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Feminism in Mexico

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Title: Feminism in Mexico  
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Subject: Feminist theory, Postcolonial feminism, Feminism in Germany, First-wave feminism, Individualist feminism
Collection: Feminism in Mexico, Mexican Feminists, Mexican Society, Women's Rights in Mexico
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Feminism in Mexico

Feminism in Mexico is often divided chronologically into peak periods followed by lulls: the Revolutionary period (1915-1925), the Second Wave (1968-1990, peaking in 1975-1985), and the post-1990 period.[1] While

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  9. ^ Mitchell (2006), pp 21-28
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  11. ^ Foweraker (1990), p 220
  12. ^ Franceschet (2003), p 16
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  19. ^ Brabeck, M. and Brown, L. (With Christian, L., Espin, O., Hare-Mustin, R., Kaplan, A., Kaschak, E., Miller, D., Phillips, E., Ferns, T., and Van Ormer, A.). (1997). Feminist theory and psychological practice. In J. Worell and N. Johnson (Eds.) Shaping the future of feminist psychology: Education, research, and practice (pp.15–35). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
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  39. ^ Morgan (2012) p 5, 10
  40. ^ Morgan (2012), p 12
  41. ^ Morgan (2012), p 148
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  44. ^ a b Morgan (2012), pp 141-143
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  58. ^ Olcott (2006), pp 36-39
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  81. ^ Olcott (2006), p 3
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  85. ^ a b Mitchell (2006), pp 21-24
  86. ^ a b c
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  88. ^ Mitchell (2006), p 27
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  92. ^ Rappaport (2001), p 249
  93. ^ Rappaport (2001), pp 282-283
  94. ^ Lavrin (1978), p 290
  95. ^ Mitchell (2006)," p 28
  96. ^ Mitchell (2006)," pp 56-57
  97. ^
  98. ^ Mitchell (2006)," p 59
  99. ^ a b Mitchell (2006)," pp 133-137
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  103. ^ Bauermeister (1999), p 6
  104. ^ Bauermeister (1999), p 8
  105. ^ Schnaith (2009), p 31
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  107. ^ Xypolia (2013), p45
  108. ^ Frazier (2003), p 652
  109. ^ a b Bauermeister (1999), pp 10-11
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  113. ^ Bauermeister (1999), pp 11-12
  114. ^ a b c d
  115. ^ Bauermeister (1999), pp 11-13
  116. ^ Franceschet (2003), p 15
  117. ^ Bauermeister (1999), p 13
  118. ^ a b Bauermeister (1999), pp 13-14
  119. ^ Foweraker (1990), pp 222-227
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  133. ^ a b Franceschet (2003), p 17
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References and external links

See also

  • Dore, Elizabeth. Gender Politics in Latin America: Debates in Theory and Practice. Monthly Review Press, 1997.
  • Finkler, Kaja. Women in Pain: Gender and Morbidity in Mexico. Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1994.
  • Franco, Jean. Plotting Women: Gender and Representation in Mexico. Columbia Univ. Press, 1991.
  • Lamas, Marta. Feminism: Transmissions and Retransmissions. Palgrave Macmillan: New York, 2011.
  • Levine, Sarah and Clara Sundeland Correa. Dolor Y Alegria: Women and Social Change in Urban Mexico. Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1993.
  • Macías, Ann. Against All Odds: The Feminist Movement in Mexico to 1940. Greenwood Pub. Group, 1982.
  • Rosenbaum, Brenda. With Our Heads Bowed: The Dynamics of Gender in a Maya Community. Insititute of Mesoamerican Studies, 1993.
  • Salas, Angel. Literatura Feminista. 1998.
  • Soto, Shirlene Ann. Emergence of the Modern Mexican Women: Her Participation in Revolution and Struggle for Equality, 1910-1940. Arden Press, 1990.
  • Staudt, Kathleen, David Spencer and Lynne Rienner, ed. The U.S.-Mexico Border: Transcending Divisions, Contesting Identities. Lynne Rienner Pub., 1998.
  • Tiano, Susan. Patriarchy on the Line: Labor, Gender, and Ideology in the Mexican Maquila Industry. Temple Univ. Press, 1994.
  • Tirado, Thomas C. Celsa's World: Conversations with a Mexican Peasant Woman. Univ. of Arizona Press, 1991.
  • Ed. Yeager, Gertrude M. (1994). Confronting change, challenging tradition : women in Latin American history (1. publ. ed.). Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources.

