Voicing Chicana Feminisms

Young Women Speak Out on Sexuality and Identity

361 pages

January, 2003

ISBN: 9780814735749



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Aida Hurtado is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of The Color of Privilege: Three Blasphemies on Race and Feminism.

All books by Aida Hurtado

Chicana voices are missing from the psychology of women. Though “Chicana feminisms” have only recently been enumerated, a feminist perspective has long existed in Chicano communities without ever having been explicitly named. Grounded in specific aspects of Chicano culture such as the contested role of La Malinche and the complexities of Marianismo, the distinguishing feature of Chicana feminisms has been their embrace of diversity. Chicanas readily acribe to many feminisms and do not expect there to be only one.

Focusing on young women between the ages of 20 and 30, Chicanas Speak Feminisms explores the relationship between Chicana feminism and the lived experiences of Chicanas. What do they see as their day-to-day manifestation of feminist consciousness? What is the relationship between what Chicana feminists propose and their lived experiences as women and as members of other significant social groups? Including rich ethnographic testimony based on questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and shadowing, Hurtado allows the women to speak in their own terms about how they see their femininity, sexuality, gender identity, ethnic/racial identity, and ties to other feminisms and political struggles.


  • “Hurtado aptly narrates how ‘our intellectual daughters’ negotiate personal, social, and sexual identities, face challenges, and triumph over adversities in bedrooms, kitchens, classrooms, work places, and various communities. In their struggles to claim sus lenguas, historias, and independence, these courageous mujeres raise consciousness, providing new conocimientos. Hurtado constructs a compelling tapestry of political activism, resistance, and self-empowerment, contributing richly to and inspiriting Raza studies.”

    —Gloria E. Anzaldúa, author of Borderlands/la Frontera: the New Mestiza

  • “This remarkable work is a riveting reminder that ideas can and do make a difference in the social world. As Hurtado’s extensive interviews reveal, young Chicanas have entered into transformative conversations with an older generation of theorists and activists as they give voice to Chicana feminisms in the struggles, contradictions, and pleasures of their everyday lives.”

    —Angela Y. Davis, author of Women, Race, and Class

  • “A wonderful synthesis of Chicana feminism. . . . Hurtado’s interviews transform theory into lived experience, showing us that a Chicana feminist consciousness and movement arises precisely out of women's everyday lives. She confirms beyond any doubt that Chicanas have shaped their own personal and collective history in complex ways. Her respondents' voices are clear, honest, and very brave.”

    —Bettina Aptheker, author of Tapestries of Life: Women's Work, Women’s Consciousness, and the Meaning of Daily Experience

  • "Voicing Chicana Feminisms enriches mutliple areas of our academic world including but not limited to Chicana feminist theory, Mexican American studies, Women of Color scholarship, and sexuality research. The book is divided in three sections, each one offers rich, textured, and nuanced narratives exposing key aspects of these women's lives. Voicing Chicana Feminism is the book I fantasized about reading in my feminist theory class as a graduate student. This important academic contribution is beautifully written with elegant clarity and heartfelt passion. I look forward to using it with both my undergraduate and graduate students—Chicana, Xicana, Latina, Hispanic, Mexican American, Mexicana, Tejana, or whatever identity they may choose to embrace.”