In the 21st century, after several historical events that have vindicated the figure of women in society, sexist behaviors are evident and are clearly questioned by those who believe in equal rights between men and women. However, even today, it seems that machismo has left its mark on our education and there are certain internalized attitudes that subtly expose the belief in the dominance of men over women . It is there when we talk about micromachismo . In this way, no space in daily life is exempt from machismo. It is a behavior so well installed in our culture that it is transmitted over and over again unconsciously. Women are confronted every day with insinuations and discriminatory attitudes that, although they are generally unnoticed, but constitute a form of gender violence .

What is micromachismo?

Micromachismo is a subtle and considered socially harmless practice of gender violence . It is a series of attitudes and behaviors that are already part of daily life and are thus considered normal even when, in a disguised way, they marginalize women and reinforce men’s dominance over them .

  • Origin of micromachismo
  • Types of micromachismo
  • Examples

Origin of micromachismo

The term micromachismo is coined by Luis Bonino , an Argentine psychotherapist with a long history, who has specialized in social problems of gender and has dedicated himself to promoting equality between men and women. The suffix “micro” is taken from Foucault to refer to something not very obvious , almost imperceptible.


Types of micromachismo

  • Utilitarian micromachismo: within this category certain control attitudes are designated that make women have an overload of work in domestic activities since men do not assume their responsibilities in the home and / or in caring for other people equally like children, sick or elderly people. The result is that women are forced to make a great physical and emotional effort that reduces their vitality. Instead, the man has more time for his personal and professional projects at the expense of his partner. This micromachismo is evidenced in phrases like “Do you want me to help you wash the dishes?” , when in reality it is not a help, but a way of participating equally in household chores.
  • Covert or indirect micromachismo : this type of micromachismo refers to those actions by the man that intentionally or not, suppress the spaces of intimacy with the woman in order to dominate the relationship . The man acts in a distant and contradictory way, he shows himself as a busy person, thus imposing what the rules of the relationship are. The woman, confused, with feelings of guilt and low self-esteem, gives in to her wishes.
  • Crisis micromachismo : this category of micromachismo refers to those situations in which the woman experiences changes that increase her personal power or in which the man loses his power in the workplace or on the physical plane . Man uses certain control strategies in order to regain his power and reestablish the pre-established order.
  • Coercive or direct micromachismo : this type of micromachismo seeks to make women believe that their reasons are not valid through physical force , interpersonal strategies or economic power . The man’s goal in this case is for the woman to feel defeated and lose confidence in herself and in her own decisions. The man can, for example, exercise control over money or insist to impose spaces of intimacy.


  • In everyday life: an example of micromachismo can be seen in the launch of some onesies for babies that El Corte Inglés Hipercor made in 2014 . The men’s t-shirts read ” Smart like daddy” while the female ones showed the message “Pretty like mommy . ” As a result, the supermarket chain received numerous criticisms, for which they decided to withdraw the merchandise.
  • At work: an example of micro-sex in the workplace many takes place during some job interviews . It is common to see that women are asked if they have children or if they are single or married when this is not related to their professional skills. Likewise, sometimes there is the case of bosses or work colleagues who invade the personal space of the women with whom they work, touching them or getting too close to them .
  • In language: when in school, grammar rules are explained from the masculine or when the use of the personal pronoun “they” is privileged to refer to a group of people in which there are more women than men , we are faced with an example of micromachismo.

Leave a Comment