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Margot Roussels Blog Post 10/5

I am cannot help but think about how the multiple parts of Gloria Anzaldúa’s identities intersect. Ever since learning about intersectionality and how the different parts of our identities overlap rather than add together to create how we see the world, I have been applying to my everyday life. I have been thinking about how my identities intersect and it has quickly become complicated to think about. In these excerpts from Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza Gloria Anzaldúa seems to be struggling with the same thing.
She is frequently thinking about how she doesn’t quite know what to call herself because she is Mexican, Spanish, and American, while also having Indian and Black roots. She also talks about what it means to be Hispanic vs Chicano. She seems recognizes how hard it is to properly acknowledge and respect all the different and sometimes conflicting parts of her identity. She said, “we know we are more than nothing; we call ourselves Mexican, referring to race and ancestry; mestizo when affirming both our Indian and Spanish (but we hardly ever own our Black ancestry)” She talks about how her identity is constantly changing depending on who she is talking to, but despite this they have persisted. Even though her culture had been warped and beaten down by the predominantly white culture of North America, she has not lost her language or her culture. It is a powerful message of persistence, but I hope in the future it will not be this hard. I hope North American culture becomes more accepting and celebratory of other cultures.

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4 Comments

  1. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    I like how you discussed your personal relationship with intersectionality. I think people, especially in America, are extremely quick to judge a person’s race, gender, religion, culture and overall identity. However, I don’t think people often take the time to think about their own identities and how they overlap to make them who they are as a whole person. I believe that if more people did embrace all different identities within them the world would be a more accepting place.

  2. Mohamad Kassem Mohamad Kassem

    I like the point you raised on how “her identity was constantly changing depending on who she is talking to”. I think this is extremely important as people often do not realize that one cannot present the same way in different situations due to the fear of not being accepted. I think a lot of people feel this way including me as I cannot present as a non-religious person, for example, in front of my Muslim family which means that I have to sacrifice a part of my identity to be accepted and avoid judgments.

  3. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    I like how you talked about applying intersectionality to your own life. Everyone experiences it in someway, which can sometimes seems difficult. However, Gloria Anzaldúa’s intersectionality is something to behold. Her way of channelling her struggles into the “powerful message of persistence” you mentioned is truly inspirational.

  4. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    I think intersectionality takes on a more complex meaning in the Mexican Americans borderlands. In addition to being both a female and minority, Anzaldúa is Chicano. As she describes, it is neither Mexican nor American. indeed, this feeling is felt throughout the borderlands. Closer and closer to the border, the boundary between Mexican and American culture becomes more mixed to the point it cannot be classified as either. Thus, Anzaldúa’s emotions are unique to those who live in the borderlands and struggle to classify into strict racial and national systems.

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