I like It like That

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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 167th 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. 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.

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