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No one tells you of the land mines because, frankly, you make them uncomfortable and they really want you to go away. So they developed the strategy of telling the Latinos whom they were interested in dancing with again that they were secretaries in order to be asked for more dances. However, she quickly stopped laughing and said that one of her greatest personal challenges has been with her traditional Latino family stating it has been very difficult “to be taken seriously . As one Latina attorney from Seattle stated: I think people need to understand the challenges of becoming a lawyer in spite of our culture that expects different from us, from our families that expect less from us, from our husbands that are not always supportive.The fact that in our culture humbleness is a virtue but not in American culture.For example, Josefa one of the Latina attorneys I interviewed had this to say about sexism in the firm environment: I see women more involved.
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What’s ironic is that women are not reaping the benefits and success that men generally experience as a result of community involvement. Even after you ‘make it,’ you are probably the only Latina or the only woman of color. Perhaps it is our past that prevents Latinas from fitting into a profession where people frequently come from very privileged backgrounds.
All you have to do is look at the rate of women making partnership in firms. You are always viewed as the outsider, with little support to help you succeed. She and her friends discovered that once they revealed they were law school students they would not get asked to dance again. being taken seriously that this was my career choice and that I would be good at it.” Many of the Latina respondents also expressed feeling trapped between unreasonably rigid gender roles in Latino culture and stereotypes and limitations from mainstream society.
Discussing dysfunctions within a minority culture that already experiences oppression and discrimination by mainstream white society is a difficult thing to do.
Many women of color—Asian, Indian, and Black women understand sexist treatment from both dominant white society and from their cultures.
All across the city of Bogotá, and indeed the rest of the country, gringa girls living and working in Colombia are pairing up with local boys – at a staggering rate! Ask anyone about it, go and check it out, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It seems to be a match made in heaven – the Colombian males, who are fascinated with foreign women, and the young English girls, who are 6,000 miles away from home for the first time. It’s fair to say that for people in their early twenties in England, dating culture hasn’t really taken off – at least, not like it has in America.
Black women have courageously written about the unique oppression as women of color from Sojourner Truth’s Ain’t I a Woman to Kimberlé Crenshaw’s pathbreaking article in the late1980s, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Anti-discrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics,” to the writings of Audre Lorde, and bell hooks to name a few.
These and many other women of color have provided the foundation for analyses that examine how multiple identities such as race, class and gender result in increased oppression for women of color that are separate from those of white women. The unequal treatment of Latinos in many aspects of traditional Latino culture is one of the greatest dysfunctions of our culture.
And my study on Latino lawyers demonstrates that even for Latina professionals, this dysfunction does not easily go away.