She begins the essay by relating the story of how an Irishman serenaded her on a bus with a Spanish song because of her Puerto Rican appearance. Cofer then comments on the double-edged nature of the stereotypes her appearance elicits. “This is sometimes a very good thing—it may win you that extra minute of someone’s attention. But with some people, the same things can make you an island—not so much a tropical paradise as an Alcatraz, a place nobody wants to visit” (547). In this simile, Cofer compares the isolation that someone feels when others stereotype him/her to the confinement of the prison island of Alcatraz. Moreover, she reveals that stereotypes mark people as undesirable and separate them from the rest of society, thus impeding their assimilation. Cofer uses another simile when she details her experience with an American boy at her first formal dance: “ … [He] said in a resentful tone: ‘I thought you Latin girls were supposed to mature early’—my first instance of being thought of as a fruit or vegetable—I was supposed to ripen, not just grow into womanhood like other girls” (549). In this simile, Cofer shows how those who stereotype Latino women compare them to fruits and vegetables because both are supposed to mature rapidly. However, she denounces this comparison by emphasizing that it dehumanizes Latino women and reduces them to the status of mere plants while creating a
In the 1960s, the Chicano movement started to gain momentum. Chicanos began banding together to protect others while discovering their own self-identity. One source says that, a newfound gratitude for Chicano culture was detected. It goes on to state that, a “cultural rebirth was proclaimed” which had been provoked by “rediscovery” and an acknowledgement of their collective indigenous roots. The author adds that, it was a chance to uncover “a positive self-definition” (Rodriguez, "Building Aztlan: Chicano Movement Springs Back to Life"). Furthermore, in the 1960s, nothing could slow down the Chicano movement once it had sparked. So much so, that Rodriguez claims that it “led to colleges and universities becoming targets of protest” and the
The immigrants entering the United States throughout its history have always had a profound effect on American culture. However, the identity of immigrant groups has been fundamentally challenged and shaped as they attempt to integrate into U.S. society. The influx of Mexicans into the United States has become a controversial political issue that necessitates a comprehensive understanding of their cultural themes and sense of identity. The film Mi Familia (or My Family) covers the journey and experiences of one Mexican-American (or “Chicano”) family from Mexico as they start a new life in the United States. Throughout the course of the film, the same essential conflicts and themes that epitomize Chicano identity in other works of literature
“The common denominator all Latinos have is that we want some respect. That 's what we 're all fighting for” - Cristina Saralegui. Judith Ortiz Cofer published the article, “The Myth of the Latin Woman,” where she expresses her anger towards stereotypes, inequality, and degradation of Latin Americans. Cofer explains the origins of these perceived views and proceeds to empower Latin American women to champion over them. Cofer establishes her credibility as a Latin American woman with personal anecdotes that emphasize her frustration of the unfair depiction of Latinos in society. Cofer addresses the cultural barriers and challenges that Latinos experience through emotional appeal, anecdotal imagery, parallelism and the use of effective periodic sentences.
Three months ago, when I first identified myself as a critical thinker, it was one of the first times I have consciously considered my privileges and oppressions as they pertained to my identity as an able bodied, straight, middle class, light skinned, cisgendered, Mexican American woman. I briefly mentioned that although I am often mistaken as all white, I am actually also Mexican, and it was not until college that I became more interested to learn about this disclosed side of my family and their culture. My dad was also my mom’s step¬¬¬brother, and although he passed away over three years ago, his side of the family is still very much connected with my mom’s side because my grandma, and his father, remain married to this day. Because of this,
Situated near the U.S.-Mexico border during the early twentieth century is the fictional setting of Fort Jones, the outskirts of which is where Americo Paredes’ short story “Macaria’s Daughter” takes place. Emblematic of the disappropriation of Mexican land, as well as the increased marginalization of the Mexican people, the overbearing presence of Fort Jones reveals the struggle for preservation that characterizes the Mexican-American community of the story. “Macaria’s Daughter” is the tragic account of what happens in a small community when the upholding of Mexican values and institutions, and opposition to Anglo-American culture, become more important than a young woman’s life. In this essay, I will argue that “Macaria’s Daughter” is a text
In Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz Mujerista Discourse: A platform for Latinas’ Subjugated Knowledge, she talks about the term “Lo Cotidiano” which translates to “the everyday” (Isasi-Diaz pg. 46), and she explains how this term is more complex than the actual meaning. She also explains that ‘lo cotidiano’ and the way every person lives their ‘cotidiano’ connects with the main idea of Mujerista Discoourse. In her writing, she discusses some personal experiences which bring a better understanding to the true meaning of lo ‘cotidiano’.
