.

They've been married like forever, but that is like a very, very traditional story that like would not happen

[00:04:36] Carmen: today. And to be honest with you Frio, when you told me that story, I was like, oh yeah, that's normal. So yeah, like

[00:04:42] Fryda: from there to today is it's so deep, quite a different world. Yeah. And our parents have done a lot to like adjust.

[00:04:51] Carmen: Quite a bit. Yeah. And then like, as, and then as children of immigrants, you kind of, you develop this natural maturity where you're able to see things like gender constructs really early on, because you start to do you start to navigate the world around you to help your parents actually, you know, navigate their immigrant life.

Yes. And you learn this country a lot faster. You learn English a lot faster. I remember translating. Paperwork and being, being consulted with as like the one who was better at communication and stuff, you know what I,

[00:05:22] Fryda: what I realized, like, like you said, we got very early practice being translators and we don't just mean literally translating from English to Spanish and back and forth, but being like cultural translators mm-hmm, like taking cultural context and understanding that the context that our parents come from is different culturally from the context of the country that we're in and like balancing.

and, and navigating that. And I think that's like a very uniquely, you know, first generation immigrant experience. And I think here we are kind of doing a continued cultural translation, even as we make this podcast and even talk about the, these

[00:06:00] Carmen: subjects. Well, you've just blew my mind off that

[00:06:02] Fryda: one. Yeah. I know me too.


[00:06:04] Carmen: blew my own mind. oh, I love for these moments. . I mean, yeah. And, and as we navigate this existence and I continue to think about our, our parents, you know, and I, you know, as I said, if you really put yourself in their shoes, I continue to try to do that. And I, I also realize how going back to how we were raised.

Right. I realized that we were also expected to. To be this window right into this new world. Mm-hmm that we were in, but at the same time, maintain intense respect for our elders and never contradict them. And I find that to be always a very, a very delicate line because that's a

[00:06:42] Fryda: contradiction ,

[00:06:43] Carmen: that is a contradiction because you literally know more than they do.

about some things you still have to trust them to like wield power over you. It's wild.

[00:06:52] Fryda: Yeah. That's that's the other balancing act. And another thing that. Weaves itself into our perception of like who has power in the household and who has power in, in the relationships

[00:07:06] Carmen: that we have. Those are all of the gears in the machine.

And now we are about to show you how they all turn.

[00:07:12] Fryda: Woo I'm. Even. I'm excited. I wanna find out

[00:07:18] Carmen: that was some gold that came out of me. Sorry guys. I

[00:07:21] Fryda: know I do not apologize for that.

[00:07:28] Carmen: Fri I, we need to start collecting weird. Laughs. I wanna make an episode. That's like the ministry of Fri to laughs. Please.

let's do this or maybe occasionally if I have a good one, but I feel like I don't have good ones. The percussion and the baseline for that song is going to be me clearing my throat over and over. Oh my God,

[00:07:47] Fryda: you clearing your throat or, or cracking your knuckles. And my knuckles is the percussion. We got this, we're gonna make a new, take it easy theme song, and it's all gonna be, it's gonna be really disgusting.


[00:07:59] Carmen: I'm sorry. Okay. Sorry. Let's go back. Um, yeah, so,

[00:08:03] Fryda: well, I'm keeping this, so, um,

[00:08:13] Carmen: yeah, so what we're gonna actually talk about is gender roles. As we learned them in the household, and now as we unlearn them everywhere.

[00:08:21] Fryda: So we begin with disclosing that we are both white presenting cisgendered women. We have no idea what it's like to, to truly inhabit another role. We don't know what it's like to be a Cuban boy growing up.

We don't know what it's like to be black or Afro Cub. So that's where we're coming from. As we describe our relationship with gender growing up. And speaking of that, we're gonna start talking about certain outlooks and beliefs that we think like really guided the way that we were raised and the way that we like understood ourselves as, as girls growing up.

and one of them was like this, understanding that the outside world, like the world outside your home or the world outside, like your little family group is a dangerous place for a girl. Like the world is out there to hurt you. And you as a girl must be protected. In, in several ways, including, but not limited to not leaving the house.

[00:09:22] Carmen: Right. I remember I, I wasn't really allowed out of the house on chaperone until I was like 16. And even then it was like a whole ordeal.

[00:09:34] Fryda: Yeah. Interestingly, when I was really young, like a little kid, I could get out of the house and just play outside and run around. But once I turned into a teenager, I guess when puberty hit some new rules started to apply to me, it started to Dawn on me.

That things had really changed for me and my role. Not for nothing, but when I like I've, I've met people who are not immigrant, not Latino now in the us, cuz I love Miami and I've met their families and I've seen their teenage kids just like driving in and out of the house and not telling the parents where they're going.

And my God, I'm just like what? Yeah, this is heaven. This is heaven or hell, I don't know what it is. It's something really special. It's something weird. And I was like, this is so American, you know, seriously, I,

[00:10:22] Carmen: that it's one of the things I would never happen in a human household. Absolutely not. Are you kidding me?

