Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chicana Activists - Rebels or Good Girls?

In the article, Using a Chicana Feminist Epistemology in Educational Research, Dolores Delgado Bernal "provides a forum in which Chicanas speak and analyze their stories of school resistance and grassroots leadership," in this case referring specifically to women who participated and organized the 1968 East L.A. School Blowouts.

She "asked the women how the social, cultural, and sexual realities of their lives manifested in the duality of 'good schoolgirl' and 'bad activist student.' "

"Their good schoolgirl behavior of speaking up in class, asking questions, and offering leadership to sanctioned student organizations was acceptable behavior (and even encouraged). However, when they practiced these same behaviors during the school boycotts, they were perceived as deviant. Their behavior had not changed -- others' interpretation of their behavior had. In other words, they helped me to see that their 'good schoolgirl' behavior that was so openly rewarded by good grades, student council positions, and respect from teachers was the exact same behavior that was unfairly punished when they used it to protest the inferior quality of their education."

If you have a voice, then use it.

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