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As a female traveller you should not challenge the masculinity of Mexican men. I read this sentence in my guidebook underneath the headline Machismo when I first arrived in Mexico. Ever since, I have repeatedly been asked weather or not I am cycling on my own and the reaction I receive is either surprised, sympathetic or seductive. A solo woman is through macho-eyes viewed as an easy one. So when I am easily pedalling by with my white legs in spandex, I get looks that I would rather be without. It is the same type of looks that screen pornography of western women at the internet cafés or the same type of looks that find their way into the strip clubs, which always seem to have a picture of a white woman overhanging the entrance.

When I am passing male road workers they usually stand there staring, after a while they might give me a wave or a whistle. Those catcalling whistles are taken to a systemized level by some drivers who have installed this annoying sound to their car horn so they simply can press a button as they see a woman on the road. The worst driver that I met on the Mexican roads drove a motorbike, he stopped in front of me with a grin on his face while masturbating.

Luckily enough, all the Mexican men do not fit into the machismo-category of my guidebook and I have mainly met good ones. And as I am leaving the country, it is above all the respectful and beautiful Mexicans that I will remember. 

I am now cycling into Belize as I read another scentence of warning in my new guidebook, which says that local men can be very direct about making advances to women.




  1. George Monday, December 6, 2010, at 12:04 AM

    Hi Hanna
    I am biker too, and I read your comments about the Machos in Mexico, this is a social-cultural problem but this types people principaly are in a social-economic level, I am a normal person and I send you the apologizes about your bad experiencies in Mexico.
    Congratulations for you attitude and more to be a really travel-biker.

  2. hanna Monday, December 13, 2010, at 3:46 PM

    I hear you Jorge. The machismo is a socio-cultural phenomenon that takes different shapes in all societies, fortunatly we also have many men like you that can counteract this problem.

    I have so many wonderful memories from Mexico, which has been full of respect, encouragement, care and friendship. Hopefully you are enjoying the rides in your country as much as I have.

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