Gender Norms In Dominican Culture

1792 Words 8 Pages
Neha Patel
AMST 135: Section 10322
Professor Alicia Chavez
Essay 1
November 14, 2017
The Role of Gender Norms, Sexuality, and Diaspora within Dominican Culture
Through The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz explores the presence of various conflicts between personal and community identity within the culture of the Dominican Republic. Within the book, these conflicts are presented through the experiences and interactions of many characters who struggle with identifying their beliefs and have trouble finding a sense of belonging. Therefore, the onset of physical and emotional Diaspora among the newer Dominican population is caused by the desire to escape a hurtful past by focusing on the optimistic future. While integrating into American
…show more content…
The typical Dominican man and woman are expected to act and behave in a certain way in society, and these expectations reveal how gender is viewed within the culture. Oscar “was (still) a “normal” Dominican boy raised in a “typical Dominican family, his nascent pimp-liness was encouraged by blood and friends alike” (Diaz 11). It is important for Dominican men to confidently exert their masculinity and attract girls given that it is part of their culture. Meanwhile, “the perfect Dominican daughter […] is just a nice way of saying perfect Dominican slave” (Diaz 56). By considering women as equal to slaves, it shows how they are treated like subordinates and given less freedom in comparison to their male counterparts within Dominican society. In terms of sexuality, it is clear that being sexual is very significant to the culture of the Dominican Republic. For instance, Oscar’s uncle gives him “a box of condoms” and encourages him to “use them all” (Diaz 49). From an outsider’s perspective, this may seem peculiar since Oscar’s own uncle is encouraging him to have frequent sex; however, it is the norm within their culture. Oscar is described as “very un-Dominican” when he is unable to attract women due to his physical appearance (Diaz 11). It shows how the inability to be sexual equates to not being Dominican. Recognizing the role of gender norms and emphasis on sexuality within the overall Dominican culture is very important since it causes Oscar, Beli, and Abelard to question their beliefs and personal

Related Documents