Latinitas - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2016: Prompt 1: Latina Feminist

  Whenever I think about feminism in the Latin culture, I imagine Sandra Cisneros. Sandra Cisneros is a contemporary, Mexican-American author of novels and short-stories. Most of her stories feature insight into Latin culture. For example, she will incorporate Spanish words into English text, in a way that people who aren't familiar with Spanish can infer what the Spanish words mean.

  The theme of Cisneros's writings is often how it feels to live everyday life as a Latina. In books like "The House on Mango Street," Cisneros paints a picture of the patriarchal realities that many Latinas face. As she grew up in a household of seven children, with her as the only girl, she always felt the difference in the way that her father treated her, and the way he treated her brothers. One thing that always bothered her, for example, was that rather than saying he had seven children, her father had to single her out as the one daughter. While being singled out can sometimes be a good thing, he did it in such a way that made her feel like he was more proud of her brothers, as if sons were more worthy than daughters. Thus, Cisneros's life experiences are sometimes shared through her writing. Something I remember about her life story is that when she went to college, her father was thrilled- because he thought that she had a good chance of meeting a husband there.

  Nonetheless, Cisneros was successful and pursued education. Her success as a writer has proved her worth as more than just a child-bearing machine. (no offense to mothers. Mothers can be very influential, but that all depends on what they instill in their children. There are bad mothers and there are good mothers.) In fact, other than feminism, Cisneros's books teaches people to appreciate the Latin culture. Some people might not have the privilege of encountering such cultures, depending on their location. By reading Cisneros's award-winning books as part of literature courses for school, however, a varity of people can be exposed to the culture and learn to appreciate it's beauties, and work toward mending it's imperfections.

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