Yenisel Rodriguez Perez

Havana building from below. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — The defense of male rights stems from the fact gender studies failed to produce a universal discourse. It was to be expected that the struggle for gender equality should fail to avoid the traps of polarization and self-aggrandizement, particularly when a complex and profound reading of male-female relations, the relationship between men and women, was required.

Vengefulness and a craving for power are increasingly common among the champions of feminism, such that the struggle for female emancipation begins to engender its own demons: the establishment of reverse prejudices about the masculine and men, polarization instead of integration, power over the masculine instead of collaboration between men and women.

Male studies function as a means of demanding male rights and as a counterweight to feminism in the struggle for gender equality at both the local and global levels, where conflicts and conflicting interests still prevail. Refusing to acknowledge this is another form of veiled opportunism. The demands of minorities and underprivileged social groups must also be met with ethical and socio-political vigilance.

In Cuba, the issue has even greater implications, as the country is seeing a feminist activism characterized by unanimity and voluntarism. For over 50 years, the defense of women’s rights on the island has constituted a fetishistic indicator of one’s revolutionary character and of obedience to the regime, something which has accentuated polarization and made a caricature of gender equality. It is the legacy of authoritarianism that Cuba’s new feminist organizations have inherited.

One case in point is the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX), an institution which, despite impelling a sincere and committed activism which contrasts with the bureaucratized efforts of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), is distorted by the unassailable prerogatives that NGOs and Cuban institutions secure when they receive support from the regime in order to improve its international reputation.

As a result of this, we are shown dozens of spots and television programs that tolerate and encourage female violence against men and which ridicule male characters and engage in many other discriminatory practices as a means of raising awareness regarding female rights.

Because of this, any demand for male rights in Cuba, in addition to meeting with condemnation from feminists, prompts attacks from the authoritarian regime, which interprets any questioning of the polarization it has brought about in gender relations as political dissidence.

In Cuba, thus, we see that male studies have been left out of the social agenda, which has been co-opted by pro-feminist organizations which, like CENESEX, deploy these as an appendage and tool of feminist affirmation, sweeping the question of male rights in Cuba under the carpet.

It is therefore increasingly urgent for contemporary Cuban society to call for the vindication of male identity and its legitimate values, and to join international efforts calling for respect towards and greater awareness of male rights, namely to:

1. Establish World Men’s Day globally.
2. Create a “Hospital for Men.”
3. Eradicate materials and movements (and all related portrayals and messages) with anti-male content around the country.
4. Sanction women – legally and through campaigns and programs – who practice physical and psychological violence against men.
5. Sanction women – legally and through campaigns and programs – who sexually harass men and seduce, provoke or use them, taking advantage of their “charms.”
6. Revise the constitution and laws related to the juridical concept of custody rights, so as to offer fathers equal treatment before the law.
7. Establish a nationwide, obligatory medical or social service for women, so as to make them truly equal to men (obliging them to undergo military training at a certain age, for instance, as men are required to do in Cuba).
8. Create institutions that defend and promote male rights, in order to ensure the integrity, protection, dignity and image of men, which has been slated by feminist propaganda and interests.

Yenisel Rodriguez

Yenisel Rodriguez Perez: I have lived in Cuba my entire life, except for several months in 2013 when I was in Miami with my father. Despite the 90 miles that separate Havana and Miami, I find profound reasons in both for political and community activism. My encounter with socio-cultural anthropology eight years ago prepared me for a commitment of love for cultural diversity.

7 thoughts on “The Urgent Need to Defend Male Rights in Cuba

  • Yenisel,You have no idea how feminism in the USA has become a hate movement against men and boys.Feminist have created bias anti male laws that affects all of our families and the public has no idea that they existThe worst is The Violence Against Womens Act.VAWA pays incentive money to police, prosecutor and the courts for every boy and man they arrest pertaining to sexual assault and domestic violence.It also pays women who are victims of men.That sounds great but there have been thousands of false allegations against males because of the various incentive monIies. Two years ago two Key West 14 year old teenagers were having sex at Smathers Beach in the bathroom.The girl was on top of her bf thrusting away at him.When the police arrived, they arrested the boy and charged him with rape.It is illegal for teenagers to have drunken sex ,but they only arrest the boy because the police, courts and prosecutors want that VAWA MONEY

  • At first I thought this might be satire. But no. I’m all for all points of view being expressed. But this piece is just plain stupid.

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