Chapter Nine – Cultures, Queerness, and Ethnicity

Gloria Anzaldua Takeaways

Gloria Anzaldua Key Takeaways

  • Anzaldúa is not calling for all of us to “just get along”
  • She wants Whites to acknowledge the pain and damage they have caused to BIPOC
  • She calls for reparations.
  • She does not want to assimilate to White culture. Instead, she strives for recognition that we are all “mixed race,” for everybody to respect her ethnicity, gender fluidity, and sexual orientation as a Mestiza and queer. She also wants reparations for the Mexican and indigenous lands lost to the US, as well as for abuses suffered through a long history of racism.
  • Anzaldúa calls on White US people to understand and accept the Mestiza and calls on her own people to end discrimination based on sexual orientation. She is queer, that is, she emphasizes not only issues of sexuality, such as identifying as gay or lesbian, but embraces a sexuality that knows no boundaries (borders). Anzaldúa professed love for a tree (talk about a tree hugger!). Queer is different from LGBTQ. See the short explanation here.
  • Anzaldúa’s philosophy echoes Nietzsche’s analysis of the slave/master dynamics.The slave is dominated by the master, but the master needs the slave to be a master. The slave is forced or lured into a power relation from which the slave can only exit by figuratively or physically killing the master, or by walking away from that relationship of power. Anzaldúa says that there are two ways in which Mestizas can move forward, either “live in two shores, that is the Mestiza way of living both in White and  People of Color’s cultures) or abandon “white” culture,” that is, walk out of the slave-master dynamic.



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