Lisbon, 20 Jun 2020 (Lusa) – Historian Joacine Katar Moreira argues that the “matchundadi culture”, which is the exacerbation of masculinity, dominates Guinea-Bissau society, politics and institutions and is not a model of democracy , defends in his thesis on Guinea.
In her doctoral thesis, published last week and called “The culture of matchundadi in Guinea-Bissau: gender, violence and political instability”, the historian, born in that West African country, tries to explain the way in which hegemonic masculinity prevents normal functioning of the State.
In an interview with Lusa, Joacine Katar Moreira mentioned that in Guinea-Bissau the “culture of matchundadi” is a way of “looking at the universe of social and political relations” where “absolutely the values related to men, with men and masculinity ”.
"These values are those that are related to the understanding of men as a hierarchical element compared to women, as an element that has a natural appetite to occupy and lead institutionally", including in the family, religion, politics and economics, he said.
To affirm, according to the historian's thesis, the “culture of the matchundadi” uses “violence in its various dimensions”, “centralization of power as a way of leadership and governance”, “political mimicry”, and “impunity , which consists of the total subversion of the justice system and which guarantees the supremacy of certain groups or individuals over others ”.
The “matchundadi culture” is also related to permanent competition, which is taken to the exercise of power and to State institutions, where political opponents are seen as enemies, “as a target to be slaughtered”, explained the deputy. .
"The excessive environment of permanent competition causes individuals to enter into a logic of absolute violence, the necessary violence based on hegemonic masculinities, which will result in him taking power," he said.
But, added the historian, after the seizure of power, the man "needs to increase the level of violence and intimidation, because there will be a series of 'matchus' that will be architecting and organizing to take away his power".
Since the beginning of the multiparty system and until today, "it is not ironic that no executive has completed four years in office," he said.
"And the only President of the Republic under a multiparty regime who recently ended his term was ignoring all civil society, asserting himself, even going against democratic institutions and democratic results to impose his perspective and political agenda", he stressed , referring to José Mário Vaz, who ended his mandate earlier this year.
Joacine Katar Moreira explained that the “matchundadi culture” is also characterized by the capacity and responsibility for resource redistribution.
The more influence and power an individual has, the more capacity he has to redistribute resources, but to maintain that power and influence he needs to distribute them.
“This is one of the elements that is a successive obstacle to the country's development. In which individuals, instead of serving the state, use the state, ”he said.
“What I normally say, there is not necessarily, as many experts say, a struggle for power in Guinea-Bissau, what there is is a struggle for access to resources. If it were a political struggle it would need to be an ideological struggle and it is not, ”he added.
The Portuguese historian and deputy points out that it is the “culture of matchundadi” that unifies military conflicts, narco-state, ethnic issues and everything that is related to access to resources.
“At a certain time, what is at stake are the resources that are being generated by drug trafficking, but it is the resource, access to the resource, control of the resource, from time to time it is even ethnic and religious disputes, but as an instrument of 'access to' and never as a fundamental element, ”he said.
For the historian, as long as there is no reference model that also works, the maintenance and exercise of power will be the one.
"It is a model that is not one of democracy, multi-party, or single party," he said.