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9 ways in which machismo transforms us into psychopaths

9 ways in which machismo transforms us into psychopaths

April 5, 2024

When we think about the concept of "machismo", it is easy for us to imagine a man who expresses clearly sexist opinions about the role that women should have as caretakers of the home and children.

However, it has long been known that machismo is not just a series of beliefs about how relationships between men and women should be. It does not appear only when it directly shows unpopular opinions; It arises in our way of behaving and relating. It is in the facts, not in the words.

That is why, often, the hurtful character of machismo is disguised; it is seen as something totally normal not because it does not produce pain (it produces it) or because it is just (it is not), but because it is hard for us to imagine another way of relating to the feminine gender. It has become normal not to empathize with women , act in front of them as a psychopath would.


  • Related article: "Micromachismos: 4 subtle samples of everyday machismo"

This is how machismo makes us psychopaths in front of women

Next we will see several attitudes, practices and behaviors that, despite being a way to treat women as an object, they are part of our daily life .

1. Expect a reward for treating the woman as a human being

Psychopaths are characterized by being able to manage any personal relationship following a logic of costs and benefits. I mean, practically everything they do when they're with someone makes sense as part of a more or less concrete strategy to get something in return .


This is something that often happens today in the way men try to get along with women. The fact of not explicitly belittling is perceived as a competitive window in front of a large number of men, and that means that it can be used to ask for something in return.

For example, the concept of "frienzone" often is used to blackmail emotionally in this sense, ignoring that friendship is not something that should be used to buy people.

  • Related article: "Emotional blackmail: a powerful form of manipulation in the couple"

2. Force situations where it costs too much to say no

Although it is slow, progress exists, and therefore more and more people are aware that rape is something aberrant in all cases (although it is hard to believe, this idea is relatively recent). However, actions that closely resemble this kind of will-power directed against women continue to be normalized.


An example of this has to do with "flirting" techniques commonly used by men and that have in common create such a violent situation in which to say that it does not cost much . This can consist of both making the limit of personal space blurred (with hugs that at first were going to be brief but ending up lengthening) and generating an environment so unpleasant that accepting any request is the easiest way out (for example, through very personal and uncomfortable questions).

The idea is place the woman in a clear situation of inferiority , leave it without space to negotiate what is acceptable and what is not.

  • Related article: "Psychopathy: what happens in the mind of the psychopath?"

3. Pretend not to hear or understand

This practice is another of those subtle ways that are used to nullify women , and is to act as if everything that happens in the dialogues with them occurred in a theater, something that means nothing and what we can set aside to address people who do have the intelligence to understand what is happening .

4. Act as if every woman should give up her time to meet a man

It is systematic: nobody is surprised if going down the street we do not want to stop for a second to receive an advertising brochure for a new business that has opened in the area, but it is unacceptable that a woman does not want to pay attention for several minutes to give the opportunity to a man who wants to introduce himself . In the same way that psychopaths can focus on any relationship as a puzzle in which the goal is to obtain what one wants, in this kind of interactions the initial disposition of the woman does not matter; only the end you want to reach matters.

5. Blame the woman for her feelings

The emotional sphere has always been associated with the feminine, and that means that it can be interpreted as a sign of weakness. For example, workers are often belittled by assuming that they care more about people than about cold business goals. This happens even with bosses.

6. Use your sexuality against you

Much of the way we have learned to conceive female sexuality is based on a belief as irrational as it is harmful: If you are not a man and you want to live your sexuality, you lose rights and dignity .

That is, the simple knowledge that a woman is not totally alien to sexual life can be used against her, either to humiliate her or to restrict her freedom with the pretext of protecting it. Any excuse is good to subject a person who is not assigned to the male gender.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Psychology of sexism: 5 macho ideas that occur today"

7. Use your "purity" against you

If the previous option can not be exploited because there are no obvious signs that a woman does not conform to the role of sexual object, that can also be a reason to attack her.

How? There are different strategies: from treating it as something that has no value to being "disconnected" from its supposed function as a machine to reproduce and raise, to point out that not investing time and effort in arousing the interest of men detracts from it .

8. Value the woman just for her aesthetics

This goes far beyond that tendency that we have to look at the aspect of people to decide what attitude we will take in front of them, something in which we often fall regardless of how the other is. In the case of women, in addition, machismo contributes to the physicist who describes his personality , your aspirations and interests.

In other words, the woman is perceived as an animated mannequin, programmed specifically to guide her thinking towards the area in which the mannequin works: attract, offer a good image, etc.

9. Blame the victim of gender violence

It is still very frequent hold victims of sexual harassment or rape responsible for what happened to them . The reason for this is that doing anything else would mean taking full responsibility for a serious social and structural problem, while ignoring it and keeping women's safety needs out is more comfortable.


Why I'm done trying to be "man enough" | Justin Baldoni (April 2024).


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