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Gender in The House On Mango Street

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Stas Pankrashin

on 31 October 2013

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Transcript of Gender in The House On Mango Street

Gender in The House On Mango Street
How do gender stereotypes/sexism affect the life and decisions of esperanza?

'The boys and girls live in separate worlds. The boys in their universe and we in ours. My brothers for example. They've got plenty to say to me and Nenny inside the house. But outside they can't be seen talking to girls.'
'She was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse – which is supposed to be bad luck if you're born female – but I think this is a Chinese lie because the Chinese, like the Mexicans, don't like their women strong.'
The family of little feet
Sexism in Latino culture
Machismo-Dominance of men over women.
Women are to serve and obey men.
women are meant to be weak.
men are strong, macho.
Appears often in the book
Rafaela who drinks coconut and papaya juice on Tuesdays
'But Sally doesn't tell about the time he hit her with his hands just like a dog, she said, like if I was an animal. He thinks I'm going to run away like his sisters who made the family ashamed. Just because I'm a daughter, and then she doesn't say.'
'Sally says she likes being married because now she gets to buy her own things when her husband gives her money. She is happy, except sometimes her husband gets angry and once he broke the door where his foot went through, though most days he is okay. Except he won't let her talk on the telephone. And he doesn't let her look out the window. '
'And then Rafaela, who is still young but getting old from leaning out the window so much, gets locked indoors because her husband is afraid Rafaela will run away since she is too beautiful to look at.'
'do you like these shoes? Rachel says yes, and lucy says yes, and yes i say, these are the best shoes. we will never go back to wearing the other kind again. do you like these shoes?'
'I have begun my own quiet war. Simple. Sure. I am the one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate.'
The verdict
'One day i will pack by bags of books and paper. one day i will say goodbye to mango. i am too strong for her to keep me forever. one day i will go away'
'not a flat. not an apartment in back. not a mans house. not a daddy's. a house all my own. with my porch and my pillow. with my pretty purple petunias. my books and my stories. my two shoes waiting beside the bed. nobody to shake a stick at. nobody's garbage to pick up after. only a house as quiet as snow, a space for myself to go, clean as a paper before the poem'
Full transcript