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The Toxic Gender Roles In The Latinx Community

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Growing up in a latino household, I was always told what I was supposed to do because I was a girl. I was expected to clean all the time, I was expected to learn how to cook as early as I could, and I was expected to always make sure that the men of the house were taken care of. As I got older I began to realize how much toxic masculinity and gender roles were the very foundation of my culture. I began asking my mom why she had to cook and serve my step-dad when they both worked a 9 to 5 job every day of the week. They both came home tired. She would even end up washing the dishes and preparing food for him to take to work the next day. She would always reply with “because he’s my husband”.

The idea that the women are supposed to serve the men is a prominent ideology found within the latino community. Men are taken care of extensively and the young boys of the family are babied while the girls are supposed to be good cooks and expected to clean after them and are scolded when they don’t do so. Many latinxs agree with these gender roles, even taking pride in it and putting down women who refuse to comply with what their abuelas think makes someone a “good future wife and mother”. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve seen girls tweet about this, enforcing this idea upon men, an idea that most already have, that we are supposed to devote ourselves to pleasing them.

This stereotype, if you will, that latinas are supposed to cook for you and clean for you are harmful towards us. It makes people look at us like we are lazy and a disgrace when we choose not to do it. Simply because we choose not to do everything for a man when he is fully capable of doing it himself. Women have their own goals, hobbies, and dislikes. We are our own people, we were not made to serve someone. It’s time that the latino community and culture stops pushing stereotypes on us. Don’t get me wrong, each women is allowed to make their own decision on this. Some may enjoy doing it. That is not really what I’m saying. What I’m trying to get at is that we should be able to choose not to do something and NOT be scolded and looked down upon because of it.

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Valerie Fernandez
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An 18 year old political science major from Los Angeles, California. I enjoy reading, music, writing, animals, and social activism. Proud latina.

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