Everyday people are judging and being judged by others with unique criteria that we, as inhabitants of Earth deem necessary checkmarks to be met to afford and be afforded tokens of civility. In Judith Ortiz Cofer’s “The Myth of the Latin Woman” the memoir is brimming with personal accounts of fetishiztation and discrimination the author experiences as a Latin woman that have vast influence on her life. Throughout the text Cofer conveys the significance of how deep the status “exotic” to describe Latina women is held inside the minds of people which the author alludes to on page 879, “I thought you Latin girls were supposed to mature early,”  after being given a sudden, non-consensual kiss at a dance by her date. The author expresses the cultural dissonance between
Gloria Anzaldúa’s “La Prieta” tell her struggles with identity by talking about prejudices she dealt with while growing up. These prejudices, such as colorism, sexism, and heteronormativity, were not only held by people outside her social groups but within them as well. Anzaldúa goes on to explain the way identity is formed by intersecting factors and not only one aspect of someone’s life therefore denying one factor of identity can cause isolation and self-hatred.
Selena Quintanilla’s father once said, “We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans.” In today’s society, many have encountered the challenge of not being able to be who they really are because they fear not being accepted by others, more specifically their culture. But, what happens when an individual is part of two worlds that have just as many rules? Gloria E. Anzaldúa was a Mexican-American writer and poet who made a major contribution to the fields of cultural, feminist, and queer theory. Anzaldúa identifies as a Chicana and speaks different variations of Spanish, some of which she exhibits in her works. In her short story “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”, she centers on the struggles of self-identity that
In her novel Borderlands, Gloria Anzaldua explores the nuances and complications that come with being a member of the Mexican-American community. Her physical home is the border between Mexico and the United States, but she acknowledges that the “psychological borderlands, the sexual borderlands and the spiritual borderlands are not particular to the Southwest” (Anzaldua 19). “In fact,” she continues, “the Borderlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each other…”(Anzaldua 19). Such is the focus of her text, the often uncomfortable meeting space between mainstream white culture in the United States and the indigenous culture of Mexico. The clashing of these two civilizations is personified in the mestizas, people born of both the United States and Mexico, of which Anzaldua is one. The novel presents readers with the often unheard side of a well-known story: the mestiza’s point of view on the issue of the U.S./Mexico border, as well as their struggle to form an identity when they partially belong to
This story in its universality usually negates the women’s experience, Pérez argues that through the deconstruction of the historiography at play, history can be posed through a feminist lense, which includes rather than negates the perspectives, views, and adversities of women throughout history. Within her argument she also poses several sub arguments aimed at forcing the reader to think outside of the basic lines that surround Chicano/a history. She argues that the use of binaries can no longer be used as modes to determine whether or not someone is a friend or an enemy. She also argues that society has yet to reach a post colonial era based on the simple fact that in order to become a post colonial society, there was be a decolonization of the object, in this case women, to become the decolonial subject. This Pérez states will finally allow society to enter
In this essay I am going to examine and discuss the work of one of Mexico’s most important literary figures, Rosario Castellanos, with particular emphasis on her feministic beliefs and the ways in which she used her writing to catapult her views into the forefront of society. Her writing reflects bitterness regarding the desires and misfortunes of the female population of her nation. Castellanos used poetry, novels and plays as a platform to voice the many inequalities that she deemed prevalent in society at that time. She committed to writing as a mechanism for social change.
From the start, it is clear that T.C. Boyle’s Tortilla Curtain aims to shed a light on the topic of Mexican immigrants in the United States. However, by having both a Mexican and an American woman share similar violent experiences with men, Boyle also places an emphasis on the less pronounced theme of sexual violence and discrimination against women, even in polar opposite realities.