Gender Stereotypes In Colonial Latin America

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Colonial Latin America is a very important time period that shows us where the roots of social and cultural prejudices were created. Women in particular have faced challenges fighting constraints and prejudices, like the preconceived notion that women are inferior to men; however, there are many women that fought against those normative ideas that grounded central themes in social rights that are still important today. In the hispanic culture, women learn how to cook, clean and are seen as more nurturing, even in earlier times we can see that women were seen as “gatherers” rather than “hunterers”. All of these ideas were preconceived to keep women doing feminine things and in a way characterize all women to be more passive towards power unlike …show more content…
Strands of what we now call oppression can be seen during colonial Latin America not in just the treatment of slaves, but also the treatment of women. During this time period, women were being subjected to gender norms that still can be seen today. Although gender norms in colonial Latin America were influential, there were examples of women that were able to fight those barriers and fend for themselves. In Mesoamerican Voices, we are introduced to a woman named Ana who takes charge and requests land on behalf of her and her small family. This “unusual” document places a woman at the head of the household, doing what a man was subject to do during this time period, which is provide for the family and be in charge of their home (Mesoamerican Voices 5.2, 100). Ana is described as both a noblewoman and also as an empowering figure in her family to show that this is an unusual thing to see. Ana is also described as a woman who takes initiative for her family, which isn’t the norm for women in colonial Latin America because of the preconceived ideas that women are meant to stay in the kitchen. Another unusual thing found in this document is that the four representatives didn’t treat Ana with any less respect, rather with more respect because she was respectful, punctual, and strong. Social rank was based on wealth and class and even in America’s colonization …show more content…
Influential women writers were seen as a threat to the existing gender order. An influential writer during this time period named Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, was a nun who devoted her life to study and writing. Sor Juana, challenged social and cultural norms by doing whatever it took to learn. “... I continued my studious tasks… of reading and more reading and studying and more studying, with no other teacher than the books themselves (Red Reader 18, 159).” This document gives a direct example how culturally not all women were taught how to read, but Sor Juana deceives her teacher and makes her believe that her mother ordered the teacher to give her reading lessons. Sor Juana was seen as an exceptionally intelligent woman that directly questioned and fought preconceived notions about women during this time period. “... and I think they may you laugh, but lady, what can we women know except kitchen philosophies (Red Reader 18, 167), directly shows the opinion Sor Juana has towards those gender norms. Sor Juana exemplifies how women were able to challenge and contest these prejudice constraints through writing and education. The more educated a woman was the harder it was to keep her subjected to prejudices and

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