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Racial and Sexual Violence: Shaping Women's Identity - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course May 4, 2012. Racial and Sexual Violence: Shaping Women’s Identity Racial and sexual violence have played important roles in the lives of women, in all cultures. In accounts, one about Southern Black stereotyping and its consequences on Black and White women, and two others providing glimpses into the effects of racial and sexual violence on women in Brazil and in Cuba, we see specific examples of this, along with an historical, economic and political analysis of its contextualization in Cuba and the American South…
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Racial and Sexual Violence: Shaping Womens Identity
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Racial and Sexual Violence: Shaping Women's Identity

Download file to see previous pages... The highest response to constant suffering was self-reliance. That self-reliance did not seem to involve a sense of partnership, not even with God. Rather, it was an isolationist and independent self-reliance. Considering the Black Cuban woman, Reyita, her life was very difficult, due to poverty (Bueno and Castillo). Although Reyita was married and lived with her husband, she does not posit him as a source of joy or emotional support, although he apparently contributed financially. Racial discrimination was apparently responsible for low wages and loss of jobs (p. 67). Although she was a charitable citizen, the mother of soldiers of the revolution, including a martyr of the revolution, and although her politics and political memberships clearly supported the revolution (p. 137), she did not seem to benefit from her loyalty for decades, until the government eventually awarded her a house, in restitution for the sacrifice of her son (P. 156). With the bulk of her social experience indicating her low value, she had to be self-reliant. However painful her suffering, she rose to the challenge, raising children, moving, retaining her spiritual faith, helping herself and others. She expressed how she valued being able to help others, especially with her herbal knowledge and understanding of folk explanations of illness (P. 110). She strongly preferred being self-reliant, rather than depending on others (p. 157). When her son was an infant, he was seriously ill, and she had to find a way to cure this child on her own. She prayed to the Virgin Mary, and had a dream about papaya, which she then used to cure her son. She negotiated a deal with Mary, begging to borrow her son long enough for him to grow up (P. 65). She had a certainty that Mary would both help her and exact significant payment from her for this requested favor (P. 67). Indeed, once he grew up, he was killed when a ship exploded, in the course of war and revolution P. 138). Divine restitution was exacted. The article didn’t say so, but I suspect that she felt his death was her responsibility, at some level, since she saved him in infancy and offered his adulthood in return. Why not beg the Virgin Mary to save the baby’s life out of divine generosity and love? Why not offer charitable actions or help at the local church? I think the answer lies in the role of racial violence on her identity as a poverty-stricken, struggling Black Cuban woman. Her resulting worldview precluded her conceptualizing of Divine help as being within the free rights of a poor, Black Cuban woman. Surely Heaven would not grant reprieves without price. Her assumption was driven by racial and gender inequality in society. It was based on her experience, observations and social devaluation. Another incident strengthens my argument about this aspect of her identity, consequent to the violence that defined her society. When her husband, Rubiera, became ill with a bleeding duodenal ulcer, Reyita prayed to Saint Lazarus, a saint of whom she was frightened, due to the sores and flies associated with his image (P. 87). She had no devotion to this saint, but she reasoned that promising to honor him would get his attention and help. Why didn’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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