The Representation Of A Woman 's Identity

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Idealized as the symbolic figure for obedience and domesticity, the power of society’s gender expectations has dictated a woman’s identity. A dominate belief held throughout American history, these traditional femininity norms were and still are reinforced by immigrant communities today. Nonetheless, what often goes unacknowledged are the stories of those female immigrant youths, Pachuca’s or female gang members, who have rejected societies beliefs to construct new identities centered around hyper-masculine subcultures. Alienated and labeled as hypersexualized or masculine, both Catherine Ramirez’s novel The Women In The Zoot Suit and T.W. Wards ethnographic study “Gangsters Without Borders” explores the erasure and double standards present for young immigrant women in a matriarchal world (2009, 2013). Moreover, the authors highlight how immigrant female youth’s identities are used as a form of oppression in both the public and private spheres. Whether women conform to being obedient housewives or decide to break gender and racial boundaries, the Pachuca’s and female gangsters consciously chose to make a critique of American gender expectations. During the 1940’s the Zoot Suit Riots of Los Angeles, California constructed an entirely new youth subculture centered around the emergence of a new rhizomic identity, the Pachuco and Pachuca (Ramirez, 2009). Characterized by the zoot suit style of drapes and a form of slang called Caló, this subculture was a symbol a resistance
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