Hear my Testimony
Testimonies as a genre of text make a special contribution to feminist studies of women’s activism, especially women of color because without them they probably would not be heard otherwise. By reading everything they have to say about what has happened to them we get a better understanding of all the hardships they had to endure. The definition of a testimony is a specific and engaging story told in the first person, and Latin American testimonies are ones told by ordinary people whose lives have been changed by political circumstances. According to the definition of testimonies Maria Theresa Tula is an ordinary person. She was born with pretty much nothing, had to grow up fast, alone and with her babies. She only became well known after she was with Rafael Canales and joined CO-MADRES.
There were many events that happened in Maria’s childhood and adolescence that indicate the gender roles of poor women in El Salvador. One thing Maria explains is how her grandmother tells her she has to act, “You are a girl. You have to be well behaved. You have to sit like this with your legs together and pull your dress down.” Maria also explains how she used to beat by her brother really bad just for no reason. Even though unlike every other girl she finally stood up to him and fought back once. Women also had to do all the chores in their house and the poor women would even do the ironing for other people in order to make money. This relates to Mascia-Lees in the idea of human nature vs. womens nature where women are the natural inferior gender.
Maria became an activist during the civil war in El Salvador when she discovered her husband was an activist working at the sugar mill with other activists. She was learning about strikes and everything it entails and learned that many things can happen to activists like torture or death, or making them disappear. She became close with other women who are involved with men that are activists in a group...
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