If I went out two days in a row, my parents would've been like TA and honestly like looking back now, like if we really want. If we really want to, we can unpack that that is the perfect sentiment, because it's not explicitly telling you that there's anything wrong with this. Like you're not being accused necessarily.

It's more just being pointed out that you're going out a lot. But the tone with which it's said is very accusatory and. To be honest with you, going back to all of these contradictions that we're talking about. I was always very confused by that because it's like, you know, that there is something wrong because this thing is being pointed out to you.

And you know, that, that the reason why it's being pointed out to you is because there's something bad about it. But honestly, maybe I'm just stupid, but I never understood what was the problem with going out a lot like that. I never put those two things together. I was just like, Facts like, congratulations, captain obvious.

Like you're also super

[00:11:23] Fryda: direct Carmen. So like, when someone's telling you, like, if your mom's telling you, Hey, you're going out a lot. You're just like, yeah, I am

[00:11:30] Carmen: right. I'm the most annoying and honest. Okay. And I never clapped back by being like, congratulations, captain obvious, because I value my life, but really that's what I wanted to do.

I wanted to be like, what is the, like, why are you telling me. I don't understand.

[00:11:43] Fryda: Yeah. I mean, so the, the other side of it is that boys around the same age as us weren't being told the same thing, they were pretty much allowed to roam free and. there was a kind of, boys will be boys attitude behind it.

Like no one was ever criticizing them because they could do whatever they wanted. And so when they became men and they went through puberty, they actually had an increase in freedoms. At least from my perspective. That's what I was always seeing. Mm-hmm , there's a switch. An entire difference between raising a girl and raising a boy in like this in a Cuban household, where if you're raising a girl, you are a helicopter parent.

And if you're raising a boy, you're a free range parent or a parent who just kinda like gets out of the way and lets them be themselves. And so their, so boys could like go out and stay out until late. They could, they would get cars earlier. A lot of times they were like given things so that they would still stick around and not leave the.

And like, I think sometimes parents considered it a blessing if like the boy came back at all oh my God. Um, I know. Right. And they could also bring like their girlfriends home. And again, this is like a huge generalization, but like, this is for me, what I will define as like teenage Cuban boy, getting to do whatever they.

I'm still bitter.

[00:13:04] Carmen: welcome to our therapy session. I know . This is why I think it's the best to be a Cuban little brother, because you get to see, you get to see your older sister mess up, but she's always going to have less freedom than you will. So you get to only look forward to getting. Yeah.

[00:13:23] Fryda: And on top of that, oh my God.

This is not even something we're covering here, but Cuban parents have such a tendency to baby their kids a lot of the time, so, oh my God. Yeah. I know this younger boy is like a prince. It

[00:13:35] Carmen: brings . I start to wonder how much of this is due to the. Actual very real dangers of existing as a woman in this world.

And let's face it. Yeah. When you and I were growing up in Miami, it was not necessarily the safest time in Miami. I think there was one year. I think I read loosely don't quote me on this, but I think at some point Miami was considered like one of the most, or if not the most dangerous city in the United States.

Like, am I crazy

[00:13:59] Fryda: to think that yeah, it. No, no, no, it was, it was, and it was around this time. It was like the eighties and then the nineties and we were there then, and, uh, there were shootouts everywhere and hide your kids, hide your wife a hundred percent, hide your kids hide and you know what, and that is what was happening.

[00:14:13] Carmen: yeah. Yeah. And, and to be honest with you now, I, I, um, obviously, you know, I. Still experience. I get, get cat called and I still experience all of these things. And like, obviously, like the patriarchy is raging strong elsewhere, but I remember that growing up in Miami things like getting cat called and, and being treated like with like basically almost being stalk and stuff like that type of thing was so common place that I almost thought that it was just part of life.

[00:14:39] Fryda: I thought it was so, so normal that I would like walk out of my house just for like a little stroll and. There could be a car starting to roll up slowly behind me. Yeah. And like starting to, you know, starting to tell me things. And I was probably like 13 or 14 years old when these things would happen.

Mm-hmm so, yeah, same. So, but, but here's the thing, like what is happening out there is like we're being thoroughly sexualized, like from a very, very young age and. I think that like the same exact structures that say that like women have to stay inside are the same structures that enable men to feel that we're like a target on, on the outside world.

And so like this all weaves together, but I

[00:15:20] Carmen: wonder how much truly we can attribute all of that. To this idea that women just have to belong in the home because that is where their services are needed and where they should be. And also like two birds, one stone, you're keeping them safe from this terrible world that we live in.

It's almost like one, one thing facilitates the other, but they're not necessarily correlated if that makes any sense. And I think that if you come from that perspective and you're a parent and you're seeing the world how it is, and you have young daughters and like, of course, like it makes a hundred percent sense that you would be more protective.

However, at the same time, like you, as the teenager, you're like, oh my God, I just wanna go to the movies. And I don't wanna have to ask for permission two weeks ahead of time. And I don't wanna have to provide a guest list ahead of time. And like, you don't need to set up meetings with their parents ahead of time to make sure that they also come from decent, good families.