Further reading

Social movements

List of notable figures

The fight for abortion rights in other states continues, as many state laws criminalize miscarriage in a crime characterized as "aggravated homicide of a family member" and activists have worked to have excessively harsh sentences of up to 30 years reduced.[136] In 2010, Veronica Cruz was successful in leading the effort to free seven women serving prison sentences for abortion or miscarriage in Guanajuato[137] and in 2011 secured a similar release in Guerrero.[138] In November 2014, the SCJN began hearings on a case from Veracruz, which is the first case in Mexico to ask the court to consider whether women have a constitutional right to abortion and whether criminalization should be eliminated across the nation.[139]

Within a month Vicente Fox’s 2000 election, the PAN governor of Guanajuato attempted to ban abortion even in the case of rape. In a speech to commemorate International Women's Day Fox’s Secretary of Labor, Carlos Abascal, angered many women by proclaiming feminism "as the source of many moral and social ills, such as 'so-called free love, homosexuality, prostitution, promiscuity, abortion, and the destruction of the family'.”[133] In reaction, feminists staged protests and demanded political protection. In Guanajuato, Verónica Cruz Sánchez coordinated protests over numerous weeks which eventually defeated the measure.[134] Rosario Robles, feminist leader of the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) led efforts in Mexico City to expand abortion rights in cases when the health of the mother or child is jeopardized.[133] After 38 years of work by the feminist movement, in 2007 the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation decriminalized abortions in Mexico City which occur by 12 weeks of gestation. GIRE lawyers assisted in drafting legislation and in coordinating defense of the law when lawsuits alleged it was unconstitutional. Marta Lamas testified during the Supreme Court trial.[135]

Members of the Women's Human Rights Centre in Ciudad Chihuahua, Mexico call for justice for the murders of Rubi and Marisela.

After 1997, when PRI lost control of the legislature,[122] female activists and victims’ relatives in Chihuahua convinced the state government to create special law enforcement divisions to address disappearances and deaths of women in Ciudad Juarez. Success in the state legislature led to a similar law at the national level, which also aimed at investigating and prosecution of Dirty War and narco-trafficking disappearances.[110] By 2004 the violence toward women had escalated to the point that María Marcela Lagarde y de los Ríos introduced the term femicide, originally coined in the United States,[130] to Latin American audiences to refer to abductions, death and disappearances of women and girls which is allowed by the state and happens with impunity.[131] In 2006, the Mexican Congress adopted the term accepting that it points to the State's responsibility and in 2009 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a verdict against Mexico condemning the failure to protect hundreds of murdered women in Ciudad Juarez.[132]

Women campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in 2011

[120] (EZLN) (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional With the 1994 formation of the

In 1991, a constitutional reform established freedom of religious belief, granted open practice of all religions, and for the first time in the 20th century, established diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Vatican. Almost immediately, the Catholic church launched a campaign opposing family planning and a condom distribution program the Mexican government was sponsoring as part of an HIV/AIDS prevention program. In reaction, the feminist movement began studying pro-choice movements in France and the United States, to analyze how to direct the discourse in Mexico. In 1992 they formed the Grupo de Information en Reproduction Elegida (GIRE) (Information Group on Reproductive Choice).[114] Transforming the discussion from whether one was for or against abortion to focus on who should decide was a pivotal change in forward-progress of the abortion debate in Mexico according to Marta Lamas.[125] In order the gauge the public perception, GIRE in conjunction with Gallup polling, completed national surveys in 1992, 1993 and 1994, which confirmed that over 75% of the population felt that the decision of family planning should belong to a woman and her partner.[114]

