Las Tres Marias

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The significance of Las 3 Maria's syndrome is that it represents our culture's/society's essentialist views about women and because our society is primarily a patriarchy, society's views are centered on a "macho" way of thinking. In Borderlands, Anzaldua tells us that "Culture forms our beliefs" and because culture is run by those in power, it's the men that make the rules. She also goes on to explain how our society condemns selfishness, the needs of the family/community and therefore La Raza, are more important than the individuals. The end result is society's diminishing of women into keeping us in "rigidly defined roles" as either a virgin, mother and/or whore. It further oppresses us because it keeps many women from rebelling, since those who do are immediately categorized under the "whore." Personally, I don't know many women who would like to be seen as whores. Feminists have taken these roles and linked them to the bible as metaphors representing the three Mary's present at Jesus' crucifixion Virgin Mary, Mary mother of James, and Mary Magdalene.

The virgin role is the most prized and respected in today's society. Take the majority of the Mexican population who profoundly worship La Virgen de Guadalupe. The significance is that of the three, the Virgin is the role that MEN show greater respect for. In fact, this role fulfills many if not all of a man's fantasy's. Women who fill this category are virgins, therefore pure, just like La Virgen, and we all know how much men enjoy taking a woman's virginity. Women who fill this category are also dominated by men, in this case their fathers and as for La Virgen, God is known to have power over her. Another great quality that a virgin holds, according to men, is that she is very submissive, which is exactly the trait that a man looks for in a woman. Women are always encouraged to remain silent, and just like the virgin, all forgiving.
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