Like. I could also just go to the movies for two hours and like, maybe like, I don't know, hold hands with a boy and like kiss or something like that could be normal that could just be accepted. Oh, that,

[00:16:22] Fryda: that was really tender. Carmen, is this your therapy session now? Definitely my therapy session. We both take turns being like, if

[00:16:30] Carmen: isn't it, but , I know, but it's like you as the parent, you're like, must keep my children safe.

And as the kid you're like, oh my God, I, I just teenager, I have hormones. I need to do things with my

[00:16:42] Fryda: hormones. Like our job, our job with this, with this topic right now is to inhabit all of the spaces. Like we're gonna inhabit mommy, daddy, and be like, yeah, I get you. But we're also gonna inhabit the horny teenager.

[00:16:55] Carmen: Maybe that one a little bit more.

What I mean to say is that like, once you get to be a teenager, like that is the time of your life when you're exploring the existence of your body and you know, just how you navigate in social. Fears. And there's a lot of stuff happening with your body. There's a lot of changes going on. Not only, you know, puberty, but even also just your sense of identity.

You're learning all of these things. It's normal that you want to go out of the four walls that you were raised in and actually try to experience the world. It kind of starts to feel like house arrest

[00:17:28] Fryda: after a while. Okay. You know what I'm imagining there are these scenes. In TV, where people like morph into wear wolves and stuff like that.

I think that the whole entire phase of being a teenager is this morphing phase. Like it's really painful. And you also occasionally look a little disgusting while you're changing, but we inhabit that whole sensation and it is such a. Like a, a difficult time to be constrained.

[00:17:54] Carmen: And you just wanna go to the movies.

You just wanna go to D busters. You just wanna like chill in a parking lot out of somebody's trunk and drink a for local, like whatever. that's fine.

[00:18:05] Fryda: yeah. The, the thing about the world being a dangerous place for a woman is that you're not protecting them from just having fun. I know we've brought up a couple of like pretty valid reasons why you might wanna protect your daughter.

Like physical danger, but there's another layer to this. Like there's another thing that you are so called protecting and it's, it's their purity as young women. The idea of you being pure and you being like sexually pure and pure in your mind is still something that is placed on a pedestal. And so.

There's even more constraining that happens so that you, as a young woman, don't end up becoming

[00:18:49] Carmen: IUR I can't help, but think that a lot religion has something to do with this because purity yeah. Is, is an important thing in religion. A lot of the times this is a marker that signifies that a woman is, you know, more godly or closer to God.

And I'm not saying that it's really that serious at this level, but I think. That undertone is what ends up informing this idea of purity. And I think the part that weirds me out the most is that purity then starts to imply this concept of possession, right? Like, like it means like the, the minute a woman has sex, she has now been imprinted on in some kind of way.

And we had we as a society with these sort of religious values that we may or may not be holding at the forefront are driving this idea. And we've collectively decided that this is important enough that now we have to enforce.

[00:19:38] Fryda: Yeah. Uh, like these concepts, purity, virginity, which are just concepts that we've like arranged for create a really fragile state for girls.

And when we're in a society like a Latino society, where we strongly believe in these things and strongly believe in these values, it becomes very dangerous for you to be out there as a woman. Mm-hmm cause you do apparently have to be protected. And the thing is. If we fast forward a little bit, we grow up to think that it's okay to be possessed by men.

It's okay to be in a relationship where someone else is really possessive. Once you

[00:20:15] Carmen: get older and you have to actually navigate with these tools that you have been handed that you didn't really ask for, but you're like, this is what I got and, uh, it becomes a lot to undo. Basically. And I think it comes from this perspective that boys have like some kind of like nature.

Like you hear a lot about women's limitations and we are talking about a lot of them right now, but you don't hear anything about how we speak to men and boys about like, not being shitty in this

[00:20:41] Fryda: whole conversation around protection. You're not focused so much on keeping your son from being a danger to other girls.

You're keeping your daughter. Inside to avoid the dangerous boys. Right.

[00:20:53] Carmen: And , it's, it's ridiculous. And also it, it reduces little boys and men to just animalistic tendencies that, that they almost can't control. Like really, like you really don't give. men that much credit. I think we should. I think

[00:21:09] Fryda: we should.

Yeah, we have to, we have to give men as people, the opportunity to be empathetic and to see women as other people and to use basic concepts like consent. So this really. Rolls into another concept that really perpetuated our upbringing as Latina women, as Cub American women. And it's that girls have to keep your legs closed and boys can go off and sew your oats and do whatever you want.

And have a bunch of girlfriends all over town and like come and bring them back home. You know, mom will serve you dinner. And anyway, sorry, mom sounds bitter. Mom must serve dinner.

[00:21:43] Carmen: I it's true though. Mom will definitely serve you dinner and it's gonna be, she will

[00:21:47] Fryda: definitely do that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. The mother will serve you dinner.

but she might have some suspicions about the girl that you're out with because she's a girl whose parents would let her go

[00:21:58] Carmen: be yeah. To

[00:21:59] Fryda: out to some boy's house to a boy's house. Yeah. So it's, that's the, that's the double

[00:22:04] Carmen: edged sword. Yeah. Yeah. Boys definitely get a lot more freedom.

