A new consciousness – a mestiza consciousness.
No, Gloria Anzaldua, that’s where I actually disagree. I mean everything else you said has spoken to me, like:
As a mestiza I have no country, my homeland cast me out; yet all countries are mine.
The struggle of the mestiza is above all a feminist one.
But I exist, we exist. They’d like to think I have melted in the pot. But I haven’t, we haven’t.
The struggle is inner.
Let’s try it our way, the mestiza way, the Chicana way, the woman way.
Yes, yes, and yes.
But a mestiza consciousness? No lo creo, and here’s why.
Cuando me mude para los Estados Unidos, ese lugar raro y desconocido, no me di cuenta que eso era la ultima vez que yo iba ser completamente Hispana.
When I started to learn English, that odd language that didn’t taste right on my tongue at first, I had no idea I was becoming American.
Cuando me sentía rara en los Estados Unidos, when I felt out of place in Puerto Rico, cuando mis amigos no me entendían, when my family didn’t understand me, cuando me encantaba bailar, when I wanted my privacy, no sabia that it was because yo era Latina and American.
And to top it all off, yo nunca pensé en como ser mujer, I just wanted to be me. Whether that agreed with someone’s definition of a “woman,” me importaba un bledo.
Thank you, though. Finalmente entiendo. Even if I wasn’t conscious of it before, yo se quien soy ahora.
At my desk, my laptop in front of me, your article pulled up, I’m having a life changing moment that none of my classmates or even my professor notice. Ellos están trabajando tanto para entender tu concepto that they don’t even realize they have one sitting right in front of them.
I am una mestiza.
Reference: Anzaldua, Glorida. “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza.” Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent Leitch: W.W. Norton, 2001. 2211-223. Print.
Selys Rivera is a Master of Social Work student and a freelance writer. She has a love for multicultural literature and a passion for social justice issues. To read more of her work, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter @SelysRivera.
Ana Prundaru is the author of Ukiyo and three other poetry chapbooks. Her work has appeared in Mirror Dance, Thrice Fiction, Rum Punch Press and 3:AM, among other places. She lives in Zurich, Switzerland.