Throughout Mexico's history, women have been subjected to a dual standard: exalted in myth, they remain subordinated in their social role by their biology. But this dualism is not so much a battle between the sexes as the product of a social system. The injustices of this system have led Mexican women to conclude that they deserve a better world, one worth struggling for.
Published originally in Spanish as Mujeres en Mexico: Una historia olvidada, this work examines the role of Mexican women from pre-Cortes to the 1980s, addressing the interplay between myth and history and the gap between theory and practice. Pointing to such varied prototypes as the Virgin of Guadalupe, La Malinche, and Sor Juana, Tunon contrasts what these women represent with more realistic but less-exalted counterparts such as Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, La Guera Rodriguez, and Juana Belen Gutierrez de Mendoza. She also discusses the identity transformation by which indigenous women come to see themselves as Mexicanas, and analyzes such issues as women's economic dislocation in the labor force, education, and self-image.
In challenging the illusion that historians have created of women in Mexico's history, Tunon hopes to recover feminism-with its strengths and weaknesses, its vision of the world that is both intellectual and full of feeling. By examining the social world of Mexico, she also hopes to determine those situations that cause oppression, exploitation, and marginalization of women.
Julia Tunon Pablos teaches at the Direccion de Estudios Historicos of the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia in Mexico City. Alan Hynds is a professional translator in Merida, Yucatan.
Preface Introduction: Women in Mexico: Between the Mirror and the Mirage 1. Women in the Mexica World: The Dilemma: Eternal Goddesses or Mortal Women? 2. Women in New Spain: The End of One World and the Shaping of Another 3. Mexican Women in the Nineteenth Century: Idols of Bronze or Inspiration of the Home? 4. Peace in Porfirian Times: In the Maelstrom of "Progress" 5. From Revolution to Stability 6. From "Development" to Crisis Conclusion: The Temptation to Exist Notes References Index