Woman as Witness: Essays on Testimonial Literature by Latin American Women

By Linda S. Maier; Isabel Dulfano | Go to book overview

Oppositional Discourse and the
Notion of Feminism in Testimonial
Narratives by Nidia D'az
and Ana Guadalupe Mart'nez

VICKI ROMÁN-LAGUNAS

During the past fifteen years in the United States a number of feminist studies have been published whose goal has been the articulation of Latin American feminism. These books and essays are the products of two main groups. The first group, composed of social scientists, including anthropologists, sociologists, and authors of (multi-)cultural and women's studies, concentrates on the active participation of Latin American women in political movements. The second group, comprised of professors of Spanish language, literature, and Hispanic culture, focuses on the process of the recovery of the woman's voice in Latin American literature. The second group includes the following volumes: La sartén por el mango: Encuentro de escritoras latinoamericanas (The Upper Hand: A Meeting of Latin American Women Writers, 1985), Plotting Women: Gender and Representation in Mexico (1988), Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism (1992), Reading the Body Politic: Feminist Criticism and Latin American Women Writers (1993), Latin American Women's Writing: Feminist Readings in Theory and Crisis (1996).

In general terms, these critics point out that the majority of Latin American women reject being labeled as feminists. They propose that this reaction is a disavowal or rejection of the First World's “dominant feminism, ” which defines feminism as thought and action based on antipathy toward men. Instead, they propose a less simplistic and more specific notion of feminism. In other words, they put forth a notion of feminism that does not universalize woman's position and which may only be understood within the broader framework of Latin American sociopolitical conflict.

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