Women 's Influence On Women

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Of the 76 women interviewed, 25 identified as Latina and of those 25 women, 17 identified as either Catholic or “Culturally Catholic” which means that they considered themselves a part of the Catholic faith either for beliefs or because of familial ties, but that they may only attend the culturally mandatory Church events, such as Easter and Christmas mass. All 25 of the Latina women interviewed said that had often felt marginalized because of their gender, and 13 of the 25 women said that they felt as though the Catholic Church had to some extent or another, impact on women in their culture. One most interesting part of the interviews was question number 6: why? Each woman had similar experiences with marginalization. 15 of the women had an answer along the lines of when they were teenagers the boys in their lives had much more freedom than they did. The attributed this to the fact that their parents thought that they might go and have sex if they weren’t under constant watch, where as their brothers, male cousins and male friends were often encouraged by the older men and women in their lives to be “players.” They also said that if the Catholic Church would put less pressure on women to remain virginal then their own parents might give them more freedom. One girl, who will be called “M” explained: “My mom was always keeping me in the house when I was 15. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with my guy friends by myself, even in a public place. But my brother was allowed to do whatever he wanted, and hangout with girls without supervision. My mom would say it was ok because he was a boy, but “good Catholic girls” didn’t do that.” Additionally many girls mentioned that when they challenge these ideals they would be harshly ... ... middle of paper ... ...ere, and as the Catholic Church begins to change its ways, so will the Latina/o community. Changing ideals on reproductive rights, women in the workforce, and equal rights for members of the LGBQ+ community will lead to better equality and lives for the women in the Latina/o community. The Catholic Church has had a clear and often harmful influence on the Latina/o community resulting in internalized misogyny within the community. Ideals of men as the breadwinners and women as the homemakers, or men as the origin of women. Beliefs that women should stay a “Virgin Mary”, until she marries or else be branded immediately as a whore. This has lead Latina women to think that they are somehow lesser than their male counterpart. However after interviewing 25 young Latina women, there is shown to be hope, no matter how small, that the culture can change with the time.

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