The Day It Happened: Feminisim, Machismo

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Michelle N Munoz
Mrs. Rossi
RHT 102
14 February 2013
It's You Not Me

"No sabes lo que tienes hasta que lo pierdes". Which translates to, "You do not know what you have until it is gone." The Day It Happened is a story written by Rosario Morales, a Puerto Rican poet and activist, who was born in Puerto Rico but grew up in New York. This short story takes place in a barrio of N.Y. in an apratment building, which is narrated by one of the neighbors. Morales depicts an abusive Latino relationship during the 90's where machismo, domestic violence and love coincide to give us a small viewing of how the lives of many Latino womyn were like.

The Day It Happened, being told by 12 year-old girl who lives next door to the couple, tells the tale of how it all occured on one saturday eveing where Ramon, the abusive spouse, is on his way home from work. Josie who is descibed as, "... a fine person, quiet homebody, a sweetypie." (Morales 343) is leaving Ramon for a better life for herself and their soon to be born child, as a mother she is in every right to leave. This occurence, of Josie leaving, is something that is not awlays seen in abusive relationships. Machismo in this particular short story can be, "...defined as exaggerated manliness. In Latin [culture] it is common for “the man of the house” to be...the master of his domain." (Ricardo A. Lopez, The Other side of Machismo) which is how Ramon views himself. He felt himself superior if he bashed on her, "... a man cant be man with such a wet rag around." (343) Within the frst 6 months of their marriage, Josie would make excuses on his behalf such as, "He can't help himself. He doesn't mean it." (343) because of his terrible temper and how he used to boast about his strength and because she knew that she could not speak ill of her husband. Like in so many Latino marriages, theirs is a typical one where machismo is always present to make the female feel small, unapreciated, weak and worthless becasue they are...
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