Friday, September 25, 2009
Found in the OED, a “mestiza” is a person of mixed origin; originally a woman with a Spanish father and an American Indian mother.
In Borderlands/La Frontera Anzaldua is describing the complexity of being a new Mestiza. To label yourself as a new Mestiza you are automatically expressing multitudes of races, cultural and ideological terms into this one word. You can think of it as a contradiction within itself. Because as a Mestiza you do not belong to one category but intertwine with a range of others. However, this does not bring absolute acceptance. A Mestiza has indigenous ancestry but also shares current civilization blood and traditions. She is ambiguous and has no actual place she can call home. She spends her time trying to figure out who she is, where she belongs and how she got in this current situation.
In La Conciencia de la Mestiza: Towards a new Consciousness, Anzaldua is clearly describing herself in this passages she identifies herself as a lesbian, a feminist and a women. I love the sentence in parenthesis because it’s such a great example of one of the many categories a Mestiza can identify with:
“As a lesbian I have no race, my own people disclaim me; but I am all races because there is the queer of me in all races.” Just like a lesbian not being accepted by her own people and or other races Mestizas to form an overall race that other women can relate to. Like many other non Latin American places there are plenty of other women that deal with this multicultural conflict.