From a Long Line of Vendidas

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In order for a patriarch system to perpetuate male superiority, they must first create a space for male domination. This is accomplished by instilling feelings of self-hatred and unworthiness in females so that they accept their inferiority. In a patriarch society that facilitates female inferiority it seems that unification of women is the only way to achieve liberation. In Cherrie Moraga’s Loving in the War Years, the chapter entitled “From a Long Line of Vendidas” teaches that patriarch society negatively influences the way women feel about themselves, thus influencing the way women relate to each other. This cultural environment perpetuates gender hierarchy by both ruining the self-image of women and placing women in discord, thereby making the unification and liberation of women an impossible feat. Patriarchic society preserves female inferiority by instilling feelings of self-hatred into women. The beginning of the chapter addresses this self hatred, “If somebody would have asked me when I was a teenager what it means to be Chicana, I would probably have listed the grievances done me” (38). Since teenagers are often in search of their identity, it is of particular significance that as a teenager, Moraga would have listed the grievances done to her as a way of explaining her identity. The word ‘grievances’ connotes harm, wrongdoing, distress, burden, and suffering; these inflictions, coupled with the powerlessness and passivity the female feels as the “grievances are done [to her]” foster anger and resentment, which metamorphoses into self-hatred. Patriarchic society instills this self-hatred into Chicanas by embedding their worthlessness into the foundation of society itself. “Chicanas’ negative perceptions of ourselves as sexual persons and our consequential betrayal of each other find their roots in a four-hundred-year-long Mexican history and mythology” (39). This self-hatred is institutionalized by the creation of a myth that justifies the...
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