Few people know about this amazing woman. Although, many know Cesar Chavez. He, along with Dolores, worked to fight for the basic rights of farm workers in the fields of California. They fought for better work wages and portable restrooms for the workers, as well as fighting for the rights of Farm workers. But Dolores has not been given the credit she deserves. She did as much work as Cesar did. She is the co-founder of the United Farm Workers Association. This is an organization that fights for the rights of farm workers. Before we get to the work she deserves credit for, let’s talk about some history.
When you first meet a Latina, what do you think? Do you immediately think of her as hot and spicy? If you don’t that is good because not all of us identify as such. And if you do it’s probably from what you have heard from all different types of media but that does not justify you to call her that.
There is a stereotype that classifies us Latina women in a category that most of us don’t fit into and does not conform to what many Latina women are doing today. This stereotype started a long time ago, as far as the Mexican-American War when the American won the land from Mexico. They portrayed the women as the sexy Latina. From there it grew to Hollywood. It also grouped all Latin American women.
This stereotype says that Latina women are all hot and spicy like a pepper. First of all, don’t compare me to something we eat! I am not food! This stereotype also says that all we want is attention and if we get what we want, we know how to reward that person. That we are all sexy and can make any man’s dreams come true. I only strives to make my dreams come true not anybody else’s!
“What would you like to do when you grow up, mija?’’ asked my mom. This is a question that am I sure most of us were asked at some point in our lives. As a young Latina woman, this question always lingered in the back of my mind. Because I had an idea where I wanted to go. I wanted to go to college and get into a career of my choice. Currently, I am in college and my career is still in the works. I knew that when I would tell adults that I wanted to become a movie director, even an actress, but first receive an education. They would support me, yet I knew that they probably thought I could never make it. Who would take a high school student seriously with those types of dreams? Little did they know. After my parents realized that I was actually being serious about going to college, that it was truly something I wanted to do, they supported me in every possible way. Now they are my biggest supporters.
Yet many families still have the mentality that women should take care of the house and the children while men go out and work to provide for them. Those type of expectations are especially put on Latina women. My family would always tell me that if I didn’t go to college, then I would be expected to find a man that could provide for me because I wouldn’t go far in life without a man next to my side. Or that I would get pregnant and regret it later on. This made me begin to create negative thoughts in my head–I wasn’t good enough. Or I’m not college material, I’m not capable of finishing college and finding my dream job. There were times where I got so upset, even when I did come to college. But, then I would remember stories about Sonia Sotomayor becoming the first Latina in the Supreme Court, or Gina Rodriguez winning a Golden Globe award for Best Actress in Jane the Virgin. Continue reading “Latina Women take the Lead!”→
As a young Latina woman, it’s rare to ever see yourself accurately represented on-screen. More often than not, Latinas are stuck playing roles as housekeepers or they’re over-sexualized. Not only do these common roles perpetuate false stereotypes but they do very little to represent a diverse culture. As a woman of color, I have found that seeing yourself represented in the media is a rarity. Seeing Latinas on screen are exciting moments and the women filling these roles, are (more often than not) completely inspiring.
Growing up, I never really understood why my mom and sister would complain about the daily chores. I would say to myself, housework can’t be that hard: you just sweep the floor, clean the restroom, wash dishes, and make food. Now I realize that they weren’t complaining about the work itself, they were complaining about the men in our family not sharing the responsibility for doing that kind of work. The men in our house never lent a hand to wash dishes. My brothers would never help with household chores, and I think it was partly because my father refused to set an example. My father was sexist, and he definitely didn’t provide a good example for my brothers.
When I was growing up, sexism was also present at school. At school, when girls played soccer or basketball, I would hear kids say, “Go somewhere else! This is not for little girls.” I didn’t care what the boys would say to me because I didn’t really like playing soccer. I was more into volleyball and talking with my friends, but nevertheless, I would feel empathy for those girls who did like sports, because the boys could be extremely rude. If only, growing up, kids could be taught that everyone is equal, boys and girls, men and women, perhaps there wouldn’t be such a separation of genders in school games, and the right to play sports being dictated by boys on the playground.
Coming from a small village in rural Mexico, there were some things that were limited and/or restricted for women. When I was younger, my dad would not let us walk alone anywhere. We would have to be accompanied by someone from my family. I would have to go to the store with my youngest sister. When there was a dance, we could never go by ourselves; we had to go with someone older, like our aunt or our mom. In some respects, I can appreciate the common sense in this. It is safer to go with someone else when you’re going out, but it was a bit annoying to know that we had to be accompanied by our siblings, and not our friends from school, with whom we actually had fun.