Sexual Politics in Cuba: Machismo, Homosexuality, and AIDS

Sexual Politics in Cuba: Machismo, Homosexuality, and AIDS

Sexual Politics in Cuba: Machismo, Homosexuality, and AIDS

Sexual Politics in Cuba: Machismo, Homosexuality, and AIDS

Synopsis

"Cuba is the only country in the world that quarantines people who test positive for the HIV virus. In this book, Marvin Leiner analyzes the practice of quarantine in the context of the Cuban Revolution, which has otherwise brought significant advances in social programs, such as free universal education and comprehensive health care for all. He also focuses on efforts by Cuban educators to introduce sex education in the schools and to change sexist and homophobic attitudes, discussing their successes and failures with candor and examining the explicit and implicit linkages between machismo and homophobia. Drawing on interviews, diaries, and techniques of participant observation, Dr. Leiner shows how the HIV sanitorium and earlier oppressive treatment of gays and lesbians serve as a barometer for contemporary Cuban society. Despite the impressive achievements of the Revolution, Cuba remains a society lacking political rights, in particular the right to dissent." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Sex education as we conceive of it in the broad sense of the term, should be oriented toward preparing new generations for the purpose of developing stable, enduring and happy partnerships; thus we educate our children in the principles of our socialist society.

There is no other sphere of human life where prejudice, taboo, ignorance, the bourgeois double standard and other left-overs of class society persist with such strength and have grown such deep roots.

--Monika Krause Peters

Women's participation in the Revolution is a revolution within a revolution. And if we are asked what is the most revolutionary thing that the revolution is doing, we would answer that it is precisely this: the revolution that is occurring among the women of our country.

--Fidel Castro

In the Cuba of the mid-1970s, there were those in the new generation of education activists who were calling for something very new and very radical--sex education. Resistance was enormous, and the fact that the effort has gotten as far as it has is a great testament to the perseverance of a few key people. It should not come as a surprise that the sex education program sprang from the women's organization, the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), which itself is representative of the changing situation of women in Cuban society since 1959. An outline of the changes is relevant for the process of sex education.

Out of the House and into the Workforce

Dramatic changes for women came about as a result of the government's program to encourage women to enter the paid workforce, including new and broader opportunities for women to get the kind of education . . .

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