Windsurfers, capoeiristas and musicians: Brazilian masculinities in transnational scenarios
(State University of CampinasUNICAMP)
Paper short abstract:
In this paper I consider how gendered, sexualized and racialized gazes affect heterosexual Brazilian men’s styles of masculinities in transnational scenarios undergoing rapid transformation. I take as reference the experiences of men engaged in intensely erotized relationships with European women, formed in touristic towns in the Northeast of Brazil and in migratory contexts in Spanish cities.
Paper long abstract:
Brazil, like other Latin American and Caribbean countries with a colonial past marked by slavery, has been the object of gendered, sexualized and racialized gazes, updated in the new global order. In this paper, based on multi-sited ethnography carried out over 36 months, I consider how these views affect heterosexual Brazilian men's styles of masculinities in transnational scenarios undergoing rapid transformation. I take as reference the experiences of men engaged in erotized relationships with European women, formed in touristic towns in the Northeast of Brazil and in migratory contexts in Spain. Young men perceived as embodying (black) "Brazilian masculinity", mainly connected to music and to bodily performances, attract European women´s attentions. While these relationships are appreciated by Brazilian men as means of obtaining an array of material and symbolic benefits, including marriage, they also threaten their sense of masculinity. In the frame of the tensions provoked by shifting power balances that, in diverse aspects, favor the women, these relationships turn into an arena where masculinities are re-configured either by intensifying masculine dominance and violence or by enacting an alternative style of masculinity, supposedly more "European", that albeit hypersexualized, is connected to domesticity and child-rearing and performed by men who have no stable jobs and earn much less than their European wives. Analyzing these reformulations, I argue that they are constrained by the intersections between gender and a racialized ethnicity, that affect these men's possibilities of incorporating new defining elements of masculinity.
Masculinities in times of uncertainty and change