[00:22:08] Fryda: Like you said, with these animalistic tendencies, they're expected to have like needs and.

Expected to be allowed to do these things. Like, I don't remember there being as much judgment unless you were incredibly religious around virginity for a boy. Yeah, I know. But it was really intense if you're a girl, it was like, God, keep, you know, you better not like ,

[00:22:33] Carmen: it's not even that. We, we deny that.

Girls have any sort of needs either, you know, to be euphemizing. It's not that that we do that because I've seen women be like sassy women who are especially like using like feminine Wells and like flirtatious methods. That's true. That's cut.

[00:22:51] Fryda: Totally supported. That is Cub

[00:22:54] Carmen: that's. Yeah, that's always a good, a good thing.

And so it's not even that we expect women to be just like quiet and humble or anything like that or modest. It's it's also, it's just that for, I, you know, I am, I am beginning to understand that I, I am just thoroughly confused by our entire upbringing because I'm like, how does it make any sense?

[00:23:15] Fryda: Yeah.

Like how does it make any sense? Because like, look with all of these things in the same upbringing, I'm also given a lot of independence to make choices in my life and also stuff like, so everything. Literally everything contradicts itself. Okay. we're gonna have to deal with that. We're gonna have to deal with the multitudes.

[00:23:31] Carmen: Yeah. So we're totally full of all of these contradictions. And at the end of the day, I just, I can't help, but ask myself is sex. Really? The worst thing that could happen, like really

[00:23:41] Fryda: one of the more provocative questions we've had on this podcast. So you're keeping women at home,

[00:23:48] Carmen: but you gotta keep them entertained.

Like you can't just be, you can't just keep your girl at home. Okay. You gotta be like, here, have some chores entertain. Have some drawers

[00:23:56] Fryda: chores, like how like, oh, chores I thought you were literally going clean the drawers, like chores. And I was like, yeah, whenever I was born, growing up, up, whenever I was born, growing up, my mom was just like MPIA.

I mean, yeah, no sense, but I never did. I knew that cleaning was a girl thing. And as a result, I rejected it and I was also kind of lazy. So I was just

[00:24:23] Carmen: like, nah, same. I never did that. And I fully accepted the consequences. I was like, absolutely no way. Am I going to clean? I need to go through with this protest, mostly because for me it was a double whammy.

Like I said, I have a brother, so he was never asked to clean. He had like, you know, like boy things that he had to do, like he had to wash the cars, but he only had to do that. Like, I don't know, like, not as often my mom would be like, you have to clean every day. You have to set the table. There's be like, all of, I had like a laundry list of things I needed to do daily.

And I would be like, the fuck. I'm gonna do all of that. I'm gonna sit here and read my book. Look,

[00:24:57] Fryda: I remember going to someone's house and this woman, she was like a friend of the family and she only had sons. My mom, let me stay with her for like an afternoon, probably to take care of me just while my mom had to do something.

And while I was with her, she was like, oh, I'm so excited. I only have sons. And I finally have like a girl here. You're like my daughter, you know, which, which she had me do all day clean. She had me clean. With her all day. And she was just like, I'm so glad you're here. My sons can't do this. So I'm so glad I have a daughter with me today to clean.

Literally. I still remember. I still remember. I think was the first time I used Windex Fria. You guys, Annie. I I did. I got Cinderella at my friends. Did you tell your mom, oh, well afterwards of course, this woman's just like, hi, my mom was just like, you know, of course they were happy. I helped them to clean, you know, like that was what a good girl would do.

And so I did it. I know I said I rejected cleaning from my mom, but if I was over at someone else's house, my God, I was gonna be good.

[00:26:02] Carmen: No, of course. Cause you need to protect the family on. Okay. Like if that lady was like, oh, I asked her to clean and she said, no, your mom would've been like, wow, what the greatest disappointment ever.

[00:26:12] Fryda: And I just realized now I was like, what the heck? Like she had me over to take care of me. She wasn't like having me play. She wasn't like she was having me clean. And on top of that, literally explaining to me how much her sons who were there could possibly do this

[00:26:28] Carmen: because they were boys. Because they're boys, they were boys.

And so

[00:26:32] Fryda: like I learned by association and by literally having the task, you know, shown to me that it was something that was clearly delineated between boys and

[00:26:40] Carmen: girls. Yeah. The cleaning thing is clearly a store point. I feel like even now I find myself occupying this role in, in group settings where this is not necessarily expected of me, but like, I'm always the person who brings everybody water to the table.

I'm always the one who. Brings everybody napkins and like ushers everybody to like a bakery to go get, you know, sober at the end of the night, like, and drink coffee. Like, I feel like I'm always at this point, assigning that role to myself because I'm like, mm-hmm oh, this is

[00:27:09] Fryda: just what you do. You do that.

Absolutely. You take care of people a lot. And I've been called very motherly. And I'm just like, I think you are. I kind of like learned to be very like paying close attention to how to take care of others. I know older siblings who take this on as well, but this is another, another thing to add to the list of things that you kind of perceive as a woman growing up, this doesn't happen everywhere.

