Latin American Hispanics Versus European Spaniards

One of my favorite commenters is a fellow named Rafel from Catalonia in Spain. He knows his country inside out. He’s also quite a progressive fellow. In the recent post Hispanics and Alzheimer’s, he remarks on some of my comments about the working class Hispanics that I live around:

I would tag the mentality you describe as “fatalism,” and I think it happens more among Hispanic lower classes. Hispanics are very polarized by social class, even more so than Anglo-Americans. Depending on one’s social class, one’s values and mindset vary dramatically (and also the perception of what’s good and evil and gender roles).
Perhaps in the US you lack some perspective because there aren’t many super-rich Hispanic big landowners (most of Hispanics in the US have their roots in poor families from Mexico and other countries).
Class polarization in countries like Mexico or Brazil is brutal, and it doesn’t have to do only with wealth and living conditions. This huge divide of mindset and values depending on class is to be found in many Catholic countries (not only Hispanic).
As for Spanish machismo…take a look at today’s Spanish society where it has diminished dramatically. “Machismo” may have been originated in Spain, but today’s mentality in the country is very similar to other West European countries…Today the strongholds of “machismo” in Europe are Italy, Greece, Portugal and the former communist countries of central-eastern Europe such as Poland, Rumania…
Even inside Spain until the 70’s, there were strong mentality differences with regard to gender between the north of the country and the center and south (the North being more “European” and “liberal” and the South with more “machismo” values), but today the mentality is more “liberal” all over the country. This means the machismo mentality can evolve.
Unfortunately in Spain during the last 10 years, massive migration from Moroccans, Latin Americans and Eastern Europeans (and all of them from lower classes) has brought machismo with them (most of episodes of violence against women involve immigrants, and the integration of Muslim women in Spanish society is almost impossible due to their strong submission to their husbands and families).
Spanish Gypsies have “preserved” a lot of machismo too, and, by the way, they fit in a lot with the portrayal you make of US Hispanics. Each word of your text referring to US Hispanics could be applied to Spain’s Gypsies!

I don’t know many upper class Hispanics. Most of the ones I know are definitely lower class. It’s heartening that Spain is leaving this idiot machismo behind and becoming more normal. The way we see it in the US is that this machismo just goes too far. I respect masculinity in males, but machismo is almost a caricature.
I’m not as hopeful about machismo diminishing in Hispanics just because it has in Spain. Spain is White, and it’s part of Europe, hence it’s influenced by European trends. Hispanics are isolated in Latin America and are influenced by that continent.
The Spaniards of the North take pride in being “Whiter.” True, all Spaniards are White, but the Northerners see themselves as aligned more with Northern Europe, especially Celtic heritage. The South has long had a heavy Arab influence. It is the South we think of when the other continentals say “Africa begins at the Pyrenees.”
I am sure that Muslims are not assimilating in Spain, and furthermore, it seems that they are never going to assimilate. That can only mean quit importing them.
It’s not surprising that Gypsy culture is so sexist and male chauvinist. I had long suspected that.
He mentions Italy, but the machismo is much stronger in the South, especially Sicily, than up in the north around Trieste, where a friend of mine lives. Sicilians are almost Arab-like in secluding their daughters are protecting them from other males.
In an older post, What the Future Hispano-Catholic USA Will Look Like Rafel takes a similar tack.

How do you explain that today Spain is one of the most socially liberal countries in the world? Ever traveled to Madrid or Barcelona? You’ll see gay couples walking the streets holding their hands, Spanish women practicing nudism at the beaches, etc…In Spain, we have had gay marriages since 2005.
By the way, a new, more progressive law on abortion has been approved this year (and anyway, since 1985 we already had  more liberal abortion laws than Ireland, Poland, Portugal or Italy). Besides, in places like Catalonia, the number of civil marriages surpasses that of Catholic marriages. Spain’s society has changed dramatically during the last 50 years!
If you compare the birth rate per woman or church attendance, Spain happens to be much less religious than any part of the USA.
Yes, it’s true that Catholic Church still has a lot of power and tries to influence society…but at least in Spain they’re losing the battle year by year. In Barcelona there are almost no locals in a Sunday mass…most people you’ll see attending the Sunday mass are immigrants from South America!
As for the Islamic influence…remember that the kingdoms that founded Spain as a political entity (Castile and Leon, Aragon including the county of Barcelona, etc.) were either never conquered by Arabs or just experienced Arab occupation for a century.
For instance, Arabs were in Barcelona only from ~720 until 801, when the Franks conquered the city. The northern Christian kingdoms conquered and repopulated the south of the peninsula.
True, there is still a lot of Moorish cultural influence, especially in Andalusia. But I’d say that Italian, Spanish and Portuguese “machismo” is more a consequence of the androcentric Roman culture and Roman law (for example, the institution of the paterfamilias) than a consequence of Arabic influence.
As for the burning of churches thing…well, it’s just that the Catholic Church in Spain was perceived by both liberals and socialists as a threat. No doubt the Catholic Church has been a reactionary force during the history of Spain…but much in the same way as other traditional Catholic countries like France.
The difference is that revolutionaries in France had more success in setting apart the Catholic Church from politics and only had to burn churches once, not every ten years like in Spain!
In Spain early attempts to separate Church from state began at in the start of the 19th Century…the problem was that they never succeeded, as reactionaries always regained the power soon after every short liberal period (with the help of the Catholic Church and the army).
As the Church always supported the reactionaries during the 19th and 20th Centuries, the population in the cities accumulated a lot of resentment against the Catholic Church, especially in industrial areas like Catalonia or Asturias. That’s why in every revolutionary period, uncontrolled crowds burned churches and killed a lot of clergymen. They were sort of a scapegoats for the masses…

