Punk Rock Parents: Labels

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Labels

Someone left a comment yesterday (that I deleted!) regarding something about speaking Spanish. I have no idea why the comment came from because the post was The Phi's letter to Santa. Maybe they were commenting that The Phi's letter to Santa was not in Spanish. And asked if I was into the whole "Latina" thing. I deleted the comment but it did make me want to comment on the idea of labels. The term "latina" is fine, if you want to generalize and talk about a whole bunch of women. To me the term "latina" lumps together every single woman from any Latin American country or even from a country that speaks a language derived from Latin. That terms is too general for me. Way too general for me. I will admit that I do not like being called "Latina" the term I prefer is "Chicana". To me the term Chicana is defined as a woman of Mexican decent, born and raised in the United States. I have often been told that I am "white-washed" In fact my husband (who is not Chicano or Mexican) often tells me that I am the "whitest Mexican he knows". Because of the way I dress, the way I talk and the language I speak that I am white-washed. To me white-washed means that I have turned my back on my culture and immersed myself in "white culture". This is so far from the truth. I grew up here, and not just here but in a upper-middle class town. My friends looked like a United Colors of Benneton ad. Through the people I have encountered in life I have developed my own interests and style. Because everything in my life is not what people think of as"Mexican" does not mean that I have lost my culture or my identity. In fact I am very confident in my identity. My taste in music, clothes and the language I chose to use 98% of the time does not determine my cultural identity. I believe that there is a new Chicana paradigm happening. I feel that my cultural identity is centered around my family. The traditions, the love and support. Because I am Mexican everything I do is Mexican. No matter what it is. My identity is in me and everything I do is a part of that even if it doesn't fit into a stereotype.

What is your cultural identity?

4 comments:

  1. why would her letter be in spanish? we are in america! jk

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  2. Anonymous1:26 PM

    lis, i totally understand what you mean
    ~woman

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  3. Anonymous4:03 PM

    i prefer the term third world diva. :) ~guess who?

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  4. Good for you!! I am a black woman who grew up in a military town so I am influenced by many different cultures. But it is automatically expected of me to like rap music, to not be able to construct a proper sentence or to be loud and ghetto. All this does is convince me that people are unable to see beyond stereotypes to get to know the person beneath the skin and therefore they are missing out on knowing a potential good friend!!

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