"El Proceso" of Argentine Imprisonment: An Historical Perspective regarding Marianismo Representation in Manuel Puig’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman”

By Brian Michael Padgett.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The universal trend of feminizing male inmates — arguably the ultimate punishment — emerges upon examining male penal narratives within the governmental prison reform and legislative activity subsequent to their publications. Manuel Puig’s sexually subversive text “Kiss of the Spider Woman” blends the worlds of Argentine gender dynamics and inmate experiences under the tyrannical El Proceso regime, which dominated the country from 1976 to 1983. Puig utilizes the motif of the marianismo figure, a concept highly prevalent in Latin American gender exchanges, to illustrate the feminization of the male inmate under the dictatorial administration. President Carlos Menem’s mass exoneration of junta leaders by 1990 demonstrates the emphasized femininity expected of the victims under the administration of El Proceso, actualizing Puig’s literary contention.

Keywords: Connell, Gender, Hegemonic Masculinity, Latin America, Literature, Marianismo, Prison, Theory

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 467.565KB).

Brian Michael Padgett

Writer, West Hollywood, CA, USA

Brian Michael Padgett returned to Los Angeles after completing his Master of Arts degree in English literature at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. His Master's thesis focused on male inmate masculinities and literary activism. A former editor at the largest LGBTQ publication in southern California, he continues to contribute editorial content to various media outlets. Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, he earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.