Gender, Race, And Culture : Spanish Mexican Women Essay

1669 Words Nov 28th, 2016 7 Pages
This idea of a submissive, Chicana wife goes back centuries. An article by Antonia Castañeda, titled Gender, Race, and Culture: Spanish-Mexican Women in the Historiography of Frontier California, which details the evolution of stereotypes of Chicana women specifically in California. It talks about the stereotypes developing in Mexico-America in the mid 1800s. Castañeda notes that Mexican culture was looked down on as a way to justify taking their land. An example of this is seen in the way people viewed Spanish women verses Mexican women. “Spanish women were morally, sexually, and racially pure; Mexican women were immoral and sexually and racially impure. These sexual stereotypes not only reveal the convergence of contemporary political and social ideological currents but also underscore the centrality of the politics of sex to the ideological justification of expansion, war, and conquest (Castañeda, 9). The westward moving Americans also compared Mexican women to that of the Victorian. “The Victorian True Woman… represented the most advanced stage of civilized society. Physically and mentally inferior to men but possessed the cardinal female virtues-- piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity-- she was confined to the home, where she could neither threaten nor challenge the existing order (Castañeda, 9). These representations of early Chicanas have been damaging for generations, and are the exact sort of ideas that books like The House on Mango Street rebel against.…

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