How was Popo's marriage in Miguel Street?

Popo's marriage to Emelda reverses traditional gender roles. Emelda is strong and forceful, but Popo is perceived by the Miguel Street community to be weak and effeminate. It is only when Emelda leaves Popo and he becomes an angry, irresponsible drunk that the community gains respect for him.

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According to Miguel Street 's warped value system, women are expected to be weak and submissive, while their menfolk drink and engage in petty criminal activities. Popo and Emelda's marriage challenges these gender norms. Whereas Emelda is driven and hardworking, Popo the carpenter spends most of his time messing around...

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According to Miguel Street's warped value system, women are expected to be weak and submissive, while their menfolk drink and engage in petty criminal activities. Popo and Emelda's marriage challenges these gender norms. Whereas Emelda is driven and hardworking, Popo the carpenter spends most of his time messing around with jobs that somehow never seem to get finished. In the eyes of his male neighbors this makes him a suspect character, a "man-woman" as they contemptuously call him. Popo's gentle, laidback nature, which allows Emelda to dominate him, also makes him a prime target of the community's contempt and derision.

It is only after Emelda leaves him, and he becomes an angry, irresponsible drunk, that Popo finally gains the respect of his community. This is because he's displaying the kind of macho behavior that men in this part of the world are expected to show.

The prevailing attitude is that men shouldn't be controlled by their wives, as Popo was to a considerable extent by Emelda. Popo's male neighbors, with their macho, misogynistic worldview, thought this was an unacceptable situation. This is why they called him a "man-woman" with the implication being that he wasn't a real man as they would understand the term.

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