Gender And Social Roles In Gloria Anzaldua's 'La Prieta'

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In Gloria Anzaldua’s “La Prieta,” we are presented with the concept of being an accomplice to the oppressor’s ideology. Anzaldua describes how we are passing onto children the oppressor’s ideology regarding gender and social roles. Therefore, by being an accomplice the following issues arise: 1) it presupposes gender and social roles, 2) ignores personal aspirations, and 3) portrays women as weak thus limiting their autonomy. However, Anzaldua goes on to state that she will not be a part of the “same” process that has haunted her since her childhood. This reveals that changes in dominant ways of thinking must began since childhood in order to reconstruct the social and gender roles.
Let us first explore how the oppressor’s ideology presupposes
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In addition to presupposing gender and social roles, we encounter “women not as oppressors but as accomplices to oppression by our unwittingly passing on to our children and our friends the oppressor’s ideologies” (Anzaldua 1981, 207). In other words, we are not resisting this former ideology nor are we trying to address some of the issues associate with it. To put it in Anzaldua’s words, “It is easier to repeat the racial patterns and attitudes, especially those of fear and prejudice, that we have inherited than to resist them” (Anzaldua 1981, 207). As a result of failing to address and resist these patterns and attitudes, not only will it presuppose gender and social roles, but it will also ignore women’s personal …show more content…
As stated previously, “the men in white” presupposed that she would/wanted to get married and have children. They never took into consideration whether this was what she wanted for her future. In addition, we see the same ideology being perpetuated by her mother with the following statement: “She always embarrassed me by telling everyone that I liked to lie in bed reading and wouldn’t help her with the housework” (Anzaldua 1981, 201). It is through this quote that we can see two important aspects. The first being that Anzaldua should be helping her mother with the housework and the second being that she should not be reading. This in turn presupposes her gender and social roles and ignores any personal aspirations held by Anzaldua (i.e. wanting to acquire an education and not fit into the traditional role of a

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