Chicana Feminism
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U.S. Latino/a Literature                                      -                               Puerto Rican Literature in the United States


      "The Chicana movement can be seen as the Chicana's attempt to finally receive credit and be recognized for their hard work and dedication. The men are always the ones who get credited for everything. They are the ones that hold the high positions and receive well paid jobs. This is not true of women and especially not true of Chicana women. They are expected to "cook the beans, make tortillas, do clerical work, care for children, and satisfy their men’s sexual needs." Many women in the 1960’s felt that they were not benefiting from the "movimiento" which was the Chicano movement.


    Chicana's felt that their voices and votes were not being taken into consideration. Many Chicanos felt that these women who wanted to speak out and be heard were "vendidas or women’s libbers" and the Chicanos thought of feminism as the "Anglo trick to divide the Chicano movement."


     The Denver youth conference was the point in which Chicana feminists realized that the were not only oppressed by the Anglo culture but that the were oppressed within their own culture as well. Many Chicana newsletters and journals such as "Encuentro Femenil" and "El Grito del Norte began to emerge. Various Chicana groups and organizations began to come about such as the "Hijas de Cuauntmoc" and "The Comision Femenil Mexicana." The purpose of these organizations was to help unite all Chicana women. They were an attempt for power within the Chicana culture.


      The Loyalists and the Feminists were two distinct groups that arose as a direct result of the Chicana Feminist movement. The Loyalists felt that it was unnecessary to have both a Chicano and a Chicana movement. They felt that oppression was cause by the Anglo society and not from the men in the Chicano society. Many of the Chicanos felt that Chicano feminists were going against the Chicano society. The feminists felt differently. They argued that, "Feminists are not traitors to their culture but active agents in the struggle for human liberation. They are supporters of the culture who follow ideals and examples set down by their feminist forebarers."


     Many Chicana feminists began to unite with the Anglo feminists, but this also did not work. The Chicanas felt that they did have some things in common with the Anglo feminists but not everything. The Chicanas felt that the Anglos were not sympathetic to their minority needs. The Anglo feminists did not seem to relate well to in every way that the Chicanas were being oppressed. Many Chicanas felt that the Anglo feminist movement in itself was racist.


    Chicanas began to realize that they were not going to gain power through either the Chicano or Anglo women’s movement. They came to the conclusion that the only way to gain what they wanted was through the Chicana Feminist movement alone. It will take the Chicanas themselves to achieve the recognition and credit that they deserve.

Analysis of Birth of Chicana Feminism



     It is important that we realize the reasons why the Chicana movement came about. Many Chicanas were unhappy with the way that they were treated within the Chicano movement. It is apparent that the Chicano men were making progress but the women were not being credited for their hard work and determination. This is often what happens in today’s society. Often men take credit for things when in reality it is the women doing all of the hard work. Many Chicanos were also looking down upon Chicanas who wanted their voices to be herd. This reverts back to the whole concept that the women are the ones who should be at home cooking and cleaning and the men are the ones with these wonderful and prestigious jobs. This is what is wrong with today’s society. A perfect example is seen in the essay GENDER AND HOUSEWORK. Many women are trying to revert away from this “typical woman who is only there to love and nurture the family.” This is the concept that began the Chicana movement.


      The Chicana feminist movement is an attempt for these women to come together and make themselves equal to everyone in society. Chicana women as well as every woman should be treated equally. Everyday we see women who are looked down upon because of there gender but Chicana women are often looked down upon because of their race as well. Chicana women claim that “liberation will come neither from the Anglo women’s movement nor from the Chicano movement, but from a unique Chicana movement that works closely with or in conjunction with the movimiento (Chicano Movement.)”


                                                   by Enriquez Miranoe




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© Antonia Domínguez Miguela. Site last updated: 14 October 2004