Race and the Digital: Racial Formation and 21st Century Technologies


What is Chicana Feminism?

Chicana Feminism's purpose is to promote breaking the stereotypes Chicanas face within and outside their community. Xicanisma is a political movement, where the spelling of Xicana with an X comes from Ana Castillo. She created it to embrace her indigenous roots. Chicanas are expected to become stay at home mothers who do all the house work for their male counterparts. The issue with this is that it is still very much engrained into Latino culture. There remains a lot of things a Latina should do such as marrying a man, do all the housework, and be completely devoted to her husband. Chicana women live in a different era compared to their parents and instead of being trapped by the patriarchy, Chicanas have sought out to gain their independence.

As women of color, Chicanas face prejudice for being dark skinned and female. In the video above the channel Pero Like, created by Latino Buzzfeed staff for Latinos, reverses the sexism Latina women face when growing up in their own household. You see the son of the family experiencing the strict rules a Latina grows up with. These rules are being in charge of cleaning, covering up and not being able to date while her brother experiences the opposite because he is a man.
Chicana Feminism began because the lack of representation Chicanas were receiving in the Feminism and Chicano movement. In "La Feminista" by Anna Nieto-Gomez she states how “[White feminism] has ignored how the Chicana’s social and economic status as a woman is also severely determined by her race as well as by her sex” (Nieto-Gomez pg 356)" Intersectionality must exist to truly understand the oppression being faced by Chicanas.
In the argument for adding Chicana feminism to the Chicano movement there existed the feminists and the loyalists. The loyalists were the woman who did not believe that Feminism should be added to the Chicano movement because they felt it would take away the main focus from the movement. Where the Feminists felt it was necessarily to add into the movement because they were experiencing even more oppression within their own movement.
Chicana Feminism needs intersectionality because we have to take into consideration it is not just Mexican American women who can relate to this powerful movement. Latinas born in the US all experience being placed under the term Mexican women. They are misrepresented in and have their individuality erased. Chicana feminism is the need to built yourself up without having to be confined to the restrictions given to you by birth. Many Chicanas have struggled dealing with so much oppression and the focus is to help those who are young Latina women who are continuously feeling confined to fit these archaic gender roles. It is to prove that we are worth more than many assume.

How Chicana Feminism can Benefit

During its time Chicana Feminism had a great impact in Chicano history and we are now faced with a new generation. This generation is a part of the Digital Age where people can be easily connected with the click of a button. This leaves many possibilities for educating the public and promoting the social movement. For example, Chicana Feminist Mercedez Holtry in her slam poetry performance "I Deserve to Be Free." She covers the struggles of being a women and how we are oppressed no matter what we do. She uses strong words such as comparing women to " Domestic animals," to be obedient. She preaches how we deserve to be to grow without being judged and to be respected as equals.

There is a Xicanisma page on Facebook that posts up articles on Chicanas and sometimes relatable memes related to our culture. While it has a large following because they keep it relevant to the younger generation, I feel they can promote Chicana organizations by teaming up with them. They can allow there to be a new younger audience encouraged to learn or to know the successes of woman who are similar to them.
The Chicana/Latina Foundation exists to " promotes professional and leadership development of Latinas." It is a great foundation that even has scholarships for young women in college. While people think of Chicana Feminism to only be radical, there are many ways in which progress manifests itself. That being said, the Chicanas website's purpose is to inform the public about Chicana women. The Chicanas website is great in that it presents Chicana history for everyone but website is dated and never completed. With so many young Latinas presenting their work and voicing their opinions, they deserve to be noticed. It is great information that should be expanded to social media. A new generation can learn and be encouraged by what women who look just like them can achieve.
While it might be easy to connect with other people in social media, it is not completely easy to be seen. Every second, millions of people are posting online, from videos to articles. Gaining and keeping a social presence is difficult in this era. This is why I recommend that the Chicana movement transition to Twitter.

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