For this week’s readings I read the chapter by Michael Donoghue, which explores masculinity in Panamanian culture. The first thing in the reading that jumped out at me was how important the success of an individual athlete (in this case Roberto Duran) was to national morale in Panama. On page 17, the author writes, “For many Panamanians the fight still sears in their collective consciousness as one of the blackest days in the republic’s history.” I don’t know if this is hyperbole, but if it isn’t, it’s surprising to me that the outcome of a sporting event is that important to a nation. That’s something we don’t see to that degree in the US. We get short-lived moments of national pride when somebody like Michael Phelps or Simone Biles dominates at the Olympics, but really the only sporting event that comes close to Duran’s loss in the American consciousness is the Miracle on Ice. The American side of the comparison isn’t terribly surprising to me since we tend to care more about our teams at the league level, but it is interesting to see how the dynamic works in different cultures. The next thing that jumped out to me was the discussion about how many athletes are putting on an act when doing things that feed into and reinforce stereotypes. On page 20, Donoghue writes, “In sports, Spartan and self-sacrificing behaviors that one is expected to display on the playing field or in the ‘squared circle’ of boxing are often quite different from those that athletes practice at home or ‘off stage.’” It’s interesting to me that some athletes are playing a character and willingly feeding into stereotypes, especially when that can cause backlash for teammates that may be softer spoken and don’t fulfill those stereotypes. The last thing that was interesting to me was how gender stereotypes played into the image of Panama as a whole. On page 24, Donoghue writes, “Tellingly in these cases and in much of the anticolonial discourse provided by upper-class Panamanian historians, the republic assumed a feminine guise, the innocent and naive victim of a depraved US masculinity.” I thought it was interesting that there seems to be a division in how Panama’s colonial history is viewed based on which social class somebody comes from, and I also thought it was interesting that gender stereotypes were brought into it. Instead of just being critical of the leaders at the time, many of these historians also used the relationship between the regime and the US to reinforce gender stereotypes and disparage women as weak and submissive.