One of the highlights of Sense 8 is its ability to capture the complexities of many different cultures. In particular is focus on the toxic masculinity of machismo culture. Machismo culture is a way of behaving that coincides with the traditional ideas about men being very strong, aggressive and emotionless. This is a part of many cultures but strongly evident in the show by Lito’s story. Lito is a gay mexican actor who has been hiding in the closet his entire career. The Machismo culture very evident in Latin American and South American Countries has forced him to play the role of a straight man in his everyday life.
Lito’s character believes that his entire career will be destroyed if anyone ever finds out his secret. This is evident in the scene where Dani’s ex-lover breaks into Lito’s apartment, steals Dani’s phone, and attempts to blackmail Lito with pornographic photos of Lito and Hernando (Lito’s Boyfriend). In an attempt to right her wrongs, Dani goes to her ex-lover and arranges to marry him in order to save Lito’s career. Lito lets his friend return into an abusive relationship so as to save his career. The Mexican machismo culture has forced Lito to make arguably toxic decisions.
Furthermore, Dani’s ex-lover, Joaquin, is a more traditional example of machismo culture. He admittedly tries to become the overly aggressive and controlling man his father was. Demonstrating how the culture passes down this toxic masculinity through generations. Joaquin even tried to rationalize his use of physical abuse towards Dani by saying ‘this is Mexico’ as if the normalization of domestic abuse makes it morally okay.
Toxic masculinity is evident everywhere in this show and is even plot driving.
Lito’s decision to let Dani exile herself for his career was a driving factor for Hernando to break up with Lito. This leaves the question…Will Lito come out?? And IF so what are the effects???