Thursday, November 03, 2005

Are All Modern Girls Gringas and Straight?

I think it's my reclaimed soltera status that has me musing so much on sex and relationships. And when a NYRican thinks about sex and relationships she also thinks about power plays and gender roles which means that yes I will use those scary not so little words: race, class, ethnicity.

In a much talked about New York Time's Magazine article last Sunday, Maureen Dowd (is she like the anti-Judith Miller?)asks What's a Modern Girl to do?. The article is basically about the roles women have been told to aspire to and how they fail or succeed and why.

There were parts of the article that I found myself nodding my head to. I was never the time of activist to shun lipstick or looking cute in the name of the struggle. That just wasn't (and still isn't) my style and believe me I took shit for it. I don't think that a feminist/womanist looks like any one thing and I love the fact that I change my look to suit my mood. At the same time my claiming my sexual power doesn't mean I'm all about my pussy. I want to be thought of as an intellectual talented writer in my fishnets.

I admit to cringing a little when Dowd wrote about how woman still want to be paid for and how we'll do the fake reach into our bags to pay for the check or at least our half of the check while really hoping for date to say " no no I'll get it". I'll admit I've done that but there are many many but's. I've done that when I've been with people whom I know can afford to pay for me. I'm a single mami/writer damnit so my wallet isn't bottomless. I do this not just with dates but yes even with friends who invite me out. When someone who has the ability to pay doesn't offer , yes it pisses me off only because when I have extra cash floating around (a rare thing) I pay. When I am with someone I know is worse off than me financially, I will pay. So it isn't so much a gender role thing for me as it is a money thing. In fact I have been known to tell a potential date straight up, "I'd love to go out to dinner/drinks/dancing with you but I'm broke so you will have to pay".

But Dowd's assumption that women are reverting to an older notion of finding a man to take care of them doesn't speak to the reality of women of color and lesbians. Back in the day Latina women , like my tias who came from Puerto Rico, didn't tend house while looking pretty. They worked in factories as seamstresses then tended house. It was and still is necessary when people of color are getting paid less and have fewer job opportunities.


Anonymous Mortalez said...

Well race, economic,cultural issues all come into play when it comes to how one views gender roles.
You mention the situation about who pays for a date, well its much deeper than that.
We have all see brothaz and vatoz who dont have a job but ride around all day in their upper middleclass white girlfriends lexus and pick HER up from work.
Seriously do you know any sistaz o chulas who will do the same thing?
No way most latinaz or sistaz will let a jobless man drive her car while she is at work. The reason I think is because when you have to work for something you respect it more. To the rich girl its just a car .
And no you are right you shouldnt have to dreaa a certain way or hate men to prove you are a feminist.
I find it funny that many man hating feminists do their best to look like men.

11/03/2005 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger nicolececilia said...

right on !

11/03/2005 03:22:00 PM  

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