Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies 21.1 (2015), pp. 19-37. doi: 10.1080/14701847.2015.1078984
This article argues that the television show Vaya semanita portrays a specific Basque masculinity, different from the Spanish or Mediterranean ones. The traditional Basque masculinity shares some values with the most accepted forms of Spanish masculinities –including manhood as a challenge to be overcome, physical strength, intemperate drinking, and gluttonous eating – but differs from them in the way men behave in relation to women and sex, and the way they maintain close friendships with each other. Basque men appear as dependent on their mothers and wives, making them look emasculated and infantile. Their male bonding is also interpreted as homoeroticism and/or homosexuality. Furthermore, one of the main stereotypes that the show repeats is the difficulty in having sex in the Basque Country. Therefore, Basque men tend to adopt more of a dominant behavior among other males and in the public space, while they act more submissively in relation to women in their families. Through comedy, Vaya semanita deconstructs traditional masculinity, but at the same time, the constant appearance of traditional Basque men and the sympathetic lens through which they are portrayed can act as a reinforcement of the hegemonic Basque masculinity during this time of globalization.
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