Indigenous women began demanding rights beginning in 1990. Because many indigenous women had been forced into the workplace, their concerns had similarities with urban workers, as were their concerns with violence, lack of political representation, education, family planning choices, and other issues typically addressed by feminists. However, indigenous women also faced an ethnic discrimination and cultural orientation that was different from feminists, and particularly those from urban areas. In some of their cultures, early marriage, as young as 13 or 14 prevailed;[120] in other cultures, derecho de pernada ([120] Similar to other women of color and minorities in other feminist movements[127][128] indigenous women in Mexico have struggled with ethnocentrism from mainstream feminist groups.[120]

The period beginning in 1990 marked a shift in the politics of Mexico which would change the country from the hegemonic control of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). In 1989, the first governorship in the country in 60 years, passed from the PRI to a National Action Party (PAN) candidate.[121] That event was followed in 1997 by PRI's loss of control of the lower house and in 2000, loss of the presidency.[122] The impact that end of the virtual one-party-rule would have on women in Mexico was an open question.[123] 1990 also saw the birth of Debate Feminista (Feminist Debate) a publication founded by Marta Lamas and aimed connecting academic feminist theory with the practices of activists in the women’s movement.[124] Debate has become one of the most important journals in Latin America, because it also prints articles written by men.[125]

1990 and beyond

In 1989, a scandal broke when police raided a private abortion clinic, detaining doctors, nurses and patients. They were jailed without a court order in Tlaxcoaque, subjected to extortion demands, and some of the women reported they were tortured. After her release, one of the victims filed a lawsuit alleging police brutality and the media picked up the story. In a first for Mexico's feminist movement, feminists published a notice in response to the situation, and obtained 283 signatories with different political alliances and gained 427 endorsements. For the first time, feminists and political parties spoke in harmony.[114] The period marked slow, but steady gains for women in the country.[118]

In 1987 feminists from the organization Comaletzin A.C. began working with indigenous women in Chiapas, Morelos, Puebla, and Sonora for the first time. In 1989 the Center for Research and Action for Women and the Women’s Group of San Cristóbal de las Casas initiated programs for indigenous women in Chiapas and the Guatemalan refugee community against sexual and domestic violence. In Oaxaca and Veracruz, Women for Dialogue and in Michoacán, Women in Solidarity Action (EMAS), who work with Purépecha women, also began helping indigenous women in their struggles for rights.[120]

Mobilization, popular demonstration and social movements, came together in a new way in response to the devastating sexual harassment, cover child and health care, improve job training and education, raised workers awareness and changed the actual work conditions.[119]

An economic crisis which began in 1976, bound women across class lines for the first time. Social issues gave women a new political voice as they demanded solutions to address problems created by the rural to urban migration which was taking place. Women formed neighborhood coalitions to deal with lack of housing, sanitation, transportation, utilities and water. As more people moved into cities to find work, lack of investment in those areas, as well as education and health facilities, became challenges that united women's efforts.[115] Though these colonias populares (neighborhood movements) were making "demands for genuine representation and state accountability as well as social citizenship rights" they did not ask for systemic changes to improve women's societal positions.[116] As the debt crisis intensified and Mexico devalued its currency to gain international loans, wages decreased while the cost of living escalated, causing more and more women to enter the workforce. Companies began hiring women because they could pay them lower wages, male unemployment soared, and feminist activity came to a standstill.[117]

At the beginning of this period, there was hope by activists that gains would be made in the area of contraception and a woman's right to her own body choices. President Luis Echeverría had convened the Interdisciplinary Group for the Study of Abortion, which included anthropologists, attorneys, clergy (Catholic, Jewish and Protestant), demographers, economists, philosophers, physicians, and psychologists. Their findings, in a report issued in 1976, were that criminality of voluntary abortion should cease and that abortion services should be included in the government health package. The recommendations were neither published or implemented. In 1980 feminists convinced the Communist Party to table a bill for voluntary motherhood, but it never moved forward. In 1983, a proposal was made to modify the penal code, but strong reaction from conservative factions dissuaded the government from action.[114]

