Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chicana feminism on Woman Hollering Creek

Sonia Saldívar makes the argument that “Woman Hollering Creek” “fictionally articulates feminism [which] simultaneously decenters predominantly white feminisms and destabilizes class assumptions.” To support her argument she infers that after Cleófilas leaves her husband and returns to Mexico, she has transformed into a new woman, “the agent of alternative visions” thus converting her into the new Chicana feminist pioneer. Saldívar assumes that Cleófilas will liberate herself from the oppressive world of men by telling her family the story of Felice, the story of a new type of woman.

In my opinion, I believe it will take more than Cleófilas “hollering” her story, to liberate her. Returning to Mexico, positions her back to the role she had before, the role she wanted to escape when she got married and moved north. Instead of staying in the United States and establishing herself as an independent woman, with the help of Felice of course, Cleófilas decides to move back, to run away, defenseless to the Third World, a place known for its exploitation and dominance on women.

This inevitable cycle presented by Cisneros, does not show a woman who can stand up for herself, who dares to shout instead of hollering. With this is mind, Cleófilas can not be a symbol of Chicana feminism, but another victim in a patriarchal society.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is a powerful (if a bit brief) critique, Viri.
    So, what do you make of S-H's concluding references to the Mexicana feminists who rallied in the wake of the '85 earthquake? Is it possible that Cleófilas could become one of them? On the other hand, how does S-H herself limit the agency of the elder women of Monclova?
    Finally, you raise a question that S-H never addresses: how will Cleófilas engage with popular culture after her experiences with Juan Pedro?