« August 2008 | Main | October 2008 »

September 30, 2008

Coming of Age

My story was very similar to many that were discussed in Aida Hurtado's chapter "Growing up Female". I am the youngest of three sisters, and they are five and seven years older than me. As far as menstruation is concerned, I had all of the "traditional" textbook learning from my schools, so I had a pretty good idea about what to expect. But I remember the day I was finally visited by my monthly blessing, because I had horrible cramps and when I found some colored discharge on my underwear I asked my closest sister about it and she gave me a hug and told me I was finally a woman! Later I told my mother and got pretty much the same reaction. However, I didn't tell the oldest sister or my father, because both of them have been more distant towards me (until later years, when my sister and I became very close). Having two older sisters made it a lot easier for me than for many girls, because we always had a full supply of pads and tampons in the bathroom. However, I remember finding the specific pad that was given to all girls in 5th grade and using that first. In my mind I think it was my own rite of initiation to do so. Afterwards I called my closest girlfriends and told them the news and they proceeded to ask me what it was like.

It was a very different story when it came to the first time I had sex. I never really got "the talk" from anyone in my family, although the middle sister would share bits and pieces of information with me if I asked. When I lost my virginity it (unfortunately) ended up being with this a**hole who broke up with me three days later. For this situation (I think partially due to shame) I didn't tell anyone in my family, and confided only in friends. My mom finally found out I was sexually active when the clinic I normally went to for birth control closed, and I couldn't afford the prices at my new location. I think that because I was the youngest daughter, she didn't judge my actions as harshly as she might have, and was more proud of me for being responsible about it. I'm not sure if she shared any of this information with my father or not, but if she did he never mentioned it to me or offered any words of wisdom.

As far as dating is concerned, my parents never gave me strict guidelines as to when I was allowed to date. When I asked my mom about it, she said that I can start dating whenever I feel like I'm ready. This was a huge vote of confidence from her and I consider myself very blessed to have such a trusting mother. I had a lot of independence growing up, which both helped and harmed me in certain ways while going through puberty. The fact that I had two older sisters was very helpful in the early stages, but once I hit 14 I was the only child left in the house, which made it very difficult for me in the later years of development.

September 29, 2008

Blog Assignment Becoming a Young Woman/Senorita - Post under Category 1

After reading Chapter 2 "Growing up female" in Aida Hurtado's "Voicing Chicana Feminisms" I would like to know your thoughts on how your experiences of growing up female compare or contrast to the stories we hear from Chicanas themselves. What type of expectations regarding sex, sexuality or landmarks in your life (menstration, puberty, sex ed. ect.) were present in your family life? Feel free to share your stories autobiographically or by representing your experiences in a fictional story - use your own judgment and creativity. Ultimately, I want to see you engaging your story with the stories that we read in the text.

If you don't feel comfortable sharing, you may choose to relate to Hurtado's own methods of undertaking the study. Do you feel the voices she shares are representative of Chicana experiences? What do you think about her case study of Lucha and Fuerza that she puts at the end of the chapter? How successful do you think she is in sharing diverse perspectives from her respondents? What types of nuances in her analysis do you find interesting or see as important when reading these stories?

Post your responses under category 1 -- feel free to make an alias for yourself if that makes you more comfortable in sharing these details of your life/your own analysis.

September 23, 2008

Deborah Paredez Talk TODAY

I know this is super late notice, but there will be a speaker on campus today discussing Selena (who we will also be discussing toward the end of the semester). Below are the details, I hope to see some of you there.

Please join us for the last event in our speakers series on Global Media & Diasporic Cultures. Tomorrow (September 23) at 12 noon, Dr. Deborah Paredez of U. Texas at Austin will give the talk titled "Que Viva Selena, Queer Diva Selena" in Murphy Hall 100. Below is a brief bio of Dr. Paredez:

Deborah Paredez, is Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, Austin. She holds a Ph.D. from the Interdisciplinary Theatre and Drama Program at Northwestern University. She teaches courses about race and performance in the Department of Theatre, the Center for Mexican American Studies, and the Center for African & African American Studies. Her recent scholarship has focused on U.S. Latina/o performance and popular culture. Her articles, "Remembering Selena, Re-membering Latinidad," (Theatre Journal, 2002) and "Becoming Selena, Becoming Latina" (Women and Migration in the US-Mexico Borderlands, Duke University Press, 2007) comprise part of her forthcoming book, Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory, that explores the afterlife of the Tejana performer, Selena Quintanilla Perez. Her next project will focus on arts activism among communities of color in the Bronx.