1975 to 1989

[113] In addition to the more practical Mother's Movements, Mexican feminism, called "New Feminism" in this era, became more intellectual and began questioning gender roles and inequalities. Between June and July 1975, the UN World Conference on Women was held in

In 1972, Alaíde Foppa created the radio program "Foro de la Mujer" (Women's Forum) which was broadcast on Radio Universidad, to discuss inequalities within Mexican society, violence and how violence should be treated as a public rather than a private concern, and to explore women's lives. In 1975, Foppa co-founded with Margarita García Flores the publication Fem, a magazine for scholarly analysis of issues from a feminist perspective.[111]

The uprising mobilized students and mothers. Seeing their children slain, brought lower class and poor women en masse for the first time into the realm of activism with educated middle class women. These "Mother's Movements" occurred in rural and urban areas and across socio-economic barriers, as mothers protested repeatedly for social ills and inequalities to be addressed by their governments. What began as a voice for their children, soon became demands for other kinds of change, like adequate food, sufficient water, and working utilities.[109] Voices also were raised questioning disappearances in various places in the country, but in this period, those questions met with little success.[110]

Between July and October 1968, a group of women participants in the student protests that would become known as Mexico 68, began a fledgling feminist movement.[106] During the uprising, women used their perceived apolitical status and gender to bypass police barricades. Gaining access to places that men could not go raised women's awareness of their power.[10] Though the protests were suppressed by government forces before political change happened,[107] the dynamic of man-woman relationships changed, as activists realized platonic working relationships could exist without leading to romance.[108]

Armored cars at protests at the "Zócalo" in Mexico City in 1968

1968 to 1974

Throughout the '30s FUPDM concentrated on social programs that would benefit lower-class women, advocating for rent reductions of market stalls, and lowered taxes and utility rates. These programs earned the group a large following and their pressure, with the support of President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines that they would support his presidential bid in exchange for suffrage. Ruiz consented to the arrangement if Alianza could secure 500,000 women's signatures on a petition asking for enfranchisement. When Ruiz was elected, Alianza delivered the signatures and as promised, women were granted the right to vote in federal elections in 1953.[105]

Near the end of the decade, political parties, like the Partido Nacional Revolucionario (the precursor to PRI) and Partido Nacional Antireeleccionista (National Anti-Reelectionist Party (PNA)) included a women's platform in their agendas,[57] but the most significant gains in this period were regarding practical matters[57] of economic and social concerns. In 1931, 1933 and 1934 the Congreso Nacional de Mujeres Obreras y Campesinas (National Congress of Women Workers and Peasants) sponsored the Congreso Contra la Prostitución (Congress Against Prostitution).[99] One important development that these groups secured in this time frame was the legalization of abortion in case of rape in 1931.[102]

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s a series of conferences, congresses and meetings were held, dealing with sexual education and prostitution.[99] Much of this attention was in response to the 1926 passage of the Reglamento para el Ejercicio de la Prostitución (Regulation for the Practice of Prostitution), an ordinance requiring prostitutes to register with authorities and submit to inspection and surveillance.[100] But it also may have been part of a normal phenomenon which occurs at the end of conflict. Katherine Elaine Bliss has noted that often, at the end of armed conflict, citizens turn to reordering the social and moral codes, regulating sexuality and redefining social roles.[101]


[98] (First National Women’s Congress) in Mexico City was held from which 2 factions emerged. The radicals, who were part of workers unions and resistance leagues from Yucatán and were aligned with Elena Torres Cuéllar and María “Cuca” del Refugio García. The moderates, who were teachers and women from Christian societies in Mexico City and representatives from the Pan American League and US feminist associations, followed the lead of Primer Congreso Nacional de Mujeres That same year the [95] In 1923 the First Feminist Congress of the Pan American League of Women was held in Mexico and demanded a wide range of political rights.

