In the podcast Latino Perspectives, Cherrie Moraga offers insight on the importance of women participating in social movements across history. She states that women are the only entities that have the courage to talk about intimacy within the area of social justice, a subject that is incredibly sensitive but important in this field. She also clarifies how underrepresented communities are guilty of marginalizing women and not letting them express their identities in a safe space. This specific part in the podcast connected to the poem Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway by Lorna Dee Cervantes where she speaks on how patriarchal ideologies influence Latina women to feel guilty and/or cause guilt onto other women for trying to distance themselves from their culture’s traditions. Sometimes I feel like Latina women (specifically women in my family) know that this lifestyle could be very detrimental to their bodies and minds, but cannot seem to break away from the cycle. Similar to the poem, women in my family tend to shame each other for staying in unhealthy relationships especially when the man is being abusive. Instead of helping in the healing process, they make it worse by making the others feel stupid and weak. Do you think that Latina women are given the choice to follow this cycle or are they influenced into it? Is breaking this cycle really as difficult as it seems? What consequences do Latina women fear?
In the article “Chicana/o Family Structure and Gender Personality” there is emphasis placed on the notion that “mothering occurs in a social context” and that mothers reproduce gender identities. As a child you learn what is feminine and what is masculine within the context of your family, particularly from your mother because she is believed to be responsible for the upbringing of children. In the article authors Segura and Pierce explain that while “mothers are directly responsible for teaching their daughters how to be Chicanas”, additionally mothers are teaching Chicano boys that they should identify themselves as “being not female”. At a very early age boys are taught that ideal man is “feo, fuerte y formal”. This bring to mind the image of recently deceased artist Juan Gabriel. In an op-ed piece titled “As a boy, I was taught to ridicule Juan Gabriel. As an adult I revered him” author Arellano speaks of his own experience with gender and group identity. Arellano remembers how growing up phrases like “Juanga” were meant to be derogatory and aimed towards boys who were “perceived to be being gay”. Although being gay is still highly controversial in our culture I would make note of that fact that men like Juan Gabriel who push the boundaries of what it means to be a man are helping spark change in society. With his recent death fans both male and female from across the globe are reaching out to pay respect to an amazing artist, setting aside homophobia. While many are still persecuted for their non-traditional gender identity, Juan Gabriel was openly gay and unapologetic. It is the constant push back on idealized and rigid gender identities that is helping create a more tolerable society.
After reading, Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway by Lorna Dee Cervantes I couldn’t help by relate things to my own personal life. Which then led me to wonder if this happens to other people as well. The poem is about three distinct generations beginning with the grandmother being described as”wise” and being the “Innocent Queen.” Then, it is followed by the daughter who is described as the “swift night, fearless warrior.” Ending with the granddaughter who doesn’t have specific word for herself but we know she has developed masculine traits. As the poem progresses we know there was a male figure who even though was physically there, his presence was useless. Like the author says, ” we were a woman family:”. The granddaughter as the third generation who doesn’t have a male figure in her life has adapted to doing what would traditionally be a “mans job.” The grandmother built her home once the husband left so she is her granddaughters role model. It is obvious these women had to take the male role as well through out their life’s, can they do both “gender roles” and still succeed finding their sexual identity? A “traditional Chicano family is usually accompanied by a mans machismo which naturally distributes everyone’s gender roles. However, what happens when that machismo is taken out of the equation?
I think this is rather interesting because my parents got divorced in my early teens so the head of the household was my mom and I was the oldest sibling so I right away started to take more work at home. I was fixing stuff, cleaning the yard, fixing things that broke down, and started working right away. I spit the bills with my mom and turned more strict on my baby brothers since my mom was way more softer on them. I grew up to be so independent that my brother now jokingly says I am man. Sometimes I get offended but I remind myself that I am not. He says I am way to strong and act to manly. Sometimes I am not even sure what he means by that. Is this something that happens in a home that is run by just woman?
