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Latin American Women Objectified in Prida’s Beautiful Señoritas

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Latin American Women: Objectified as Products in a Masculine Dominated Culture

In Prida’s “Beautiful Señoritas,” Latin-American women are products instead of people, but attempt to find their humanity through bonding with an “ocean” of Latin-American female community. The first lines of the play “Beautiful Senoritas,” introduce the feminist voice of Dolores Prida. Written in the 1970s, this piece of literature reflects the Women’s Rights Movement and employs the liberation theme of many female writers during this decade. “Beautiful Señoritas” is a play that depicts feminist oppression, magnifying the lack of civil rights of Latina women. Although the rights of women were being recognized in the United States, the women of Latin America were still oppressed by masculine domination. In Prida’s play, she showcases this oppression and also the stereotyped gender roles of women.

In a society where women are considered less than men, masochism reigns. Masculinity assumes that men are the valuable gender in the world: more intelligent, better problem solvers, and harder workers. It also assumes that women are best led by men: should women should be followers and obey their husbands. In “Beautiful Señoritas,” masochism remains strong. Even today, in certain parts of the Latin world, there are men invested in masculine views, those extremes of superiority are seen in characters such as Don José. The United States has been a worldwide leader in women’s rights and equality, and many cultures and nationalities have lagged far behind in recognizing equality for women. Notably Latin, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures have women in subservient roles, with harsh punishment and outcast from society often the result for women that try to esta...

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...ut the play, is a symbol of strength. It serves as an escape from the reality of a masochist society. Apart, the women must face the hardships alone, but together, they are able to find their humanity by becoming “an ocean of strength” (321).

“Beautiful Señoritas” is a play that echoes the feminist movement of the 1970s. Dolores Prida brings to the foreground the stereotypical views of women in a masculine society. “What a dangerous, deadly adventure being a woman!” (320) The women in this play acknowledge the different roles they are to play, along with the suffering they must endure. As a result of this common bond of humanity amongst the women, they are able to grow in a community outwardly expressing vulnerability amongst each other. This group of women is an ocean of community: one that symbolizes strength, courage, and honor.
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