In 1919, the Consejo Feminista Mexicano (Mexican Feminist Council)[90] was co-founded by Elena Torres Cuéllar, with the goals of attaining the right to vote and social and economic liberty;[91] María “Cuca” del Refugio García, who was a proponent of indigenous women's rights, including protection of their lands and wages;[92] and Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza, who became the first president of the Council and was an advocate of miner's rights and education.[93] In 1922, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, governor of the Yucatán, proposed legislation giving women the right to vote and urged women to run for political offices. Heeding his call, Rosa Torre González became the first woman to be elected in any political capacity in Mexico, when she won a seat that same year on the Mérida Municipal Council. The following year, 1923, Carrillo Puerto's younger sister, Elvia Carrillo Puerto was one of three women delegates elected to the state legislature. The other two were Beatríz Peniche Barrera and Raquel Dzib Cicero.[94]

The 1917 Constitution of Mexico was created by the reformist movement. It contained many of the ideas discussed in the Feminist Congress — free, mandatory, state-sponsored education;[89] "equal pay for equal work" (though the delegates were not attempting to protect women, but rather protecting male workers from foreigners being paid higher wages);[6] the preliminary steps to land reform; and a social, as well as political structure.[89] While the Constitution did not prohibit women's enfranchisement, the 1918 National Election Law limited voting rights to males. The Law of Family Relations of 1917 expanded the previous divorce provisions, giving women the right to alimony and child custody, as well as the ability to own property and take part in lawsuits.[57]

As they had in the War for Independence, many Mexican women served during the Mexican Revolution as soldiers and even troop leaders, as well as in more traditional camp-follower roles as cooks, laundresses, and nurses.[83] However, those who gained recognition as veterans of the war were typically educated women who acted as couriers of arms and letters, propagandists, and spies. In part, this was due to an order issued on 18 March 1916 which decommissioned all military appointments of women retroactively and declared them "null and void".[84] Because of the nature of espionage, many of the women spies worked directly with the leadership of the revolution and thus had at least a semi-protected status as long as the leader they worked with was living. They formed anti-Huerta clubs,[85] like the Club Femenil Lealtad (Women's Loyalty Club) founded in 1913 by María Arias Bernal,[86] using their gender to disguise their activities.[85] Some gains were made, as the right to divorce was attained in 1914[86] and in 1915 Hermila Galindo founded a feminist publication, Mujer Moderna (The Modern Woman) which discussed both politics and feminist ideas,[87] including suffrage.[86] Also in 1915, in October, the newly appointed governor of the Yucatán, Salvador Alvarado, who had studied both European and United States feminist theory and socialism, called for a feminist congress to be convened. In January 1916 the Primer Congreso Feminista (First Feminist Congress) was held in Mérida, Mexico and discussed topics of education, including sexual education; religious fanaticism; legal rights and reforms; equal employment opportunity; and intellectual equality among others,[6] but without any real challenge to defining women in terms of motherhood.[88]

Revolutionary period

  • In 1870, Rita Cetina Gutiérrez founded La Siempreviva (The Everlasting) in Yucatán, one of the first feminist societies in Mexico. The society founded a secondary school, which Cetina directed from 1886-1902, educating generations of young teaching women[79] and inspired others to open schools for women.[57]
  • In 1887, Laureana Wright de Kleinhans established a literary feminist group that published a magazine, "Violetas de Anáhuac" (Violets of Anáhuac), which demanded equality of the sexes and women's suffrage.[80]
  • In 1904, the Sociedad Protectora de la Mujer (The Society for the Protection of Women)[78] formed and began publishing a feminist magazine, "La Mujer Mexicana" (The Mexican Woman).[81]
  • In 1910, the Club Femenil Antirreeleccionista Hijas de Cuauhtémoc (Anti-Reelectionist Women's Club of the Daughters of Cuauhtémoc) led a protest against election fraud and demanded women's right to political participation.[82]

