I was not brought up "traditionally". I lived in two very different countries and I took on two very different personas in each of them. I grew up surrounded by many women, especially in MX. My first two important female role models were my mother and grandmother.
I never really considered them feminist, but after the readings and discussions we had in class, I began to realize that they were more feminist than I had realized.
My grandmother was born in 1912, in St. Barbara, Chih., MX. At the age of three, her mother passed away three days after child birth. My grandmother was sent away to live with relatives in El Paso and remained in the El Paso and Juarez, MX. area until she was sent back to her father at the age of 16.
I imagine this must have been a difficult transition for her, she went from being a young student to the "ama de la casa" the woman of the household. She cared for her brothers and father, she tended the house and the animals in the ranch. I asked her once, when I was a young girl myself if she ever resented leaving El Paso and she replied that she had always known she would be returning to her father one day and she knew she was needed to care for the men.
My grandmother was a very strong woman. She married and remained in St. Barbara. When times were difficult, she would travel the nine hours away from home to Juarez, with her twelve children to search for work. She did this numerous times. At a time when women from her hometown were expected to remain at home and cook and clean, she didn't think twice about leaving home to search for employment. I believe she adapted this attitude from having lived in El Paso. A very feminist move! She instilled this work ethic on all of her children, including her daughters.
My grandmother took pride in caring for her house, children and husband. She loved to sit on the porch in the evenings to knit or crochet. I spent many hours next to her at the end of the day. She advised me on many things, the main thing was that family always came first. She also suggested I educate myself as much as possible. She instilled in me that same work ethic she instilled in her children. Her death was a huge blow for me.
My grandmother the feminist!