Mexican Gender Roles

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In the first of the twentieth century we did see Mexican and Mexican American women adhere to strict gender roles, but as time went on women obtained a power of self motivation to challenge and resist these gender roles applied to them. The movie focuses on Ramon and Esperanza Quintero, a young married couple who illustrate the human side of racial inequality as well as gender tensions. After a long struggle I saw a widely accepted gender role inequality as less prevalent among the middle class than the working class. Gender role inequality within the intact nuclear family is asserted to be a syndrome characterized by unequal husband with wife authority, rigid division of household labor, and greater freedom in leisure pursuits for the husband.…show more content…
Gender roles went through dramatic changes in the 20th century, especially towards the end. Vicki Ruiz illustrates a good example with her book, “From out of the Shadows” where she shares this poem “Rise Up! To Woman Rise up! Rise up to life, to activity, to the beauty of truly living; but rise up radiant and powerful, beautiful with qualities, splendid with virtues, strong with energies.” (99) When reviewing history, accounts men are dominant. When women are represented, they are depicted as passive, naïve, or “feminine,” but in all reality, the only women who experienced this femininity were of the property owning class which meant work was a necessity, not an option for working class women. Mexican women laborers have been largely misrepresented in history by their accounts of social production and the working class struggle because they have taken for granted or ignored women’s unpaid labor. The ideology has been created that there is a division between men’s “productive” labor, and women’s no market based activity. Mexicans in laboring classes not only worked in the fields and factories, but had reproductive labor involving but not limited to cooking, washing, sewing and taking care of children. Mexican and Mexican American women have been overlooked in society, even though the reproduction and maintenance of the laboring classes is dependent upon women. The combined effects of gender and race also contribute to the masking of women’s roles; women of color are doubly subordinated by gender and race. Who is given the right to determine someone else’s future? And who could so grossly under represent the involvement and contributions Mexican women have made to society? The concealing of women’s roles in social production is part of the general tendency to deny working class people’s roles in the building of society. Women are subjugated by the
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