There's a lot of like, Awesome. Cuban men who are cooking, who are cleaning and are doing all that stuff, but it's , and there's a lot of situations. Mm-hmm, where that does not happen at all. Yeah. And the women take it all on, like at the end of the night at a party it's 3:00 AM. And like the women are literally cleaning everything and the men are still having their beers.

And they're being told by the woman to

[00:27:53] Carmen: help clean. I will definitely say that it's not that men don't have any responsibilities. It's not like they're laying on their asses all the time. Just like, yeah. You know, it's not like that. But what I will say is that there are gendered responsibilities for them as well.

Right. So they do man things that can be stuff like filling up the gas tank for all the cars once a week, washing the cars, mowing the lawn, like fixing stuff around the house, like that type of thing. But like. A man can get away with doing none of that. And a household wouldn't run without a, a woman's contribution in a Cuban sphere.

It would never happen.

[00:28:27] Fryda: Growing up. My mom was always saying things like, what would happen if I wasn't around to clean up after you all? Or what would happen if I wasn't around to do this or do that, or no one helps me in this house. And like, these are just all things that she felt. And I realized like, Yeah, cuz it's true because it's all true

[00:28:46] Carmen: because it's true because women don't get any help in the home.

And, and on top of that Frida, like Cubans are, I know that they are one of the most like equally educated populations. Like women get into stem at high rates. Like that is not an issue. Um, and it's still expected for example, for women to go through and have these like amazing careers and then also like maintain the home.

you know, none of your ambitions outside the home should ever take priority over, you know, your obligations to your home and your family. It's it's I feel like that's definitely how it's written into

[00:29:21] Fryda: law and here's how we know this. Okay. Carmen and I both for sure. New girls slash teenagers who got into college and got into all sorts of colleges all over the country and decided.

That they would go or that they would wanna go to a college that wasn't right in Miami there's enough women that I know that were disowned by their parents or told by their parents that they, they would be kicked out of the house immediately or told by their parents that they would not get the money.

I was very hurt. To see that go on around me because so something that really felt like such a wonderful achievement and it was only women, as far as I remember, who were getting punished for wanting to leave the so-called responsibilities of their family.

[00:30:03] Carmen: Yeah. And it was almost kind of like an abandonment, you know, like the family felt like they were abandoned by their daughter.

Yeah. And

[00:30:10] Fryda: that's because as a woman you're assumed that you're going to be taking care of people, like even young women who weren't threatened with. Something ridiculous for leaving. They ended up staying because they felt guilty or felt responsible to their family. So like I knew. Young women at that time who stayed behind

[00:30:33] Carmen: mm-hmm a hundred percent.

There's actually an entire episode of Kapaa USA, which if you didn't know anything PACAA USA, it was a SECOM show that came out in the seventies on PBS about a family that was Cuban and immigrated to the us and lived in a Alexio the, you know, exiled experience. And we didn't

[00:30:49] Fryda: one episode where we broke down an episode from Kea.

[00:30:54] Carmen: Yeah, and that dealt by the way, but we're now talking about BIPA IANA, which are the shows protagonists. They are the mom and dad of the family. Juan. The mother wants to go to get some kinda, she wants to Fria

[00:31:08] Fryda: the worst. Sorry.

[00:31:12] Carmen: In this episode, hu wants to go get a certification in accounting so that she can get a promotion at work. And it means that she's going to be home from work later than usual because it's right after work and bibe has a whole no fit. He's like, absolutely not. Who's gonna cook. Who's gonna clean. Who's gonna, you know, what the heck?

No, absolutely not. I prohibit you. And she's like, what are you gonna do to stop me? And he's just. Oh, you can't use the car and she's like, you mean my car that I paid for it. And he's like, okay, fine. Know that I don't agree with this and that your husband doesn't approve of this. And then the entire episode is everybody just being like upset that the house is like falling apart and like dirty.

And like, people are doing everything wrong and she's just like, I don't even care. I'm I'm trying to get my certification and all you guys can live like pigs. It doesn't bother me. Like, it's all good. and they relate. So hard, that sounds like

[00:32:04] Fryda: another example of Kapaa USA making like a really, really, really good episode and tackling something very real.

Carmen, you said you relate to it so hard and yet, like we couldn't see necessarily that same exact scenario happening in our families today.

[00:32:17] Carmen: No,

[00:32:17] Fryda: definitely not. Um, we, we still relate to women feeling the intense responsibility to keep everything clean and tidy and to take care of everyone, especially taking care of the children.

Yeah. And so here's the difference? Now it's more like, well, yeah, of course you can go get your certification. But can you also clean and take care of the children? Like do it all. Yeah. Like I think though, which ISS what happens now, it's like even worse, but okay.

[00:32:45] Carmen: What I wanna, what I wanna say about that episode and what I thought was just so genius about the writing of it is that there's a point in which hu just stops caring.


