New Ad Campaigns Take Aim at Machismo in Latin America

New ad campaigns sweeping across Latin America are taking on a centuries-old code of machismo propulgated by outdated ideas of male and female power dynamics.

First, Chile launched a campaign that declared, "Maricón, el que maltrata a una mujer." Watch the PSA below:

In Ecuador, they started a campaign that links machismo attitudes to violence against women, with the slogan "El machismo es violencia." Reacciona Ecuador created a series of PSA's aimed at alerting the population to the high rates of violence against women.

But Matthew Gutmann, an anthropology professor at Brown University in Provi­dence, R.I., and author of The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, told the Christian Science Monitor that he has noted signs of changing attitudes. Mexico has launched a new telenovela, El Sexo Debil, that features women who find macho men repulsive—Gutmann points to this and the campaigns in Ecuador and Chile as proof. "The ads, the TV shows," he says, "are a sign of ongoing ferment about what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman, relations between men and women."

We can't argue with that logic; graduation rates for women in formerly male-dominated fields have sky rocketed across Latin America, and Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Costa Rica have all elected female leaders of state in the last five years. Meanwhile, the U.S. is still waiting for its first female president. .