Machismo appears to be becoming somewhat a thing of the past, particularly in San Juan , where mainland American influence is heaviest. The days of men verbally harassing or flashing young women is no longer a common occurrence, although vestiges of it remain around some wilderness beaches where perpetrators are far from the policía’s eyes. Nevertheless, it is interesting that cabron is a favored, mock-aggressive greeting among many men in Puerto Rico . Technically it means “goat,” but its idiomatic translation is a man who’s cuckolded by a cheating wife. There was a time when calling a man a cabron was a sure way to get a black eye, and used in the heat of an argument, it still is. But today it’s more commonly used as a term of affection between male friends.
Meanwhile, the flip side of machismo—Old World chivalry—is still very much alive and well in Puerto Rico, especially among older men who appear to take pride in their gestures of kindness toward women.