The Three Archetypal Roles for Women in Mexican and Chicana Cultures

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In several cultures, women are seen as archetypes more than men. The proposition of women are instantly idealized and glorified and instantaneously ignore the true complexity of a woman. Countless of these superficial images can be seen across various cultures where the societies within these cultures define what it means to be a female and what type of behavior is and isn’t acceptable within those parameters. The persistent restatement of these stories throughout these generations reinforces the gender system. Women who step out of the norm in these societies are then held punishable for their actions. Alicia Gaspar de Alba pinpoints the three archetypal roles that are given to the women in the Mexican and Chicana cultures. These are, “the mother, the virgin, and the whore.”) (51). These ideologies preserve that all women are determined by these social roles. These roles can easily become an unsustainable way to coexist, as in the image of the “Virgin Mother,” can be seen as opposites with the whore. This demands a division of the perpetual binary. Due to this, women must continually strive to mold themselves to uphold standards that may seem impossible, which then leads into the suppression of their sexuality.
Numerous Chicana feminist theorists convey interests in reclaiming the Mexican and Chicana’s influential stories that control gender roles. The stories frequently display the influences of colonization. The Chicanas/o’s have ben colonized by the Spanish in the sixteenth century and in 1848 by the United States when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was set forth. This consensus relinquished most of the Southwest to the United States with assurance that the Mexicans who were residing in these territories would be promised ...

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...ros does the same thing in “Woman Hollering Creek.” She gives strength the mythical figure that has been used to limit women. In this short narrative, she uses La Llorona to reinvent her and give her a voice.

La Malinche is an important female figure in Mexican and Chicana history. She symbolizes for many the betrayal of the race by women. Yet there are others who challenge his view and see la Malinche, instead, as a figure of valor. Casting off the title of traitor, Chicana and Chicano feminists assign her the role of the strong Chicana and proud mother of the Mexican race. Instead of devising a new symbol to embody their feminist’s ideals, these Chicanas reconstructed the history of la Malinche. Just like these Chicanas we must use U.S. third space feminism as a tool of the decolonial so that we are able to see what is hidden within the stories of these women.

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