Growing Up Chicano/a

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Effects of Gender Roles in the Chicano Culture Growing up Chicano/a, edited by Tiffany Ann Lopez, is a novel full of various stories that reveal the life of a Chicano man or woman. Gender roles that are expected from the average Chicano woman are to watch the children and keep the household in order. The poem “Loose Woman”, written by Sandra Cisneros, relates to the novel, by discussing the hardships of a particular Hispanic woman. They both explore the gender roles of woman and the stereotypes that come with it which determine their actions, cause rebellion and doubt, and allow men to believe they are of a higher. Having to go through these hardships affect a women’s identity as it is created. Throughout this novel and poem, gender within the Chicano culture plays a large part in determining the roles men and women are expected to follow and the injustice they deal with in their everyday lives. In the story Juana Ines, by Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Juana Ines struggles with trying to accept who she really is. In the Chicano culture, men go to school and receive an education, while women stay home and take care of the household. Juana is the opposite of the “normal Chicana woman”; she is intelligent and independent, which is frowned upon by her society. Juana’s aunt suggests, “You should learn how to embroider, how to crochet like your cousins; those are safe things for girls to know” (Gaspar de Alba 73). These are actions part of the normal routine that Chicanas are expected to follow. Juana teaches herself all that she knows through books and stories. These different sources of learning allow her to comprehend more than the average educated man does. This disrupts the teaching of the Catholic Church about male domination. Juana Ines participates in an event where many brilliant scholars come together to ask her questions in hopes to find an error in her
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