[00:32:56] Fryda: That's every, mother's like true dream. Because that's when they stop caring and for the house to

[00:33:02] Carmen: fall apart, whatever that is the most freeing moment. And that is the thing that doesn't really happen to a lot of Cuban women. They just continue like AO. Right. And they're just like cont because that, that sense of duty, that sense of obligation that Maria dude,

[00:33:18] Fryda: I was just thinking, Maria.

[00:33:21] Carmen: Yeah, we did an episode on the mother of Cubans Marias and how badass and amazing she was, but also how incredibly demanding and incredibly, you know, intense she was. And, uh, yeah, go listen to that. But anyway, yeah. So I feel like that is the most empowering moment when you, as like. The woman of the house, like the matriarch of the house has decided, you know what fuck it can say who gives a shit

[00:33:48] Fryda: that's the best.

Yeah, because here's, here's the thing, here's the thing you take care of everything in the house, right. You're responsible for all of these things. But yet, but yet who gets to make all the final decisions or who is to be making the final decisions and to be dealing with finances, even if you both make the same amount of money, it's, it's him.

It's a very common phrase to hear a man say like, yo, I'm a man of the. And similarly, it's really common to hear women or mothers say like that they have to consult with your dad before they make any big decision. So that really puts women in this kind of subservient position of being like, okay, You are the patriarch of this house.

And I am below you,

[00:34:35] Carmen: even in relationship dynamics where a woman really has a quote unquote stronger personality is like more demanding and stuff. She still tends to ask for permission from the man. And in some ways she kind of has to typically in that dynamic. Maybe the man winds up being a little bit more flexible on things.

And so it's seen as though she's kind of like manipulative and you know, she can't, she can't just assert, right. It's never seen as like that woman is assertive. It's seen more like, oh, he, she has to convince him. And then obviously he's like on board with the decision dude,

[00:35:09] Fryda: this stuff always annoys me because like there's all of these like terrible stereotypes about women and terrible.

stereotypes about Latino women, like about them being controlling or demanding or nagging and, and all of that. And manipulative, and these are things that are behaviors that are sometimes necessary. If you're not in a position of power, when you are forced to play the role of convincing a man to do what you want, rather than just being able to do the thing outright yourself.

And so, while I do not condone anyone who. Actually be controlling. I say these stereotypes come out of this power imbalance.

[00:35:47] Carmen: Yeah. And it's almost like you can't even avoid the power imbalance because you are raised also thinking that marriage and children are definitely, you know, in your future. Like if you don't.

Grow up and do the thing and then get married and have children. Like, what are you even doing? Like already these constructs are imposed on you. And that becomes part of the manual that you're handed down. Right. In addition to all of these double standards, it's also negating the fact that both of those things are often more burdensome in this particular ecosystem to women than they are to men.

Cause who physically has to grow that baby birth it and then keep it alive and take care of. Women and who has to run the household and make sure that everything is clean. Everybody is fed and clothed women who also still has to have a career and makes something of herself so that she's not boring, or that she's also contributing to the household women who stays up cleaning at 3:00 AM when you're drunk as fuck cleaning up after your ass in the party, because you don't wanna wake up to a dirty.

Women so you see where I'm going with this. Like, it is ordained that you get married and you have children, but both of these things are incredibly burdensome and also you need to like live your life and you don't get to opt out of that. It's just a power structure that is, is imposed on. You don't really get to choose it.

[00:37:01] Fryda: It is totally burdensome for women. And it's not optional a lot of the times for women to be in this arrangement because men, on the other hand can volunteer to become more involved fathers. But women are like mandatory.

[00:37:17] Carmen: Like not only that, but like also like how are you gonna get outta your house? Like, you're literally not allowed to leave your house.

You have to get married. so let's not forget that. Uh,

[00:37:26] Fryda: so yeah. Oh Carmen, you're saying like, traditionally you're not allowed to leave your house until you get married.

[00:37:31] Carmen: Right. That's

[00:37:32] Fryda: the expectation of what you're staying. Yeah. Which clearly has not happened to either Carmen or me. Thank you about Bobby again, but, um,

[00:37:39] Carmen: but, but I want to say that this particular arrangement actually, you know, winds up expressing that way, where like women are expected to stay with their parents until they get married.

So a lot of women wind up getting married in, in part to also be able to leave the. And that's often also not a good reason to get married. Whereas men don't necessarily need to factor that in when they decide whether or not they want to marry someone or whether or not they can or want to leave the house that they grow up in men can actually choose to do that.

And when it comes to having kids like, yeah, men, men can choose to be involved fathers so they can be like, see you. see

[00:38:19] Fryda: later, I've heard a saying that men don't pick up or carry children. I think it's like a really antiquated saying, but it's like this belief that is sometimes passed down in families that like, that's not something men will do.

Like, it's just kind of like men aren't really there for the children. I mean, bunch of lovely Cuban fathers. Do not do any of this, but it's still, it's still culturally acceptable to, yeah, not really be as involved as the women are, you know? Carmen you and I have been like, just basically complaining about all the different ways that like women suffer from these kinds of standards and these, this kind of arrangement and being raised in this way, men have a very, very strict standard placed upon them as well.

