The Importance Of Culture
Chicana feminist writers agree with other feminists that patriarchy exists in most societies. However, patriarchy is manifested in culturally specific ways, and as such, Chicanas' culture and history are central to their analysis of gender in their communities. Chicana feminists have identified several cultural elements that are central in defining Chicana definitions of proper womanhood. One is the veneration of La Virgen de Guadalupe (the Virgin of Guadalupe, the national saint of Mexico); another is the figure of La Malinche, an indigenous woman who facilitated the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés (1485–1547) by serving as translator and go-between in the negotiations that ultimately defeated the Aztec leader Montezuma in 1519. Both women are iconic figures of what is desirable and undesirable for Mexican women in Mexico as well as Chicanas in the United States.
The desirable aspects of Mexicana/Chicana womanhood based on La Virgen de Guadalupe are piety, dedication, humbleness, selflessness, dedication to family, and virginity. The undesirable traits, as embodied in La Malinche, are treachery, lying, deceitfulness, and sexual promiscuity. Although other cultures usually describe this distinction between women as a "virgin-whore" dichotomy, in Mexican or Chicano culture the dichotomy is tied specifically to these two figures rather than a general distinction with no cultural or historical referent. These culturally appropriate and inappropriate ways of expressing Chicana womanhood do not apply to non-Chicana women and therefore merit a different feminist analysis from those developed by other cultural groups.
- Chicana Feminisms - Dolores Huerta
- Chicana Feminisms - The Importance Of History
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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Categorical judgement to ChimaeraChicana Feminisms - The Importance Of History, The Importance Of Culture, Dolores Huerta, The Importance Of Intersectionality