I Like it Like That is a commentary on the struggles of a Latino family trying to survive in a Bronx community in New York City. It tells the story of Lisette Linares, a young black Latina who lives with her bicycle-messenger husband Chino and their three children Li’l C, Minnie, and Pee Wee in a perpetually cramped walkup on Findlay and 167 th in the Bronx. The story begins with a bleak existence for our main character Lisette. Although the streets of the inner city constantly boil with activity and her husband leaves her wanting for nothing in the bedroom she is stifled and bored.
Chino is the sole provider for the family and insists that his wife stay in her proper place at home with the children. The children are terrors and the oldest is experimenting with drug trafficking. Lisette feels helpless to change or rectify the situation. The struggles of this family are a direct response to the gender roles seen in Lisette and Chino. There are two questions in this film concerning gender roles, what is a man and what is a woman.
In the Latino community the definitions of man and woman are clearly defined. The man is the provider and leader of his family. The man works and makes sure that the family has enough of the material things they need. The man clearly defines the rules of the household including the way the woman and children should behave. The woman is responsible for the home and the children’s emotional needs. The woman organizes the household responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, budgeting where the money is absolutely necessary and making sure the house runs in the regulations laid out by the man.
The Biosocial Differences between Middle Aged Men and Women Middle adulthood is believed to be a period of transition and change. People experience changes physically, as the functioning of most systems slows down. People experience transition emotionally, trying to decide what to do with their lives. How they handle these changes is influenced by gender, genetic predisposition, their families and ...
This may include things like dinner on the table when he gets home from work or pleasing the man’s sexual desire on his time schedule. The woman is also responsible for the emotional well being of the children. It is the woman’s duty to make sure that her children are happy, healthy and not leading morally reprehensible lifestyles. The first question, what is a man, can be clearly seen in the character of Chino. Chino begins the film as a true “machismo.” He is arrogant, demanding and obsessive. He expects his wife to fulfill his very need.
Chino treats Lisette like she is a possession demanding she be subservient to him. He requires her to fulfill his sexual desires. He also requires her to respect him no matter what his behavior and take care of his family. He believes that a man should be the sole provider for his family and the dictator of his household.
He selfishly cares only about his greed to have expensive possessions. Chino desires to own a stereo and during a blackout he seizes the opportunity to steal one and is arrested leaving his family without a provider. While in jail he learns that his wife has taken a job and is efficiently providing for the family. The fact that he is enraged by the idea that his wife would work instead of pine away at home while he is in jail shows that he wholeheartedly believes in the Latino definition of a man. Chino believes that Lisette is not just working to provide for the family but that she is having an affair with her boss. He believes that her intentions cannot only be purely to provide for the family.
Why else would a woman work if not to be with the new love in her life. He does not even think that the job may be Lisette’s way of asserting herself and expanding her mind. Chino only sees the job as disrespecting him and his values. The second question, what is a woman, can be see in the progression of the character Lisette. Lisette begins the film as the Latino definition of a woman. She is subservient to her husband, takes care of the household and the children.
Do Women Really Work Harder Than Men? One of the standard feminist claims heard every March during International Womens Day and Womens History Month is that women do the work of the world. This argument was publicized by the United Nations during the 1970s (Women constitute one half of the worlds population [and] do two-thirds of the worlds work) and reinforced in 1995 with the release of its ...
As a direct result of Chino leaving the role of provider Lisette begins to break out of her shell. She is strongly independent and struggles to find a source of freedom and solitude, and a means away from home of reinforcing her sense of self-worth. These things she finds in her job. It is at this point in the film where we see Lisette changing the definition of what is a woman. She still is a loving mother who provides not only monetarily for her children but also emotionally. She finds a balance between having her own ambitions and drive and also enabling the dreams of her family.
Lisette’s character preserves all the caring qualities of the Latino definition of a woman while evolving the definition to include a more modern embodiment of the spirit of a woman. At the end of the film we as faced with new definitions of what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. In the last scene of the film we see that Chino has evolved into a more modern version of a Latino man. He accepts the new role his wife has assumed.
He has learned to share the responsibilities of having and providing for a family. He also has learned to respect and appreciate what Lisette does for the relationship. The new definition of a man is one that allows equality to rule is household. The new definition of a woman can also be seen in the end of the film. Lisette embodies it perfectly. She is a strong, independent woman who is treated with equality and respect by her husband and her children.
She also has learned to balance the needs of her family without ignoring the needs of her spirit.