FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION AS NARRATED BY ELENA PONIATOWSKA AND ANNA MACIAS Customer’s Name History and Political Science June 10, 2012 Francisco (Pancho) Villa, Emiliano Zapata and many more male figures are still celebrated for playing an integral role during the Mexican revolution…
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This paper is aimed at providing a brief yet comprehensive overview of the female participation in the Mexican revolution. To provide authentic details acclaimed works by reputed Mexican journalists Elena Poniatowska and Anna Macias will be the focus of this paper. Poniatowska and Macias have resurrected the astonishing stories of various female participants to provide a clear picture of how Mexican Revolution came as an awakening for women and opened the door for their active involvement in political affairs. Poniatowska celebrates the soldaderas' courage and fortitude in “Las Soldaderas: Women of the Mexican Revolution” and declares, "Without the soldaderas, there is no Mexican Revolution--they kept it alive and fertile, like the earth."1 (Poniatowska, 2006. p. 16) Mexican women who were vulnerable to rape, abductions and mistreatment willingly chose to fight for their land. They were ready to care for the wounded despite the fact that all those people have been depriving them their own civil and political rights for centuries. Large scale warfare began in 1910 and lasted until 1917 during which women were actively engaged in every aspect of the Revolution, contributing intellectual leadership as well as supporting soldiers during the fierce war. Soldaderas were women who traveled with and supported the Revolutionary armies of generals like Villa, Carranza, and Zapata. 2 (King, p. 1) Soldaderas as a term encompasses various aspects in this context. Soldaderas performed most laboring tasks like finding and preparing food for the male soldiers, taking care of the gunpowder so that it does not get wet, collecting firewood and providing medical attention along with the main task of fighting on the front lines of combat. Elena describes that these women mostly belonged to the middle or lower classes. She also narrated the stories of warriors like Rosa Bobadilla who fought in more than 168 combats and became a colonel in the Zapatista army, Carmen Amelia who Elena writes “wouldn’t stop caressing the pistol she carried on her right thigh. She’d shoot with her right hand and hold her cigar with her left” 3 (Poniatowska, 2006. p. 19) and Petra Ruiz who was nicknamed as El Echa Balas (the shooter) due to her unparalleled shooting skills. Elena has used the pictures of La Soldaderas by the acclaimed photographer Agustin Victor Casasola on the cover and inside the book to authenticate her narration. Casasola has not only provided pictorial identities of the soldaderas and their images of fighting during the war but also garnered the much required acclaim and dignity to these underrated participants. Countless images of fully armed Mexican women ready to fight were captured by Casasola during the revolution to establish the fact that women did play a prominent role. The pictures also exhibit the difficulties women faced during the revolution at an individual basis. Anna Macias has described the great role played by women and the sacrifices they made during the Revolution with reference to the unfavorable social conditions for females in the era of President Porfirio Diaz. Macias narrated stories of the soldier’s woman. She used the term “soldier's woman” because of the fact that a female fighter existed in the army via a relationship with a soldier.4 (Macias, 1982. p. 40) It was for this soldier that a soldadera labored. When that soldier died, she would
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“Female Participation in the Mwxican Revolution As Narrated by Elena Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1452734-based-on-the-readings-by-elena-poniatowska-and-ana.
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