Gender Roles: In Spain, It´s the Dick!


Cantabria, Spain: Photo by Maria Jenell Nicholas


I’m convinced that the 21st century is, so far, the hardest era to live in harmony with a romantic partner… least talking about heterosexual relationships because that’s all I know.

For thousands of years, the roles in a relationship were perfectly defined for us. Women knew what was expected of them and fulfilled their female obligations. They had sex with their husbands when the husbands said (any guy who still operates like this today, not going to sugarcoat it, you have a serious problem and your only relationship should be with your hand), stayed at home to cook, clean, and take care of the children.

The men went hunting/went to work, and whatever else they wanted to do outside of the house, and were served and obeyed by the woman when they returned home.

And that was pretty much how it went for hundreds of centuries.

And now we’re here. 2018.

This article isn’t a feminist rant and I’m not a hardcore feminist. I like to wear makeup, dress up, and I appreciate it when a man opens the door for me. But my purpose on earth is more than to just serve the man.

And I’m using “men” and “women” to talk about all for simplicity, but many of these references are really “boys” (and “girls.”)

The first feminist movement in the United States was 170 years ago. Yet, we still have a current “leader” who is infamous for using less-than-inappropriate language about women.

All over the world, machismo still heavily exists. This is defined as “strong, aggressive, and exaggerated male pride.” 

I live in Spain. And like most expats, we love living here for many reasons. And it´s a progressive country in a few ways, like being the third country in the world to legalize gay marriage (10 years before the US).

Although I’m proud of Spain for that fact, machismo still dominates the country.

Many Spanish men don’t believe that they have any domestic responsibility. They expect a traditional Spanish mom who does everything around the house, including picking up after them. And most of these women have professions, by the way.  Spanish moms, and other moms out there who are like this, you are doing a MAJOR DISSERVICE to your sons and setting them up for failure in their future relationships. Modern women expect teamwork.


Many Spanish men still act like their time and professions are more important and valuable than the women’s.

Many Spanish men would never think to change their baby’s diaper or give them a bottle, let alone, take care of them for an afternoon while the woman goes out. Many of my friends here have babies, and the women who have husbands who do help take care of the kids either get praised like a God, or harassed and called a “pussy” by their male friends, who insist that taking care of the baby is the woman’s job.


Newsflash men: modern parenting is a shared responsibility. If you don’t like it, please don’t have kids. Go to Costco and stock up on condoms. Make sure you never ever run out. Please.

A younger-generation man told me that he didn’t express his feelings to his girlfriend because HE WAS A MAN. And then compared himself to James Bond………..a fictional character.

This same generation of Spanish men use phrases like, “Es la polla!” (It’s the dick!) when describing something “amazing.”

And “coño” (cunt or pussy) to describe something negative, bad, and/or disgusting.

And these aren´t the only sexist profanities, but I´ll end here.

Guys, if you use these expressions, I’m not accusing you of being machista necessarily, but consider this a friendly tap on the shoulder, asking you to keep the meaning of this verbiage in mind before blurting it out again.

Bottom line: this is thousands of years of history, with certain beliefs resulting in this kind of language about women. And not just in Spain of course, but all over the world.

So men all over the world, here’s the thing. It’s the 21st century. Women are educated, have brilliant ideas, are independent, are driven, earn money, and we’re no less of a human being than you are.

It would be better for everyone to cut the dick talk, if your dicks don´t want to be alone.

I know humanity has come far in women’s rights and redefining gender roles. I know that not every man out there is oozing with machismo. I know there are many men out there who have evolved (Justin Baldoni, here’s happily looking at you!)

But we still have a long way to go.

If women’s roles are ever going to change, the MEN have to change.


You need to redefine what a “man” is and normalize these conversations with other men.

Humanity cannot advance without you.

What if we all just focused on being a good human being and helping each other out, rather than what is his or her role?

Imagine what that could do for our harmony.