I am a great evangelist. I used to evangelize in Pentecostal settings until I was 22. Then, I left my church to evangelize about feminist issues to every woman that crossed my path. Rhetoric is a gift I received when I was a kid and that I inherited from my grandpa and my dad. But during the COVID lockdowns, it was hard to socialize, and my evangelization skills turned toward making my friends and family join the privileged fan base of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. One by one, I convinced my sister, cousins, neighbors, and best friends to watch the reality show, and they did with astonishing devotion. Every week, two or three of us gather in someone’s living room wearing masks to watch episode after episode after episode. Our debates about the queens in the show could last all night long. Who had the best performance? Did you like their lip-synching? “That elimination was so fair/unfair!”Continue reading “Can I get an “Amen” up in here? by Laura Montoya “
Tag: Latina women
I Am Her by Karen Leslie Hernandez
I hear this a lot: “You’re Mexican? You don’t look it?” A friend I have had for over 40 years always says, “I don’t think of you that way.” I am never quite sure how to respond to these opinions. So, here, I muse.
My grandparents on my Dad’s side came over from Mexico in the early 1900’s. My grandfather, Juvenal, was a farmer and rancher for most of his life. Blond haired and blue eyed, his twinkle and staunch demeanor always made me wonder about his story. Unfortunately, I never met my maternal grandmother, Sofia, as she died when my father was 12 years old.
On my mom’s side, my great, great grandparents (Leonardo Romero) came over from Mexico in the 1800’s and helped to settle Tucson. The Romero family has spread far and wide throughout the West, but you can still go to the Romero House in Tucson, where they have art classes and have kept it has a historical landmark.
I am incredibly proud of my heritage – as light skinned and green eyed as I am, I consider myself Mexican American, and I proudly state that. Funny thing is, so many are uncomfortable with it. And, I wonder why.
Progressive Islam: A Critical View from Latin Muslim Feminists by Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente & Eren Cervantes-Altamirano
Progressive Islam(s) in the West, particularly in Canada and the US, have been defined as movements that primarily encompass Islamic feminism(s), LGBTQI affirming movements, anti-Conservative theologies, feminist theologies, women-centered liturgies, etc. From within this umbrella, we have seen calls to embrace women-led prayers, women-only spaces, LGBTIQ inclusive and affirming mosques and practices like ijtihad, which are said to be useful in breaking away from Conservative understandings of Islam. All in all, Progressive movements often depict themselves as “reformers” within a paradigm that is usually conceived to be dominated by Orthodox theologies and attitudes mainly driven by Saudi Arabia and Iran.
However, to what degree are Progressive movements truly inclusive? Are they as “radical” as they have been made out to be? Are Progressive spaces any safer for women and trans-women? Are Progressives free of misogyny and violence? Continue reading “Progressive Islam: A Critical View from Latin Muslim Feminists by Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente & Eren Cervantes-Altamirano”
Hoy, Canto de Mujer Que Se Libera – Un Canto de Ada María Isasi-Díaz, By Michele Stopera Freyhauf
“Yo soy mujer en busca de igualdad, no aguantar abuso ni maldad. Yo soy mujer y tengo dignidad, y pronto la justicia serd una realidad. Mujer, tù eres mujer, porque supiste ver, la realidad de tu poder. Hoy canto al Dios del Pueblo en mi guitarra, un canto de mujer que se libera” – From “Mujeristas: A Name of Our Own!” – Ada María Isasi-Díaz [i]
Translation: I am woman searching for equality; I will not put up with abuse and wickedness. I am a woman and I have dignity, and justice will soon be a reality. Woman, you are woman, because you have known how to recognize the fact that you are powerful. Today I sing to the God of my people with my guitar, I sing a song of a woman who liberates herself.
Labels, names, and categories can evoke prejudice and oppression. Ada Maria Isasi-Díaz, the founder of Mujerista Theology, wrote:
To be able to name oneself is one of the most powerful abilities a person can have. A name is not just a word by which one is identified. A name provides the conceptual framework and the mental constructs that are used in thinking, understanding and relating to a person. [ii]
These words relate to U. S. Hispanic women, who, according to Isasi-Díaz, struggle against ethnic prejudice, sexism, and in many cases classism [and who] have been at a loss as to what they should be called.[iii] In finding that common name, lyrics from three different songs inspired Isasi-Díaz who developed the term “Mujerista Theology,” replacing Hispanic women’s liberation theology:
“Yo soy mujer en busca de igualdad, no aguantar abuso ni maldad. Yo soy mujer y tengo dignidad, y pronto la justicia serd una realidad. Mujer, tù eres mujer, porque supiste ver, la realidad de tu poder. Hoy canto al Dios del Pueblo en mi guitarra, un canto de mujer que se libera” [iv]
For Isasi-Díaz, mujerista unifies Hispanic women and embodies strength. Mujeristas are those:
- Who desire a society and a world where there is no oppression.
- Who struggle for a society in which differences and diversity are valued.
- Who know that our world has limits and that we have to live simply so others can simply live.
- Who understand that material richness is not a limitless right but it carries a “social mortgage” that we have to pay to the poor of the world.
- Who savor the struggle for justice, which, after all, is one of the main reasons for living.
- Who try no matter what to know, maintain, and promote our Latina culture.
- Who know that a “glorified” self-abnegation is many times the source of our oppression.
- Who know women are made in the image of God and, as such, value ourselves.
- Who know we are called to birth new women and men, a strong Latino people.
- Who recognize that we have to be source of hope and of a reconciling love.
- Who love ourselves so we can love God and our neighbor.[v]
For Isasi-Díaz, Mujerista Theology is defined as:
“a process of enablement for Latina Women, insisting on the development of a strong sense of moral agency, and clarifying the importance and value of who they are, what they think, and what they do….mujerista theology [also] seems to impact mainline theologies, the theologies which support what is normative in church, and, to a large degree, in society.”[vi]
Continue reading “Hoy, Canto de Mujer Que Se Libera – Un Canto de Ada María Isasi-Díaz, By Michele Stopera Freyhauf”