The “Macho” Body as Social Malinche

  • Gabriel S. Estrada
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)


How can specific Indigenous cultural methodologies help create more balanced Indigenous sexual and cultural movements? In relation to the Eurocentric colonial state, postmodern feminism, Mestiza/o discourses on hybridity, and pan-Nativism, I propose an Indigenous methodology in which the Indigenous body circles through four directions in order to find an internal and external balance of masculinity, old age, femininity, and youth that reconcile aspects of two-spirit, Indigenous, and Xicana/o agendas. This essay moves earthwise, or counterclockwise, beginning in the east and moving north, west, and south. In the east, I discuss international Indigenous rights, wars, migrations, sexual violence, and imprisonment in an initial political grounding on Indigenous issues. The northern section critically reviews the colonial literature on Indigenous sexuality, contrasting its racist and (hetero)sexist leanings with the oral traditions and writings of contemporary Indigenous peoples. In the west, Indigenous internal and external sexual relations are contemporary and complementary: As the Nahuatl female body can act as a masculinized warrior, so can the Nahuatl male body embody feminized ideals, such as those Inés Hernández-Ávila expresses in her formulation of the “social Malinche” as an activist and intellectual. Lastly, the southern movement features new media and proposes that some might use cinema, literature, or the world wide web to deepen their embodiment as social Malinches by defying centuries of heterosexism and racism and ameliorating Indigenous relations that are inclusive of the love and affection of the heart.


Indigenous People Oral Tradition Indigenous Woman Drag Queen Indigenous Issue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Alicia Gaspar de Alba 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel S. Estrada

There are no affiliations available

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