They're often burdened with the responsibility of taking care of a family financially and in terms of resources. And so like if you're in a family, for instance, where like the dad isn't around as much, and you're like the older brother, you're suddenly the man of the. And so that same man of the household, that's a lot of pressure, certainly benefits some men, but it is not great for like the 16 year old boy.

Who's now responsible financially for the household because they're the man of the house. Yeah. There's a, there's like things like this, but that we don't know is intimately because we, we didn't suffer their consequence. We didn't suffer the consequences of being a boy growing. We certain, we certainly suffered on the other side of things.

That's all.

[00:39:48] Carmen: And you know how we just sent that. It's kind of written into the manual, that if you're a girl that you're gonna grow up and then you're gonna get married and you're gonna have children, there's actually a literal manual. And it's written by hos R D. And I just felt like we needed to say that in this episode, because how could we, how could we make an entire episode where we talk about how we were raised as little boys and little girls, and we don't talk about how manual

[00:40:07] Fryda: manual

[00:40:09] Carmen: We literally wrote a manual for how little boys should behave and how little girls should behave. So it it's called it's. At the time when he started publishing it, it was actually a magazine that came out and it was for children and it was aiming to entertain them and stimulate them into thinking critically and like navigate the, the world that they were in and serve also as a, a guide to help them grow up, you know, with virtue and I don't know, patriotic sentiment or something who knows.

Yes. Anyway, so, but now you can find this. On Amazon and everywhere basically. And they always include this, this note that he wrote, it's kind of like a prologue for this book where he begins to very explicitly outline how little boys should be and how little girls should be.

[00:40:59] Fryda: So. Learn all about EMTI by listening to our EMTI

[00:41:05] Carmen: episode.

Yeah. We're about to rip into him, but we actually love him. Yeah. He's

[00:41:09] Fryda: amazing. He is this really admirable figure in Cuban history. But he also wrote this manual. Okay. And in the manual it says,

and oh my God, he writes it so pretty. This is why I love. I know because he's, appall, he, he didn't say anything wrong. He just says that the little boy has to work has to explore. Study be strong and be handsome. Yeah. No, no big

[00:41:41] Carmen: deal. Just no big deal. This is the expectation by the way. Oh, and, and if you're ugly, do not worry

the ESL or C

[00:41:58] Fryda: oh, a good boy. Who's intelligent and wise is always.

[00:42:04] Carmen: Handsome mm-hmm so he goes on to describe little boys and how they should also treat their female counterparts. And he, you know, describes the behavior as very Gallant and very Shivel risk. He's kind of promoting those ideas and saying that you should be nice to girls and you should always, you know, bring them friendship and bring them flowers, all beautiful things who doesn't want this.

Flowers and friendship. Thank you. Um, but the thing is that then he gets to little girls and he says

king Alad.

[00:42:53] Fryda: That is such an underhanded insult. Oh my. Because he says, he says back, hold me back. Am I holding you back? Or are you gonna say something? No. What does he.

[00:43:05] Carmen: he has basically said, little girls should be equal to little boys, but only so that great when little boys come home or, you know, when little boys grow up to

[00:43:12] Fryda: be men and they come home.

Exactly. When they, no, but they literally come home. The boys again are outside the home and then they come home.

[00:43:19] Carmen: And then that's the girls, girls are, that's what their, the

[00:43:22] Fryda: girls are there in their cage.

[00:43:24] Carmen: and waiting for when the men come home so that they can talk and they better be worldly because they better have better conversation than just what's in fashion.

And, you know, gossip basically mumbling, mumblings. Yeah. Gossip.

[00:43:37] Fryda: So, yeah, so like, he was kind of saying like the reason, oh, my, that you should be an equal little girl is so that the men, when they come home, aren't. Why are they only talking about fashion?

[00:43:50] Carmen: You can't be boring. Girls, you cannot

[00:43:52] Fryda: be boring. You can't be boring.

And look, here's the thing about dissecting. This is that we're, we're dissecting someone who writes beautifully and someone who we do respect as an individual mm-hmm , but we are still seeing in his. Writings, the indications that these divisions and these different roles and these ideas exist in this society.

Like it's, it's like, we're not even angry. Like we're, I'm not even upset. And I'm just reading this and being like us. So he thinks the men are outside the house and the women are in here and they come home and they're bored and the woman has to entertain them. And I'm like, this is. This is what we've been talking

[00:44:30] Carmen: about.

Literally it's written in black and white, right in front of us in language that a child could understand. Yes.

[00:44:37] Fryda: Because this is meant to instruct the little boys and the little girls

[00:44:40] Carmen: literally anyway, uh, I just, I thank you for coming on this little history journey because we couldn't, we couldn't not, we couldn't not do it.

In regards to little girls, he also says that little girls are very valuable and that we should definitely go to them because they are typically more intuitive and better at communication. And so therefore you should value girls for this. And he goes on to describe how we should leave house. Hold things into their control and domain, and goes on to say how little girls should really know and be experts in how to run through flowers, because of course he's a poet and they should also be experts in reading, you know, nice books and also being able to sew and even how to make fancy laces.