In the poem Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway by Lorna Dee Cervantes highlights the way women are not given credit for the work they do. We live in a patriarchal society and are taught that women are to be submissive to the men. In one of the stanzas in her poem she talks about how she hears the way women get beat by their partner, and other women say it was her fault for getting beat. This made me feel so angry because we are taught to blame the women for what happened to her, and letting the man slide. In my opinion women should not be blamed for anything because it was not there fault for falling into a bad place. I also do believe that as a woman we should be acknowledged for the work we do because it takes us twice as much to get to the position we are then it does to a man. In the Chicano! PBS Documentary, Quest For A Homeland we are shown the hard work Chicanos did in order to claim their rights in the labor field. Women were also not being credited during that time and there were field workers. The work that Dolores Huerta did was not taken into consideration. This demonstrates how male dominance and patriarchy are highly institutionalized in our society. What are your thoughts in regards to this? Why is it so difficult to credit women for the work they do?
Hello class! As some of my other classmates have already posted, a theme that was seen in this week and last week’s readings/podcast has been family structure and also the mention of the role that women play in this family structure, and living in this patriarchal family unit. I was really inspired by the podcast perspectives especially the one titled Enduring Feminist Wisdom of Cherrie Moraga. She is a feminist of color which is important to me because I feel like I can relate to WOC more than i can with white feminist. Cherrie herself mentions the importance of WOC leaders in activism because these strategies need to come from people who are experiencing it. I was wondering if any of you felt the same way? and if so who are some of your favorite WOC feminist such as Cherrie Moraga? She also talks about the relationship between men and women in her household and how she wanted to be her brother because he was “free”. In my household it’s all women and my father so the women are in charge so i’ve never felt that before, but i know some of my chicana friends who have brothers have told me similar things about wishing to have the same freedom as their brothers. Was hoping to get more insight about this dynamic between how siblings are treated differently based on gender? Thinking about my own family and the way its more matriarchal made me connect with Beneath The Shadow Of The Freeway,because it mentions that they are a woman family. I learned in my women’s studies class about how a matriarchal society isn’t a feminist society because it oppresses men, what do you all think about that? do you think that a matriarchal society could be a feminist society?
When I began to read “Chicana/o Family Structure and Gender Personality: Chodorow, Familism, and Psychoanalytic Sociology Revisited” Denise A. Segura and Jennifer L. and “Next of Kin: the Family in Chicano/a Culture Politics” Richard Rodriguez, I learned that both talk about similar issues of family structure in a Chicana/o family. As I continue to get in more into the reading and listen to the different podcast on Family Issues, I began to think about the issues that surround Chicana/o family culture identity and begin to see how family identity culture structures can be constructed through political ideology. In Rodriguez reading, he mentions how in Mexican American families, are a “crucial symbol” in larger “frames” of Mexican American History (Rodriguez 2). He examines the kinship discourse between family’s culture identities and their structures that struggles with patriarchy, nationalism, and masculinity. In most Chicana/o family’s women are oppressed and live in patriarchal structures. They are set to be the caregivers of their families because of the machismo society they live in. As a result, I began to wonder if Chicana/o families are actually constructed politically or historical? What does everyone think? In the Latino USA Family Values Podcast all discuss about their own family values that each family has. Each one of the podcast has different values for their own families. They all share different ideologies in their family structure. For example, in one of the podcast “Family Takes Epic Bike Ride” their family focuses on their family wellbeing rather than focusing on the struggles of family structures. As a result, I come to think about the different family structure that we have in most of our Chicana/o or Latina/o families? Are they politically structured or do we all have different values or ideology? How are Chicana/o families really constructed?
Upon reading the introduction in the Next Of Kin, I wanted to pick your brain about the social construction of “la familia” and/or family to make sure that we all know who falls outside the regulatory borders…So tell me, what kind of families do not meet the traditional social construction of family???? What type of families are perceived as inferior in the Chicana/o Community???? Also, based on the reading, the Next of Kin, thus far, in the intro, what seems to inform this idea la familia???? Do you agree that “close connections of the structure of the nation informs the structure of the family?” What does the author Frantz Fanon mean by this when referenced on page 4 of the text???
And, since I am a single mother, I found Garcia’s views on the family interesting. On page 5 of the text he asserts that single parent families are inferior due to the lack of a male being at the center. What do you all think about that???? Are single parent families really deficient because there is no male in the home??? Is this assertion reinforcing this idea of patriarchy??? Is this a sexist ideal???? Is this a very narrow perception of the family???? Is the family Static????
