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Revolution Within the RevolutionWomen and Gender Politics in Cuba, 1952-1962$
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Michelle Chase

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625003

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625003.001.0001

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The Domestication of Violence, 1955–1958

The Domestication of Violence, 1955–1958

Chapter:
(p.44) 2 The Domestication of Violence, 1955–1958
Source:
Revolution Within the Revolution
Author(s):

Michelle Chase

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625003.003.0003

This chapter examines the construction of revolutionary masculinity that accompanied the formation of the rebel army and the armed urban underground (el llano). It first recovers the many unexpected ways young men in the anti-Batista resistance expressed revolutionary masculinity, including references to male honor and martyrdom, fatherhood and Catholicism, proper sexuality, and middle-class identity. The chapter argues that the self-constructed image of the guerrillas and urban men of action as honorable, disciplined, and morally righteous young men helped “domesticate” political violence and make it more palatable for the Cuban public. Finally, the chapter charts the rise of the romantic icon of the guerrilla fighter or barbudo, a trope that soon eclipsed the many other actors of the anti-Batista struggle who have not been enshrined in either official history or popular memory.

Keywords:   revolutionary masculinity, martyrdom, sexuality, morality, urban underground, guerrilla, barbudo, middle-class identity, el llano, memory

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