Monday, May 4, 2015

As I thought about what feminist subject to write about I asked myself what I thought feminism was and how does it play into my life?
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!   


  1. This is a sensitive and emotional piece,is it metal?How large?Thank you for sharing and giving us information about your upbringing,very moving.

  2. Thank you, it's glass and measures approximately 12" x 10". The image is of my grandmother taken from the only photo I have of her from when she was relatively young.

  3. Your grandma is a great and strong person! When I read our classmates blogs, I see a lot of great woman figures. I like your artwork! It's a strong piece that shows the confident and positive energy of the female figure. The material and color works great together!

  4. This is fantastic, Lorena. Your grandmother, the wonderful feminist, sounds like the very definition of strength, and I love that your artwork captures so much of this. Also, your blog reflects an integration of artwork, food, geography, memories, prose, etc. -- the interdisciplinarity of your approach makes all of this very powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Mothers and grand mothers are the first female figures in the life of most of the people. I had also same experience. The roles that my mother and my grand mother had in my life is not comparable with others.
    I agree with you. Now, when I look back to my childhood, I find my mother a strong character with ability to support her family and her husband. According to our reading in this course, she would be in the category of feminist women of my life.
    You have great grandmother! a fantastic feminist.

  6. I love that you made the image of your grandmother from metal and glass. Glass, something that can be shattered, like maybe she was a bit after the death of her mother- but also metal, something really strong and enduring, just like she was.

  7. Beautiful! This made me very emotional! I too was very close to my grandmother. She was hardworking, the matriarch of our family and a painter. I am a spitting image of my mother. All the things I don't have in common with my mother come from my grandmother. I loved reading of her journey and the many other amazing things you have on this blog. Thanks for sharing and letting us be a part of your wonderful history. Your art is inspiring <3

  8. Like everyone else, I can't pass on commenting here. Grandmothers are something special. My own grandmother is the strongest person I know. Thanks for sharing her story.

  9. My grandmother like your abuelita lived a life of hard work and also ran the household. Wow, twelve children and taking them along while she found work. One of my favorite things is listening to my grandma's stories. She is 90 years young. I think its great you saw feminist qualities now that you have a new feminist lens.