Dr. Joshua D. Martin publishes a book chapter in the volume, Nasty Women and Bad Hombres: Gender and Race in the 2016 US Presidential Election
Dr. Joshua D. Martin has published a book chapter in the edited volume, Nasty Women and Bad Hombres: Gender and Race in the 2016 US Presidential Election, edited by Dr. Christine Kray, Dr. Tamar W. Carroll, and Dr. Hinda Mandell, all of the University of Rochester.
Titled “The Border, Bad Hombres, and the Billionaire: Hypermasculinity and Anti-Mexican Stereotypes in Trump’s 2016 Presidential Campaign,” Martin ex
Martin elaborates …
“Mr. Trump provokes impassioned responses, both negative and positive, across the political spectrum. Language and power are always tightly connected, so it’s important to analyze what language does: what it gets right and wrong, what it authorizes or forbids, what it states and what it omits, etc. We also have to keep in mind what historical precursors inform our knowledge base.
The US-Mexico border emerged early on as an important symbol for his campaign. In his speeches, Trump pitted an Anglo body politic against a criminally invasive brown specter, contrasting the civic duty and law-and-order respectability of the former against the supposed criminality and sexual predation of the latter. In this framework, the alleged porosity of the United States’ southern border with Mexico rendered the United States a vulnerable and feminine entity in light of the “bad hombres,” to use his own phrase, who were configured as invasive and penetrative (that is, masculine) forces. Often, Trump’s language created a moral blueprint of defensive action that found its footing in hyper-masculine excess. Overdue brawn, exceptional resilience, and unfettered strength were presented as solutions to combat perceived social ills coming from Mexico or beyond,
and the aggressors were always configured as men. Mr. Trump’s tactics here were effective in garnering support, and similar representations of Mexican immigrants, however inaccurate, have played out throughout our history.
As if often the case with political speech, the bigger picture is much more complicated. Immigrants, Mexican or otherwise, are significantly less likely to commit crimes than their citizen counterparts, as data over the last few decades has affirmed time and again. Also, many immigrants’ journeys to the United States are compulsory, given current labor demands in our neoliberal economy. Often, too, we’re not conscious of how US agribusinesses and trade pacts have damaged Mexican farms and communities, all while further integrating our economies. In the 2016 campaign, Anglo hyper-masculinity operated as a safety valve to combat real or imagined social threats, and it’s a phenomenon that we see play out today in several respects since gender informs how we view ourselves, others, and our roles as citizens.”
The volume is published by University of Rochester Press.