Movements of rebellion
Cultures that betray
Anzaldúa works to explicate the specific condition of Mexican women. Expected to be strong but subservient, they are not supposed to rebel. Anzaldúa recalls her own memories and formations as a queer woman of color who did rebel.
Anzaldúa locates the strength of the feminine in her patriarchal/cultural construction as dangerous, sexual, unknown, and undivine. To tap into this power is to pursue the “Shadow Beast” within women that steers them to rebel against their natural roles as saints (wives/mothers/nuns) or whores. The patriarchal culture teaches that women must be protected from themselves (through clothing, social structures, etc.) in order to prevent backsliding. *It is important to note that a fourth option emerges through education, but women must then contend with being alienated and alien.
The “Shadow Beast” turns out to be less of an inner demon and more of a true self. Anzaldúa pursues her own Shadow Beast and finds comfort. As a queer woman she sees herself as half and half (mita’ a mita’)–the coming together of opposites. Located within this work of locating the self, Anzaldúa also finds a fear of returning home. Though she loves her family/home/culture, she refuses the parts that oppress her.
Woman (especially mestiza women) lives in the interstices–the space between worlds, the borderlands. The indian woman’s protest is wailing–La Llorona. Thought the India-Mestiza is wounded (La Malinche/La Chingada) she refuses to admit culpability in the subjugation of her people. Instead, she finds that they (patriarchal culture) have sold her out. Yet she waits. In silence, in solitude her rebellion grows.