September 17, 2008

I found a button :)

1. I apologize for my lack of articulation in class. 2. We needed some controversy, right? Now I apologize for my numerical phrasing ;)

Here's the deal. I have no authority on which to speak here. My apologies are sincere in the case that I did offend. Feel free to tell me to my face or write mean things about me on the bathroom wall.

In regard to Chicana Gender and Sexuality Politics, I have nothing. My school of thought was grounded in this question. "How do we subvert the white, patriarchal, heteronormative?" I did not consider "audience" because I am always challenging these constructs. I was more channeling a gut reaction of what my ideas of the majority are. I was not arguing its place, existentially, by any means. I think of academic work, as in the Trujillo, as a means in which, simplistically, will endlessly reshape "thought" so that it trickles on down to the "US Weekly" reader.

What perhaps allowed me to bring this perspective into play, was the critique of the art we had looked at in class. We not only read it from our perspective, but we also read how it was received by the powers that be. Though the art may not have been intended for that audience, it isn't any less valid to speculate on the audience it did reach.

Therefore, my gut reaction rested in the majority's ability to use something subversive against the movement itself. i.e. the magazine cover got cut because it went too far. There is room to say that sexualizing a figure, who for some is the epitome of virtue and truth, could work against the initial reclaiming of that figure. I'm not subscribing to this thought... but here we go...

-Today's Devil's Advocate

P.S. If nothing else, we will all solidify and redefine the reasons the above is completely irrelevant.

September 16, 2008

Teatro Chicana Book Signing

Laura Garcia and Sandra Gutierrez will discuss their book Teatro Chicana at the University of Minnesota Bookstore on Wednesday, September 24 at 4:00 p.m.

Who: Laura Garcia and Sandra Gutierrez

What: Reading and book signing

When: Wednesday, September 24 at 4:00 p.m.

Where:University of Minnesota Bookstore
300 Washington Ave. S.E. Minneapolis

Contact: Kari Erpenbach, University of Minnesota Bookstore
(612) 625-6564

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—(September 2, 2008) Laura Garcia and Sandra Gutierrez, members of the Mexican Theatre group Teatro de las Chicanas, and editors of the book Teatro Chicana: A Collective Memoir and Selected Plays, will discuss their book on Wednesday, September 24 at 4:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. S.E. Minneapolis.

Teatro Chicana is a first hand history of a Chicana women’s political theatre group that operated in the 1970s and 1980s in San Diego. The group performed plays addressing social, gender, and political issues of the working class and the Chicano Movement. In this collective memoir, seventeen women come together to share why they joined the theatre and how it transformed their lives.

Garcia and Gutierrez, will sign copies of their book following the discussion. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, or to order a signed copy visit www.bookstore.umn.edu/genref/authors.html.

This is your blog too!

Hello Students- Since no one but me has been active on our course blog so far, I thought I would add some specific instructions on how to post here. Follow these steps and you'll be well on your way to discussing relevant things you see in the media, your daily lives or other courses that deal with Chicana/o-Latina/o gender and sexuality matters.

If you'd like to post a blog entry here's how to do it:

1. Go to U Think. (you can access it through the UMN library website scroll down it's on the left side)
2. Click Login to UThink
3. Put in your user id (ex: creel005) and password like you're signing into your email or onestop.
4. You are now on the moveable type page. You should find a link to our class. Click on Chicana/o-Latina/o Gender & Sexuality (not the URL but the other link). If you do not have a link to our class, please email me and I will add you as an author.
5. Click on new entry (it is on the top right hand side under posting).
6. Type in your entry. Scroll to the bottom and hit save.

Happy blogging!

September 8, 2008

How to Make it to the Dance Floor: A Salsa Guide for Women

How to Make it to the Dance Floor: A Salsa Guide for Women
(Based on Actual Experiences)
written by Cindy García

Monday, 7:00 pm, September 22, 2008
Arena Theatre in Rarig, West Bank, University of Minnesota

How to Make it to the Dance Floor is a play about salsera wallflowers on a Saturday night in a fictional Los Angeles nightclub. A (red-haired) Chicana feminist ethnographer records the night's events on the bathroom wall. When the wallflowers challenge The Ethnographer's interpretations, they collectively decipher four crucial rules for salseras. Their different histories, experiences, and dance styles propel their encounters, truces, and clashes on the dance floor.

