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From Cuba with Love

From Cuba with Love: Sex and Money in the Twenty-First Century

Megan Daigle
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition: 1
Pages: 296
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  • Book Info
    From Cuba with Love
    Book Description:

    From Cuba with Lovedeals with love, sexuality, and politics in contemporary Cuba. In this beautiful narrative, Megan Daigle explores the role of women in Cuban political culture by examining the rise of economies of sex, romance, and money since the early 1990s. Daigle draws attention to the violence experienced by young women suspected of involvement with foreigners at the hands of a moralistic state, an opportunistic police force, and even their own families and partners.Investigating the lived realities of the Cuban women (and some men) who date tourists and offering a unique perspective on the surrounding debates,From Cuba with Loveraises issues about women's bodies-what they can or should do and, equally, what can be done to them. Daigle's provocative perspective will make readers question how race and politics in Cuba are tied to women and sex, and the ways in which political power acts directly on the bodies of individuals through law, policing, institutional programs, and social norms.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95883-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiii)
  5. MAP
    (pp. xiv-xiv)
  6. Introduction: OCHÚN AND YEMAYÁ
    (pp. 1-24)

    There is a place in Centro Habana, just steps from the busy intersection of Infanta and San Lázaro, called el Callejón de Hamel. Acallejónis a small street or an alleyway, but that does not begin to evoke this place. Walking down Calle San Lázaro, there are no signs to guide the way, but the sounds of riotous drumming and singing can be heard for blocks. It grows louder as I turn onto Aramburú, but it is not until I pass under the cobbled gateway that stands over the entrance that the atmosphere truly explodes into life. There are...

  7. 1 From Mulata to Jinetera: PROSTITUTION AS IMAGE OF THOUGHT
    (pp. 25-68)

    I arrived in Cuba with a copy of a United Nations report tucked between the pages of a notebook. The report had been filed by Radhika Coomaraswamy, then the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, after her visit to Cuba in 2000, and I returned to it many times over the course of my time there. Its pages were filled with accounts of an almost Orwellian system of “behaviour modification”—arbitrary arrests, police brutality, and rehabilitation centers for prostitutes and other “at-risk” women where, the Special Rapporteur noted, they are kept “until the dangerousness disappears from the subject.”¹ Other...

    (pp. 69-107)

    The very idea of the jinetera in Cuba today is overlaid with knowledges about race, gender, class, and sexuality, about moral and social values, ethics, and lifestyles that date back centuries. While I set out to understand jineterismo as a sexual practice in the rapidly changing world of post-Soviet Cuba, it is impossible to come to grips with contemporary sexuality—the meanings attached, the expectations, the parts to be played—without engaging with the interlocking histories of colonial subjugation, slavery, and machismo, alongside a profoundly masculinist process of nation building through war and revolution. The way that young people pursue...

    (pp. 108-144)

    Ideas like prostitution and the jinetera are not static, with one set meaning over time; they are together reinforced and reproduced on a daily basis through practices of categorization and labeling. The jinetera as a figure and as a sexual identity is a fictive manifestation of raced and gendered structures of prejudice. Among those women who are deemed to be jineteras, by themselves or by others, there seems to be little in the way of demonstrable similarities, whether in terms of race, employment, parenthood, childhood experiences, or even ideological grounding. That said, however, the jinetera is very real in the...

    (pp. 145-180)

    In the centralized Cuban system, state-centric ideas about prostitution and sexuality circulate not just at the level of the streets, where jineteras, tourists, chulos, and police officers interact, but also at the very top. They find expression—perhaps in ways and to ends not previously anticipated—in the hands of the ubiquitous police force, which interprets, applies, and circumvents state dictates according to a mixture of organizational and individual will. The ideas and governmental policies that underwrite these daily practices, however, originate in places far removed from the Malecón. Indeed, while the discourse of prostitution is a global phenomenon, this...

    (pp. 181-219)

    Cuba’s sexual-affective economy has implications that go beyond stereo-types and categories, police practices, corruption, or the jurisdictions of any one state institution—beyond the state and the Revolution it represents. The emergence of the jinetera (and, to an extent, the jinetero) in Cuba in the past twenty years signifies a much broader dynamic of negotiation and subject formation. Jineterismo can be read not only as a nebulous category of people, as I argued earlier, but also as a practice of resistance to a pastoral power that has become suffocating. In turning away from the values and ideals set out by...

  12. Conclusion: ON THE MALECÓN
    (pp. 220-234)

    The Malecón on a weekday afternoon is a quiet place, for the most part. On windy days, sea waves sometimes crash up and over the concrete embankment, drawing tourists to take pictures of the spectacular spray and children to play in it. I usually come to the spot where Calle 23 meets the seafront, but the Malecón itself is a long esplanade comprising the road and a seaside walkway that stretches from the mouth of the harbor in Habana Vieja, the old city, to the mouth of the Río Almendares—nearly ten kilometers. It was built in three phases, beginning...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 235-254)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 255-272)
  15. Index
    (pp. 273-276)