Over the years, as a Mexican American living in the United States I have noticed a trend. Despite many Mexicans living in the United States in the millions, which is evident in an article on the Moderate Voice, many who are born here ( United States) feel lost. This is a topic for discussion as Gloria Anzaldua pointed out in her book titled La conciencia de la mestiza: towards a new consciousness. In this blog I am going to reflect on this book by summarizing Anzaldua’s work, telling you my personal connections to this text, and what it made me think about. I hope that after reading this, you my audience will gain an understanding of what Anzaldua was trying to say.
To begin I’m going to summarize what I think Anzaldua was trying to say. She is a Mexican women who just so happens to be lesbian. Throughout the text she refers to her self as a Chicana( Mexican ancestry, born in the United States) and argues about the integration of cultures, arguing that people must break the traditional paradigm of race, sex, and gender. She believed that this integration would lead to a “Hybrid Progeny” and that la Mestiza, “a product of the transfer of the cultural and spiritual values of one group to another,” Anzaldua wrote, would breed a new consciousness or way of thinking that will lead society in a better direction with less violence, rape, and other injustices. In the text, she also described the process she believed had to take place which included what the Hispanic community must do and how white Americans must be convinced of the connections between North America and South America.
Now that I’ve described the text, I want to reflect by telling you my personal connections to the text. I understand where Anzaldua is coming from in a sense. As a Mexican American, there is a battle taking place in me because I am Mexican and American. The problem arises when my American ideology does not mix with my Mexican ideology. According to her I have to manage these battles from within like many others have to battle traditional Paradigms with who they are. For example the lesbian and gay society is generally not accepted in the eyes of regular society, being born a women you have to battle with the norms tied to being a female, and being born poor you have to battle with the ideology of being rich. According to Anzaldua the mixing of different races, sexes, genders, and even social classes are the future to create a new consciousness. By coming out and saying who you are, where you come from, and putting down your defenses, we can change ways of thinking. Personally I think this is important, because it means that one day the walls surrounding these imaginary classifications will come crumbling down but it requires people to stand together united.To top this off, Anzaldua even wrote, “ La mestiza has gone from being the sacrificial goat to becoming the officiating priestess at the crossroads.”
After having read the work by Anzaldua’s, it did make me think about something in particular. It made me wonder if it was possible to truly integrate different cultures in the United States. I know United States is seen as the melting pot of different races, but when will the day come when everyone in a sense is a different race, and asking, “what is your race,” is no longer a viable question to ask. Although Anzaldua wrote her solution, I think it is simply up to us to inform others of your culture, race, traditions, and gender to get rid of the fear or unknown that may plague the majority in the United States. This isn’t just a problem for Mexicans, its a problem for women, lesbians and gays, and people of different religions including Islam and Judaism. To end on a good note, we can all be part of the solution that would result in a future without the problems that exist today. To see some statistics from the Moderate Voice click on here
Comments/ Questions for class:
Anzaldua believed that a new consciousness would result from the mestiza. It appeared that much of her experience comes from what she learned from being a lesbian in her culture. In fact, she mentioned that other causes that are having problems should take note of the gay and lesbian community because they were able to make strides in politics and other areas, despite people being from different races, genders, and cultures. But, will the perceived differences between races be greater than the effort made by the few?