The Football and Society Podcast

Deconstructing '¡puto!’: What football terrace chants tell us about the state of Mexican manhood

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Episode notes

This week, we’re looking at the political and economic issues concerning a controversial chant used by Mexican football fans. 

During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Mexican Soccer Federation was fined $10,000 after fans of the national team used the term ‘¡puto!’ to address opposition players in their opening game. The term is widely considered to have homophobic connotations, but a recent study by today's guests - Marie Sarita Gaytán and Matthew Basso - argues that ‘puto’ has layered meanings, which are evident in its employment by Mexican football fans.

Sarita and Matthew argue that a more nuanced analysis is required when discussing this controversial chant. While they recognise that ‘The macho remains a recognizable trope of Mexican manhood’, representing virility and domination over women and homosexuals, the ‘hegemonic image and stereotypical associations… do not necessarily align with men’s sense of identity’, especially Mexican working-class men who are negotiating ‘their sense of masculinity via a range of life experiences’.

  • How is machismo evolving?
  • Are soccer's governing bodies sitting on their hands when it comes to addressing hate speech? 
  • To what extent has Argentinian football culture influenced Mexican soccer culture?

...all this and more in our latest episode


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