Life in a “Male City”
DOI link for Life in a “Male City”
Life in a “Male City” book
Nineteenth-century British and North American travelers who shared a Victorian Protestant culture, for the most part, found Havana to be a most inhospitable town. Female visitors and long-term residents from Europe and the United States faced by virtue of their sex an even harsher reception upon arrival in Havana, and they endured many particularly alienating experiences from which their male counterparts were spared. Havana, with the phallic Morro Castle as its gatekeeper, was characterized by nineteenth-century travelers as a “male city,” likened to the mythical “Rome of Romulus.” As one United States consul put it, his female compatriots would try walking once or twice but would eventually conform to the restrictions and “be quite miserable.” Some foreign women challenged other restrictions on female behavior. There were several women dentists with Anglo surnames who practiced their trade-profession in nineteenth-century Cuba.