Sunday, January 8, 2012

Talking post #2

Gloria Anzaldua: La conciencia de la mestiza: 
                                    Towards a New Consciousness 

 It was a good read. She spent a lot of time talking about just getting together with everyone and to "transfer ideas and information from one culture to another." Overall what I got from this reading is that in order to create change we must change first.

Some parts of the reading really hit home; I am a woman born in a different country coming to America at a very young age finding it extremely hard to fit in. I was stuck being Cape Verdean in America. Just like la mestiza, we were both stuck and basically torn in between the two. At home, my grandparents would take care of all the kids before and after school and speak to us in our dialect of creole and she would expect us to speak back to her in the same dialect, but in school I was placed in ESL and taught how to speak english. I was so confused on which side to be on.
The Cape Verdean culture has very strict gender roles, which are basically set in stone, there isn't really a way of changing the "rules." At a young age, women are taught to cook, clean and become the best woman they can be for their future husbands. "For men like my father, being "macho" meant being strong enough to protect and support my mother and us, yet being able to show love." It's crazy how similar this is to our culture. While women are taught to be "women," men are taught to be "men." They hang out with their fathers all day whether it is learning to have the ultimate vegetable garden to have all the things women need to cook, going to work with them, or playing soccer which is the main sport in Cape Verde. 
 When I first came to America, I always felt like I had to choose between being American or being Cape Verdean and I realized as did la mestiza that you don't have to let go off your culture but just understand and accept your surroundings. It might not be easy but it can be done if you're open. It was hard for la mestiza and it will be hard for anyone but you just have to be willing to accept it all.

I thought it was extremely interesting how in Johnson's reading it was helping us open our eyes to white privilege: accepting it and trying to take the right steps to become part of the solution while in Anzaldua's reading it was saying that we, as minorities, have to stop waiting for everyone else to make a change. "We need to allow whites to be our allies." It sounds so good and it should be easy, but is it possible? 

"They'd like to think I have melted in the pot. but I haven't, we haven't" -This quote made me remember this video I seen in another one of my classes about how language brings generations together.


  1. Merylda,
    I agree that it should be easy but is it possible, is another thing in itself. It's definately going to be very hard and stressful. We've come a long way on the whole race issue but yet it still exists and in some places it's very bad. We can start by changing and educating ourselves first. It's going to be a very good discussion topic for our class.

  2. there is an aweosme metaphor about the US being a "melting pot"- of which we are not. We do not all melt into one conciousness, we hold pieces of difference with us. Then there is a discussion of the US as a "tossed salad", as holding our differences but all together in the same place getting along. I think it is more accurate to say we are a pizza, holding our differences but segregated and not willing to really change to accomodate to others until we are broken down and forced to.

    However, there are two main problems with this. The United States can never be reduced to a food metaphor, and everyone needs to stop waiting for someone else to fix our problems and needs to start the work themselves. the oppressed and the opressors, which i think is very possible, but, i also agree with Ariel, is frickin difficult.

    Great discussion of the piece.