Posted by: chuchis | December 6, 2007

Gloria Anzaldua’s, Mestiza

As a Mestiza I have no country, my homeland cast me out; yet all countries are mine because I am every woman’s sister or potential lover. (As a lesbian I have no race, my own people disclaim me; but I am all races because there is the queer of me in all races.)  I am cultureless because, as a feminist, I challenge the collective tured because I am participating in the creation of yet another culture, a new story to explain the world and our participation in it, a new value system with images and symbols that connect us to each other and to the planet.  Soy un amasamiento, I am an act of kneading, of uniting, and joining that not only has produced both a creature of darkness and a creature of light, but also a creature that questions the definitions of light and dark and gives them new meanings.” (pg. 182) 

This passage is from Gloria Anzaldua’s article, La Conciencia de la Mestiza: Towards a new Consciousness.  Anzaldua is describing the complexity of being a new Mestiza.  However, what is a new Mestiza? To understand this passage we first must analyze what this term means.  To label yourself as a new Mestiza you are automatically expressing multitudes of races, cultural and ideological terms into this one word.  You can think of it as a contradiction within itself.  Because as a Mestiza you do not belong to one category but intertwine with a range of others.  However, this does not bring absolute acceptance.  A Mestiza has indigenous ancestry but also shares current civilization blood and traditions.  She is ambiguous and has no actual place she can call home.  Like a drifting spirit she spends her time trying to figure out who she is, where she belongs and how she got in this current situation. 

Anzaldua is clearly describing herself in this passages she identifies herself as a lesbian, a feminist and a women.  I love the sentence in parenthesis because it’s such a great example of one of the many categories a Mestiza can identify with:  “As a lesbian I have no race, my own people disclaim me; but I am all races because there is the queer of me in all races.”  Just like a lesbian not being accepted by her own people and or other races Mestizas too form an overall race that other women can relate to.  Like many other non Latin American places there are plenty of other women that deal with this multicultural conflict.      

Also, being a feminist puts even more pressure in this already foggy existence.  She is working to develop a new path towards looking at the world.  Eliminating sexist oppression and uniting all peoples, forming a new society that has a balanced ideology.  Leaving all the negative social roles behind and connecting ourselves to the world.  She redefines herself and the surroundings she is in.  She is complex but focus in the direction she wants to head. 

What I found interesting that Anzaldua used in her passage was the comparison she made with a creature. “I am an act of kneading, of uniting, and joining that not only has produced both a creature of darkness and a creature of light, but also a creature that questions the definitions of light and dark and gives them new meanings.”  I believe she used this comparison to highlight that like a creature that is distinct and traditionally not accepted she too, (among other Mestizas) has this complexity that allows her to understands the light (right), the dark (wrong) sides of situations.  She makes her own world that permits her to give new meanings to terms and circumstances because she shares a wide range of identities. 

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