Women have played a pivotal role in Mexico's political struggles throughout its history,[73] yet their service to the country did not result in political rights until the middle of the twentieth century.[6] Women distinguished themselves in battle and command during the Mexican War of Independence (1810-1821),[74] and also were employed as spies, provocateurs, and seductresses. Newspapers in 1812, harangued women to take part in the independence effort as they owed their countrymen a debt, for submitting to conquest and subordinating Mexico to Spanish rule.[75] Mexican women did have some rights, including greater property rights, than their counterparts elsewhere in North America. Spanish colonial law, and Mexican law after independence, recognized the separate individual property of a husband and wife, as well as jointly owned property.[76][77] There were feminist gains between 1800 and 1910, but they were typically individual gains and not a formalized movement.[78]


The AIDs pandemic caused the coming together of the Muxe and feminist groups. Gunaxhi Guendanabani (Loves Life, in the Zapotec languages) was a small women's NGO operating in the area for 2-years when the muxe approached them and joined in the effort to promote safe sex and protect their community.[71] On 4 November 2014, Gunaxhi Guendanabani celebrated its 20-year anniversary and their efforts in decreasing HIV/AIDs, gender based violence and campaigns against discrimination for people living with HIV and against homophobia.[72]

The Zapotec cultures of the Isthmus of Oaxaca in Juchitán de Zaragoza and Teotitlán del Valle are home to a non-binary gender sometimes called a "third gender," which has been accepted in their society since pre-conquest. The Muxe of Juchitán and biza’ah of Teotitlán del Valle are not considered homosexual but instead a separate category, with male physiology and typically skills and aesthetics of women. According to Lynn Stephen in her study of Zapotec societies, muxe and biza'ah are sometimes disparaged by other men, but generally accepted by women in society.[70]


In Mexico, where 63.4% of the female population has a child between the age of 15 and 19,[14] there are some who make a conscious choice against motherhood. For some, becoming a nun offers a way out domesticity, machismo, and a lack of educational opportunity toward a more socially responsible path.[65] Those in orders who see their work as allies of the poor and imbued with a mission for social justice,[66] have increasingly been characterized as feminists and having "a certain secularist mentality".[67] Mexico's nuns who work along the US/Mexico border with migrants experience difficulties trying to balance strict Catholic doctrine against suffering that they see and some believe the church needs to take a more humanitarian approach.[65] Similarly, those, who are working to bring visibility to femicide and halting violence against women, seek "to realize the humanity in all of us regardless of our religious beliefs".[68] An organization called the Rede Latinoamericana de Católicas (Latin American Catholic Network) has gone so far as to send a letter to Pope Francis supporting feminism, women's rights to life and health, their quest for social justice and their rights to make their own choices regarding sexuality, reproduction and abortion.[69]


[7] Beginning in the 1970s, when

[46] In retrospect these artists have become feminist icons because their actions and work questioned gender restrictions, but in their time, they may not have seen themselves in that way.[61] In [59] The countercultural artists movement of the post-Revolutionary period, beginning in the 1920s, was clearly political and aimed at allowing other voices in the development of a modern Mexico.

Mexico has a long history of "gender rebels" [52] which according to [55][56] Several women came out of the Mexican Revolution and refused to return to gender "normalty".[57][58] These are typically isolated cases, and not indicative of a social or political "movement."

Gender rebels

Up until the 1980s, most discussion of feminism centered on the relationships between men and women, child-centric spheres, and wages. After that time period, bodies, personal needs, and sexuality emerged.[50] Some feminist scholars since the 1980s have evaluated the historic record on women and shown that they were participants in shaping in the history of the country. In 1987, Julia Tuñón Pablos wrote Mujeres en la historia de México (Women in the History of Mexico), which was the first comprehensive account of women's historical contributions to Mexico from prehistory through the Twentieth Century. Since that time, extensive studies have shown that women were involved all areas of Mexican life. From the 1990s, gender perspective has increasingly become a focus for academic study.[51]