It is very nice to hear that gay rights is quite open in Spain, at least in the large cities. Incredibly enough, this “backwards Southern European Catholic country” now has legalized gay marriage, something the US cannot seem to get behind.
So Spain is becoming part of the rest of the Europe in a pan-European sort of way. What happens in Netherlands, several years hence, moves as a trend into Spain. Spain increasingly has more in common with Denmark and Sweden than with Mexico and Bolivia.
In this way we see how shared geography influences culture possibly more than shared ethnicity or language. Being situated in Europe trumps the ethnic culture and language that Spain shares with Latin America (as Latin American culture is descended in part from Iberian roots).
Catholic Spain, like Catholic Italy and France, is seeing plummeting Mass attendance and a very low birthrate. The low birthrate can only be explained by mass contraceptive use by women. Clearly, Catholic Western Europe pays little attention to the Pope’s lunatic decrees on birth control.
Along with declining attendance, we see the declining power of the Church. I’ve always felt that the Catholic Church was mostly about power more than anything else. It’s probable today that the Church is less powerful in Spain than in Italy, where it is still quite strong. In no Catholic country, including Italy, can the Church seem to keep its mitts out of politics.
It’s good to hear that Spain’s abortion law is fairly liberal compared to other European Catholic countries. I still don’t think it goes far enough, but it’s not bad.
Abortion in Latin America is a tragedy. It’s illegal in most of the region, and 250,000 women die every year from botched abortions in Latin America. El Salvador and Nicaragua have now passed some truly evil abortion laws that ban it in all cases, even rape, incest or the life or health of the mother. It’s hard to see what kind of good Catholicism does in this world anymore.
Thanks to Rafel for clearing up the church-burning business. I just thought it was bizarre, and that that Spaniards were just nuts. However, it was frustrated rage on the part of an oppressed population at a reactionary Church that just would not go away. It kept rising, Lazarus-like, every 10 years, just when they thought it was down for good.
He attributes machismo more to Roman influence than to the Arabs, but I am not so sure, as one who subscribes to the Pakistan-Peruvian Axis Theory of Arabized societies.
While it is heartening that Spain is moving forward on gay rights, reduced church influence, declining birth rates, abortion and reduction in male chauvinist machismo, Rafel implies that US Hispanics may be ready to follow suit.
I would not be so sure about that. US Hispanics, and Spaniards are quite different. True, young US Hispanics now show trends of increased tolerance towards gays, at least here in California. US Hispanics get more abortions than non-Hispanics, and US Catholics get more abortions than non-Catholics.
Among the lower-class Hispanics I am around, unplanned pregnancies and abortions are omnipresent. Those ending their pregnancies are nominally Catholic, but they never go to Mass and don’t seem to have religious qualms about abortion. Nevertheless, they may vote against abortion in the booth. But after a generation or so, US Hispanics’ views on abortion are little different from the general population.
As far as machismo, I don’t see that lessening too much in Hispanics, but it may be in the younger generation, as the increasing acceptance of young Hispanic gays may suggest.
As far as declining birthrates, we are not seeing that yet in the US, though in Brazil, incredibly enough, the rate is actually below replacement. In a super-Catholic, macho culture too at that. So there’s hope.

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18 thoughts on “Latin American Hispanics Versus European Spaniards”

  1. Um, why are declining birth rates in Spain a good thing? They are already well below the replacement rate. Who is going to pay the taxes to support the elderly?

    1. I am an anti-natalist and an extreme environmentalist. I am actually a Deep Ecologist. It’s clear that no population on Earth needs to be increasing. We need population decline, lots of it and as soon as possible. One of the sickening things about White nationalism is its horrible pro-natalism. In this way they resemble fascists who are also always pro-natalist.

