Bar Wars: Changing Geographies of Gender in Spain

David Gilmore

Abstract


In Andalusia, as in many parts of the Mediterranean World, power and privilege are closely bound up with rules governing the use of public space, especially in rural villages. The public arena is where villagers meet and greet do deals, usually in neighborhood coffee houses and taverns, open forums where most business is conducted face-to-face over a glass of sherry. Traditionally in Andalusia adult men are said to be de la calle (“outside” or “in the street”), and women are supposed to be de la casa “(private, sequestered, inside the house). “In the street” means lingering in a bar or tavern or other public locale, sometimes being literally in the streets, plazas  and alleys of the village where men, seated in chairs, bring a drink from a nearby bar and sit for hours taking the evening breeze and chatting.  In contrast, traditionally, Andalusian women never loitered and never entered bars unless unaccompanied by a male escort: this has only changed recently--for reasons to be addressed here.

Keywords


machismo, drinking, modernization, Spain, segregation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4471/mcs.2012.07

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