Women's depictions of themselves in art, novels, and photography were in opposition to their objectification and portrayal as subjects of art. By creating their own art, in the post-Revolutionary period, artists could claim their own identity and interpretation of femininity.[41] While the female artists of the immediate period following the revolution tried in their own ways to redefine their personal perceptions of body and its imagery in new ways,[42][43][44][45] they did not typically champion social change. It was the feminists who came after, looking back at their work, who began to characterize it as revolutionary in sparking social change.[46] In the 1950s, a group of Mexican writers called "Generation of '50" were influential in questioning the values of Mexican society.[47] Rosario Castellanos was one of the first to bring attention to the complicity of middle-class women in their own oppression and stated, "with the disappearance of the last servant will the first angry rebel appear".[48] Castellanos sought to question caste and privilege, oppression, racism, and sexism through her writing.[47] Her voice was joined by Elena Poniatowska, whose journalism, novels and short stories philosophically analyzed and evaluated the roles of women, those who had no empowerment, and the greater society.[49]

Changing perceptions

Predominantly, until the latter part of the 19th century, images of women, whether in the arts or society as a whole, were those dictated by men and men's perceptions of women.[37][38] After the Revolution the state created a new image of who was Mexican. Largely through the efforts of President Álvaro Obregón the cultural symbol became an indigenous Indian, usually a mestizo female, who represented a break with colonialism and Western imperialism.[39] While men's definitions of women and their sphere remained the "official" and predominant cultural model,[13] beginning in the 1920s women demanded being allowed to define their own sphere.[40]

In Mexico, most of these theories stem from postcolonialism and social constructionist ideologies. As Pamela Abbot and others have noted noted, a postmodern approach to feminism highlights "the existence of multiple truths (rather than simply men and women's standpoints)."[23] This quite clearly plays out in the Mexican social perception, where the paternalistic machismo culture is neither clearly juxtaposed against a marianismo nor a malinchismo counterpart. In a particularly Mexican context, the traditional views of women have resided at polar opposite positions, wherein the pure, chaste, submissive, docile, giver-of-life marianistic woman,[24] in the guise of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is at one end of the spectrum and the sinful, scheming, traitorous, deceptive, mestizo-producing, La Malinche is at the other.[25] These stereotypes are further reinforced in popular culture via literature,[26][27] art,[28][29] theater,[30] dance,[31][32] film,[33] television[34] and commercials.[35] Regardless of whether these portrayals are accurate, historically based, or were manipulated to serve vested interests,[36] they have promoted three of the underlying themes of the female Mexican identity — Catholicism, Colonialism and Mestizo.[1]

Traditional stereotypes

Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical or philosophical fields. It encompasses work in a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, economics, women's studies, literary criticism,[15][16] art history, psychoanalysis and philosophy.[17][18][19][20] Feminist theory aims to understand gender inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations, and sexuality. While providing a critique of these social and political relations, much of feminist theory also focuses on the promotion of women's rights and interests. Themes explored in feminist theory include discrimination, stereotyping, objectification (especially sexual objectification), oppression, and patriarchy.[21][22]

Feminist theory


  • Feminist theory 1
    • Traditional stereotypes 1.1
    • Changing perceptions 1.2
  • Gender rebels 2
    • Nuns 2.1
    • Muxe 2.2
  • History 3
    • Revolutionary period 3.1
    • 1926-1967 3.2
    • 1968 to 1974 3.3
    • 1975 to 1989 3.4
    • 1990 and beyond 3.5
  • List of notable figures 4
  • Social movements 5
  • Further reading 6
  • See also 7
  • References and external links 8

As of the most recent Gender Gap Index measurement of countries by the World Economic Forum in 2014, Mexico is ranked 80th on gender equality.[14]

[13] This narrow view of women often put feminist goals at odds with activities that they also supported. For example, both state run and national programs, like[12] Because Mexico was dominated by one political party for 71 years, women's roles as mothers was politicized, marginalizing the political involvement of feminism to a great degree before 2000.

[11] Many of the early feminists who emerged from the [6] The level of education one has attained has played a large part in Mexican feminism. Schoolteachers, in most cultures, are some of the first women to enter the work force and the same was true in Mexico.


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