    1. I’m quite sure that as intelligent and industrious as Europeans and Japanese are, they can manage to figure out a way to deal with declining population. I’m not particularly worried about it. When it becomes one of the world’s worst problems, I might think about it, but for now, forget it.
      I find it insane that in order to prevent “the problem of too many old people and not enough young” that human populations are doomed to have to increase forever and ever.
      I simply refuse to believe that.
      The only people who ever bring up this straw man are those on the Far Right, and they never give a flying fuck about “the elderly” anyway, they don’t want to give them SS, Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drugs, anything, so I’m suspicious every time some reactionary brings up, “What about the old folks?!”

        1. Yeah I can see how some of them are, I saw a really little short Asian girl who was actually a women, really cute as in almost like those teddy bear cute. The rest don’t really seem to be likeable people though

        1. the females are okay however from what I’ve gathered from my experience with girls and whom they find attractive, unfortunately East Asian males never really fit in the spectrum.

        2. i lend my laptop to some people to use their facebooks, when i discovered this blog, the blog give me the option to use all the emails of the people that used my computer,and i liked to change the username,lots of differents east asian names and references
          and no, i was gay,now i am bisexual, because i did an effort to change as a kid, no ,the porn didn’t help to cure anything,i only could add women in my preferences, but i couldn’t remove the men, so finally i liked both
          about Naruto, i am just in the beggining since i watch-read my stuff each 5 days, if i do it each day i would finish it sooner therefore i won’t have many things to watch-read in the future, so i still aren’t in Shippuden

  2. Hello
    I’m from a country beside Cataluña, Aragón. About
    the cuestion of spanish whiteness or not and its distribution, I can say that in my family, and this is quite frecuent, my father has blue eyes, palewhite skin but not red as the germans and black hair.
    My mother is “tipically spanish”, with brown eyes and very white skin excluding parts easily tonned by sun. My sister is brown skinned, green eyes and the same northern face than my father. My brother is as my father but with brown hair and
    eyes. Me in the middle between my sister and brother. Some of my cousins, uncles, etc… have blue eyes and blond hair and some are dark skin like moros, but not the same face feature. I have friends with a father like a gipsy with sons blond hair that surely will have some gipsy-kind son.
    The only really common are the mesocefalic skulls, and not always. This is the spanish big stew of “races” or fenotypes I see all day. The same that in other countries but with his own ingredients.
    Here in Aragón, curiously, until last century, were the french people (mainly from the south) the normal inmigrants, beggining in the middle age, when the kings colonize the ex-musulmans lands with them. And when I talk about musulmans I am not talking of arabians, moors or sirians, but old ibero-roman or even gothic families convert to Islam hundred of years ago… as you see, a big mess.

    1. Victorio, In the US, “white” is used as a racial/ethnic term for Europeans and sometimes other Caucasians like Persians. When Americans say “Spain is white” they mean Spain is a European country as opposed to a Mestizo country like Mexico. We’re not saying Spanish people are literally white skinned.

  3. “He attributes machismo more to Roman influence than to the Arabs, but I am not so sure, as one who subscribes to the Pakistan-Peruvian Axis Theory of Arabized societies”
    Spanish machismo is definately Roman/Latin in origin. It’s the same brand of macho behavior seen throughout Southern Europe and to some degree even in Celtic Europeans (think Scottish highlanders or Southern US whites). The emphasis on personal honor and self agrandisement is very different from Arab masculinity which is more about tribal honor and proving one’s worth through actions.

  4. There is no such thing as mestizo as there is no such thing as white. These are simply cultural words used by ignorants who don’t bare the burden of careful observation. Mexico is a diverse country as Spain is. Spain is considered more diverse in fact. Spaniards have the stock holms syndrome where they would like to treat others how Spaniards have been treated by blue blood peoples of England.

  5. I don’t understand your European obsession with Abortion? Killing babies must make you all happy. I find it sickening that you Europeans love celebrating mothers destroying their unborn children. Kill the rapist, not the baby who is a victim in rape cases too. And I don’t blame Muslims for not wanting to assimilate with your culture that is so anti-family. You offer nothing for Muslims other than jobs.
    And for your info Nicaragua and El Salvador are communist countries; well, at least their governments are. So blame communism there for not legalizing abortion. The Catholic Church has no influence anymore in Latin American politics, not like it used to. Most of the governments are socialist/liberal or Marxist. Catholics get killed all the time in Latin American when they protest their government.
    But you Europeans are always the same regardless if you are religious or liberal. You all think you are superior to everyone who is not European. First it was Christian Europeans telling everyone they are wrong and need to be European and Christian. Now you liberal Europeans look down on any who is not European and liberal.
    And news flash, as your population continues to shrink, more and more immigrants will take your place. Africans, Muslims, and Latinos will transform liberal Spain. Whether you like it or not! Spain has went from being Muslim to Catholic and now to liberal; so it can always change again. Liberalism is a culture of self-suicide, a culture that can not sustain itself. If you don’t have children how will you pass on your values too? When all of you Europeans die out or are bred out by immigrants, your culture and values will go with you. Just like how other cultures disappeared from the pages of history.

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