Chicana Studies Essay

2013 Words May 15th, 2013 9 Pages
Selena and Marisa Navarro are prime examples of two women who experienced significant patriarchical constraints to their agency. This, however, did not stop them from negotiating and resisting these constraints in their own way and in their own life. Their stories are told through various mediums, including the movie Selena and the article "Becoming La Mujer" by Marisa Navarro. Selena's strongest patriarchical influence came from her father, who attempted to control various aspects of her life for many years. Navarro also felt the effects of constraint, but by both of her parents. Unfortunately, these women were victim to the "good girl" (virgin) and "bad girl" (whore) dichotomy, which embodies the impossible idea that women must be …show more content…
In her article "Becoming La Mujer", Navarro elaborates the constraints placed on her, often modeled after the life many of her fellow female classmates had; a life her parents did not want for her. Navarro claims, "Girls' action became dichotomized into right and wrong", which made for "good girls" and "bad girls", and early on, her "parents reinforced that message, and there could be no margin of error" (Navarro 1998). Navarro attended school in East Los Angeles, which by itself is a difficult condition, but because of her parents' constraints and belief system, she was placed on what she referred to as an "even tighter leash" (Navarro 1998). Navarro experienced constraints from different sources, including where she lived and was educated, in East Los Angeles, the parental "leash", and being a second-generation American. All of these constraints, to some extent, are influenced by patriarchical systems. In Navarro's high school, it was very common for females to drop out because of pregnancy or lack of interest. These females were given the title "bad girls" because they disrespected themselves and dishonored their family. Navarro's life was shaped accordingly: she was expected to go to school, earn high marks, stay out of trouble, and not have sex, as these were things only

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