The self empowerment of the Chicanas

Essay by Gamerman2001College, Undergraduate December 2004

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If one should reflect a bit on the Mexican culture, at a glance it is quite vivid that this is a culture in which machismo and male dominance was, and unfortunately still is, the order of the day. In this patriarchal society men play a dominant role in social class, social status and especially in their homes. Women in this society, and many other societies, are seen as subjective beings, and in some cases are even considered as mere chattels. However, there are a few women, those who have found an inner power and strength, who will be able to survive their lot in life. Such a survival isn't derived from the help of others. Instead it is an inner power and an inner will to live, in spite of the odds that they might face.

One writer, Carmen Tafolla, although she is not a Chicana writer, captured the image of this power in one of her essays entitled "Chicano Literature - Beyond Beginnings."

In this essay, Tafolla explains that "the embodiment of power in Chicana writing does not take the form of power defined in White Male Club circles [instead] it is an internal expression, less exclamation than awareness... less fact than value." With this view of power and its importance to Chicanas, one is able to note that this is a tool that is beyond the clutches of male dominance, and as a result, more and more women across the world, even in different cultures, are claiming this blessing.

The oppression of Chicanas is expressed in many contemporary writings such as " I Cannot Remember All the Times..." by Jo Carson, "The Alley" by Lorna Dee Cervantes, and Carmen Tafolla's essay that is entitled " Chicano Literature - Beyond Beginnings." These writings explain aspects...