"Because I am in All Cultures at the Same Time": Intersections of Gloria Anzaldua's Concept of Mestizaje in the Writings of Latin American Jewish Women Writers

Benay D. Blend


As a woman who consistently confronts institutionalized racism, class exploitation, sexism and homophobia, Gloria Anzaldua insists on illuminating multiple systems of exploitation that apply to oppressed groups resisting incorporation by dominant cultures. In Borderlands/La Frontera, Anzaldua's theory of the New Mestiza provides a paradigm for looking at how Latin American Jewish women writers also define their narrative form through the concept of mestizaje, or mestizo culture. Moreover, just as Anzaldua's multiple identity as a working-class-origin lesbian of color allows her to include other internal struggles in the analysis, so Jewish women in Latin Ameican, through questioning and deconstructing the patriarchy during recent military tyrannies in that country, have made important contributions in feminist and queer writing. By demonstrating that they are hybrids, Latin American Jewish writers create a space between different worlds. By thus acknowledging the specific struggles across geopolitical lines, feminism can build new bridges and continue to develop as a politically significant body of ideas.


Latin American Jewish women writers

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