Okay, moving on to the interviews about Perspectives — I absolutely loved how poetry, corridos, and comedy in the Chicana/o community/family has been passed down and used to inform the public about issues facing brown communities-really making the personal political. How do you all feel about this idea of story telling/folklore being used to express the daily struggles of Chicana/os and/or people of color period, as evidenced in the corrido that Juan Felipe sings to raise awareness about police brutality in the black community. Or, how the comedian feminist scholar Laureate shows how racism plays out, touching on the everyday racist microagressions that people of color face simply due to their race/ethnicity???? All in all, I love how Laureate’s mother shaped her social justice activism without even knowing it; this signifies how strong of an impact family values have on the individual. Both Juan and Laureate learned at a very young age how to negotiate their identity, becoming prominent voices from the margins for the Chicana/o community.
My name is Anthony Lopez. I am a Political Science major on my last year. I want to pursue a Masters in Education afterwads so that I can become a high school teacher. My passion is in education and I hope that I can instill that same feeling in other students. I know I will gain a great amount of knowledge from this class and it is information that I will pass along to others.
I transfered in from LACC, LATTC, ELAC and LASC. I will be the first person in my family to graduate from a university so this is a very important accomplishment for myself. I also have a four year old daughter who provides me with the energy and drive to continue to push forward and reach my goals. My family comes from Oaxaca, Mexico and their native language is Zapotec. My culture and family is something that I most proud of.
Hello, my name is Arlene J. Martinez and I go by my middle name which is Jackie. I was born in Mexico and raised in the heart of Los Angeles. I am Chicana/o studies major, and I recently transfer from East Los Angeles College. I have two Associated Degrees from Los Angeles City College, one in Liberal Arts and the other one in Child Development. I have studied different subjects, like fashion design and marketing, theatre, journalism, child development and now Chicano/a Studies. I was a preschool teacher for many years; however, now I want to pursue my career as a school counselor or maybe as an elementary teacher.
I took a long break from school when I gave birth to my lovely 3 ½ year old baby girl Sofia, who has my Mexican blood and her dad’s Salvadorian blood “watch out”. She is my heart and my inspiration in life. While it has been a little bit hard to come back to school after spending most of my time with her, it will be okay once I adjust again to the whole school routine. She is also starting school this year oh my “que nervios”. I had once thought about giving up school, but my best friend who is also my younger sister, Odeth encouraged me to continue. She has been my motivator, while she is supposed to look up to me, instead I look up to her. I admired her “ganas” to finished school and I am going to do the same. No one is going to tell me that I’m too old to be in school or that studying Chicano/a Studies is worthless; trust me I hear this often, but I am not listening. I will continue planning my future graduation from csudh and my wedding, yes I just got engaged too.
Hi friends! My name is Gabriela Corona and I am currently a fourth year McNair Scholar, Chicana/o studies major and Anthropology minor at CSUDH. There are times where I feel as though I am not interesting enough to write about but I am trying! Here we go.
I am the youngest daughter of Mexican and Salvadoran immigrant parents. I have lived in South Central Los Angeles all my life and my love for this community continues to grow everyday. As a child, my social skills caused me to feel lonely and out of place in school environments. My mother bought me first Harry Potter book at age seven and I have been a passionate literature lover since then. Soon, I started to talk more with people. As I got older, I realized how fun it was to talk to people within my neighborhood. Everyone had a different story to tell which helped me realize how rich in experience my people were.
I always knew I wanted to write and teach for a living. I did not know I was going to achieve this but I was determined to try. During my first year of college, I was certain that my major English was permanent and Ideal for me. That all changed when I enrolled in my first Chicana/o studies course. Dr. Corina Benavides Lopez lectured our class from the importance of recognizing Latina/o communities around us and how we should be proud of identifying with this population, too. I was immediately inspired. Since then, I was determined to apply my passions for writing and teaching within the field of Chicana/o studies.
During my second year of college, I was admitted into the McNair Scholars Program at CSUDH. This program has helped me develop a strong love for social justice research. Over the past two years, my research has focused on implementing LGBTQ relevant history within K-12 curriculum in order to reduce homophobic harassment and violence among youth. My research was inspired by the murder of Larry King from Oxnard, CA and the suicide of Ronin Shimizu from Folsom, CA. In the near future, I will begin researching homophobic activity within juvenile detention centers, prisons, and the foster care system.
I want to publish articles and books about my research in the upcoming years. After completing my doctoral degree, I hope to return to DH and be the kind of professor that inspires students just like Dr. Benavides Lopez inspired me.