Machismo Culture :: Having a Strong Female Voice

Machismo Culture :: Having a Strong Female Voice

Growing up in a machismo culture, I knew that I was not going to acquiesce. I can vividly remember looking down at my overalls at a young age and wondering what that little flap was in front of the overalls down by my private part and asking, “What is this for?” and my mom would say, “that’s for little boys to use.” Well, that was the beginning of my questioning of why can’t I use it? Why do they have an easier way? I remember thinking that I had to use the bathroom really badly and had to wait for help if my strap got stuck. Always the observant and head strong child, this is when I started to notice the differences.

The Dichotomy

Three generations of women lived under the same roof for 12 years all wanting to be a part of a team with their husbands or future husband.

In our culture, the 2 generations above me, seem to have had the hardest time, the matriarch of our family that literally did EVERYTHING to make her husband happy and my mom, a woman who broke the glass ceiling in her industry but still had to cook, clean, wash and perform the normal motherly and wifely duties in the home.

My person, my grandmother, was an amazing woman, with an 8th grade education who raised 5 successful children what seemed like all by herself. I did not always see the other part of the team do EVERYTHING for them, there was really no team. Every meal was laid out on the table, all of his clothes were blindingly white and crisp scrubbed on a wash board and you could literally eat off of the floor as she scrubbed it on her hands and knees. She went to church everyday and was literally the most selfless person I’ve ever met, if you can’t tell, she was my favorite person on earth.

Female Empowerment

How was I going to make all of her life’s work count? How can I make all of her sacrifices and all that she taught me to make my family better?

I remember a really good friend in high school would call me a “feminist” and I gladly accepted the label because of what I witnessed my grandmother go through as a wife, a mother, a grandmother. She loved to do all of these things for her family but I knew that I could build on that and make life better for my family by teaching my son that he can support his future wife and family to be the best that she can be at home and outside of the home. For my daughter, I wanted her to be a strong, confident and happy person by protecting her from, “she’s too loud for a girl” or that she needs to practice “good girl behavior” to make life easier for other people.

What’s Next?

After going to therapy and realizing that I do have a strong, smart, loving voice that longs to be heard, I began to wonder, “What do I do with this voice?”

To extrapolate past my family, I want to make all little girls and women all over the world know that they are just as capable as their male counterparts.

You will find me fighting for the underdog, the overlooked, and the unseen.

Rest assured that I will tell your daughters or your children hello before I tell you hello. 

Kathy Magri
Kathy is a Metairie native who lives in River Ridge with her husband, Mike, her children, Finn and Nina, and her 3 pups and a cat, Rex, Beau, Hans & Toula. She enjoys double dating with friends on Friday or Saturday nights and brunching with her girlfriends. A lover of all people (particularly babies and children), she is usually volunteering in various organizations and supporting her children in their extracurricular activities. You may catch her reading about World War II or listening to an assortment of music. An avid traveler, she can be found in her parents’ homeland, San Pedro, Belize, enjoying time with family, snorkeling, riding golf carts around town and eating the best food in the world.


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