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Image:Jupiter and Thetis.jpg
Jupiter and Thetis (1811) by Ingres, Thetis is depicted in the painting by Ingres as pleading at the knees of Zeus: "She sank to the ground beside him, put her left arm round his knees, raised her right hand to touch his chin, and so made her petition to the Royal Son of Cronos" (Iliad, I).

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Machismo is a prominently exhibited or excessive masculinity. As an attitude, machismo ranges from a personal sense of virility to a more extreme masculism. In many cultures, machismo is acceptable and even expected.

The trait may be seen as the product of runaway evolution, as Frits Staal notes,

The peacock's tail, the grotesquely enlarged claw of the male fiddler crab and the machismo of members of the human species are all exaggerated features that may cause injury to individuals that display them but attract females.--Staal, Noam Chomsky Between the Human and Natural Sciences, Janus Head (2001)

In literature

In American literature, a memorable example of machismo comes from Tennessee Williams' character Stanley Kowalski, the egotistical brother-in-law in A Streetcar Named Desire. In the play (and in the motion picture), Stanley epitomises the hyper-masculine alpha male, socially and physically dominating and imposing his will upon his wife and her sister, Blanche Dubois. Bound up with Stanley's aggressive and occasionally misogynist views is a strong sense of pride and honor which leads to his hatred of Blanche.

In Spanish

According to the Merriam-Webster online, the English word machismo is derived from Spanish macho, which means "male" or, when used metaphorically, "virile".

A cognate of the English word exists in Spanish, but the two should not be confused. Spanish machismo means "sexism" or "male chauvinism" (along with the adjective machista, "sexist" or "male chauvinist"). The same happens in Portuguese.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Machismo" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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