This staged reading is presented by Diverse Voices at the University of Minnesota.
This production is co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice President and Vice Provost for Equity and Diversity.

September 2, 2008

PALABRISTAS Book Release Party

PALABRISTAS, Latin@ Wordslingers

August 05, 2008
For immediate release Contact: Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria

MINNESOTA'S ONLY LATINO spoken word and poetry group releases first collection. Outside the Lines debuts at an evening of music and poesía at the Loft Literary Center.

From the Westside to Machu Picchu , From El Yunque to El Salvador, Palabristas meld, mold, mezclan and sazonan the spoken word – the living word. Celebrate with us as Minnesota 's only spoken word and poetry group releases its first collection, Outside the Lines.

Representing the work of nine of Minnesota 's most unique, talented and challenging Latino voices, Outside the Lines includes love poems, lost poems, political poems and everything in between. These are the urgent words of poets as they straddle the divides of language, culture, politics, economics, education and opportunity.

With Minnesota 's Latino community growing larger, and more under siege than ever, these voices begin to give voice to the voiceless. We grew from a bond of shared identities. In a country that allows us one box to check, we write Outside the Lines.

WHAT: Outside the Lines Release Party
WHEN : Friday, September 5th, 2008, 7:30-9:30pm
WHERE: The Loft Literary Center, Open Book
1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis , MN 55415
COST: Free

ABOUT the Poetas:

Lupe Castillo Texas born, Minnesota raised, and Xicana through and through. La Poetress has performed from Mexico City to Wisconsin to Texas to Minnesota .

Brandon Lacy Campos is a spoken word artist, editorialist, playwright, and community organizer. His writing has appeared in 60 Seconds to Shine by Simon and Schuster Press, The Liberty Tree Journal, Queer Codex: Chile Love
by Evelyn Street Press, and Mariposas: A Modern Queer Poetry Latino Anthology by Floricanto Press.

Rodrigo Sanchez Chavarria, Winner of the 2005 SASE Verve Grant, spoken word poet of Peruvian descent, writes about family, life and injustice. Released Desconcidos album in summer of 2007.

Dessa Darling is a Latina spoken word poet, essayist, and rapper living in Minneapolis . She won the 2005 Jerome/SASE grant for writers and was nominated for the best spoken word artist at the MN Music Awards in 2005 and 2006. Dessa is the only female member of the critically-acclaimed Doomtree hip-hop collective.

Lorena Duarte is a Minnesotana-Salvadoreña, poet, writer and teacher; recipient of a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and finalist in the Loft Mentor Series in Poetry. In 2007, she represented Minnesota at the
Individual World Poetry Slam in Vancouver and the National Poetry Slam in Austin .

Magdalena Kaluza, a young phenom, Magdalena was mentored through The Loft's Equilibrium Spoken Word Series by Tatiana Ormaza and Juliana Pegues.

Larry Lucio , Jr. is a Cofounder of The Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop; a poet and producer, he was named LCN's 2006 Artist of the Year. He blends hip hop styled lyricism with performance poetry. Larry is a proud graduate
of McNally Smith College of Music.

Tatiana Ormaza has received awards and grants from The Loft Literary Center, The Jerome Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, and the University of Minnesota Office for University Women.

Teresa Ortiz is the author of Never Again A World Without Us, Voices of Maya Women in Chiapas , Mexico and is a mentor for the Espejos project at Intermedia Arts.

ABOUT Palabristas:

Palabristas formed to solidify our connection as Latino writers. We are a collaboration of poets of Latino descent; we write about what we see, what we experience, our culture, our language, our people. We write in English,
Spanglish, Spanish; we educate and we inspire. Between us we have won awards, grants, slams. We've performed for crowded auditoriums and small coffee houses, for toddlers and for their grandparents. We conduct workshops and aim to nurture literary talent within the Latino community. What brings us together is a common thread of defiance, a sense of social justice; it is the poetry of definition and identity, rooted in politics and a reality not defined but defied by its creators.

This event is co-sponsored by the Loft's Equilibrium: Spoken Word series. We gratefully acknowledge their support.