My last post was kind of all over the place. Some of the things I talked about just didn't come out the way I wanted them to. I think this trip home to the States is really kind of throwing me off; there are a lot of things that I'm doing or saying or seeing that I'm not even conscious of but are actually making a big impact on my time here. I think that the best way to express what I want to say is by sharing a list of comparative Mex/U.S. observations:

  • The United States has a VERY specific way of dealing with gender
  • Fear of PDA is a foreign idea in Mexico
  • Relatively speaking, the U.S. has come a long way.
  • We have a very vibrant love-hate relationship with femininity
  • Homosexuality and related behaviors are much less polarized in the United States
  • Eating disorders are in full swing and are encouraged by U.S. culture but I find they have become less talked about
  • Newscasters here are very conservative when it comes to language and clothing choice
  • Drinking from the tap rocks
  • I don't know what my comfort level is in terms of variations in points of view on gender issues in a relationship
  • There are more female trailer truck drivers, police officers, and obstetricians in the U.S. than there are in Mexico
  • With the money that the women I know, myself included, spend on beauty products, you could feed the entire subsidized housing community on the outskirts of Zacatecas, Mexico
  • We do not know how to make tacos
  • Transsexuals are more capable of living a conflict-free lifestyle in Mexico because the root of conflict isn't even on the radar yet
  • Machismo is not just a Latin America thing
  • The word "family" has very different connotations in each culture
  • The stereotype that all young, Mexican men are itching to mow your lawn or wash your car is alive and well
  • The root of the stereotype that people that live in the United States are elitist and discriminatory is missed by no foreign visitor
  • Many people, more on the U.S. side of the border, see me as ignorant to various gender issues
  • Many others see me as too radical on various gender issues
  • Family habits die hard in any culture
  • The word feminism means very different things in both countries but at the same time seems to scare many people in both
  • We talk about things much more
  • Here, I take for granted the advantages I receive for being in a heterosexual relationship at least one time a day, if not 87; there, I don't have to. They're not advantages- they're just how things are
  • Academic elitism is a universal trend
  • …so is men wanting to always be "bigger"; so is women wanting to be "smaller"
  • "Bigger" men are preferred by people on all sides of the sexuality scale; so are "smaller" women
  • The difference between the popular thought of this young generation and that of their grandparents is probably the most drastic between any other in history in all countries
  • I think some people that study gender can be narrow minded on the topic
  • We are really uptight sometimes
  • Reproductive health education is going really well for us
  • Certain people just don't get it
  • Political correctness is based purely on experiential circumstances
  • People everywhere love labels
  • One the whole, no matter where you are, deliberating in thought is a sign of maturity, not insecurity

In the end…it's all relative, isn't it?

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