Fancy Italian laces, because again, he's a poet, so he just has to, you know, put it that way. He can't just be like, oh, didn't know how to sell. So anyway, he's even going on to describe the actual role of women in the home. Like women are not just like, we're not just saying women stay at home and like sit there and look pretty.

It's also like, no, no, no. You need to also do these things at home. Otherwise like, you know, you're not being productive. You're not contributing to the society. Right. That's what it's all about at the end. and, uh, yeah, I don't know. Look, I'm not saying that these things are, are followed to a T right now.

It's almost like you have to couch that into the relevance of the conversation and the conversation that we're having is today and now. Yeah. Like, no one's telling me to go, so yeah, no, absolutely not. And I'm not saying that, that this is at all, even what little kids read now and that, you know, Cuban parents are still, you know, out here being like, oh little kids, you know, I'm not saying that this is healthy

[00:46:20] Fryda: are actually minor, minor adjustment.

That Theto is still read

[00:46:24] Carmen: today. LA. Exactly. But LA Lato is still read today. It is still considered major work of literature also, you know, I, I definitely don't want to steal credit away from parents. Like you can have your kid read whatever, and then still be like, uh, that book said the thing, but then also there are these other ways to, what do you think?

Yeah, so, you know, , I, I don't say that this is a bad thing or that we shouldn't be reading it, but I, I wanna say that in this moment in time, it really captures a portrait of what have been the values and the priorities in our society for us, such a long time, before we got to the point where we started questioning these things, and that really starts to present itself.

As you know, we grow up and become

[00:47:03] Fryda: adults. We've certainly modernized quite a bit. And yet. Talking about this still feels really, really relevant because. Contextualizes how I know, I think about myself and how Cubans socialize with each other, how I socialize with my family, how I socialize with other Latinos,

[00:47:21] Carmen: other Cubans.

Yeah. And a lot of, a lot of work is involved in recognizing how these structures are not actually ideal. And there are disservice to us. A lot of the times they increase a likelihood of more bad things happening and

[00:47:34] Fryda: the, these structures. Also tell men and women, some pretty intense things like men or little boys, you can grow up and be somewhat possessive of women.

You can grow up and, and ask them to change or make themselves prettier for you. You can ask them to stay at home and do their chores for you. And they do not have to have an exactly an equal say at home when you, you know, if you marry. And for women we're internalizing the other side of that. And so it's, yeah, it doesn't lead to ideal circumstances.

[00:48:10] Carmen: No, but I follow, I do think that I do think that a lot of people have, you know, as you said, modernized. So I think that even though that that's the, that's the context that we're all working with, I do think a lot of really positive changes happening. Yes. And I'm happy that even, you know, we feel comfortable enough to even have this conversation and broadcast it to like, you know, people that we don't know.

Yeah. Cause I tend to see personal conversation.

[00:48:33] Fryda: We can just gripe about this, honestly, knowing, knowing that you and I are both like happy and, and free and lovely and getting to do what we want to do in our lives. And that's a wonderful thing. Yeah.

[00:48:44] Carmen: Can't forget that. Love.

[00:48:46] Fryda: absolutely. But at the same time, do you not remember coming home and finding your mother fully awake and Herba de Casa

[00:48:54] Carmen: and I'm sorry, because you said remember, but no, because this still happens to me and I'm 31.

But anyway, uh, yeah, my mom still wakes up for me, me, like when I say, when I'm visiting, my mom still wakes up for me. If I say I'm gonna be home at 10 and I'm home at like 10 0 1, she's like waiting up for me in be like,

[00:49:22] Fryda: You're making my life a yogurt. oh, my that's AMO. That's this episode because we're talking about, we're talking about a lot of things that make your life own Yogo. It's kind of it's

[00:49:35] Carmen: you are, you are thoroughly. Inconvenienced is what that is. I wanna say that I resent this. I love yogurt. And if my life was yogurt, I would have no problems with this because theoretically speaking, nothing bad can come out of yogurt.


[00:49:50] Fryda: agree. Seconding that. Yeah. But

[00:49:52] Carmen: anyway, it doesn't need to make sense. Uh, it's just Mo and we thought it was very appropriate because

I've definitely heard this the most from my parents because they're always explaining that I'm making their life a yogurt. There have been so many times that I hear that. And I almost wanna ask like, oh my God, what flavor?

But I know I would get smacked.

[00:50:11] Fryda: Oh my God, what flavor? Oh, I love that. Oh my god.

[00:50:17] Carmen: Definitely, I would get smacked.

I would get smacked.

[00:50:20] Fryda: Thank you so much for hanging along for this and a special thanks to our patrons. Andy, Elena, Catalina, Lauren Gianni, VI. Christine D Derek Ryan, Jose, Susan Salia Catherine Lauren, Kaylee ammo, Kristin Sarah card.

Jason, Josh, Yvette Callis, and Jesse. Thank you. Love so much. You so much. We couldn't do this without you. Our patrons. If you'd like to join this list, you can join us as a patron on it Easypod. You can follow us on social media. We are at take it Easypod everywhere and you can email. Take it easy

Wow. Check it cheesy.

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page