February 10, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Excellent TED talk with Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.
Sandberg’s advice to women:
Sit at the table.
Make your partner a real partner.
Don’t leave before you leave.
September 28, 2011 § 1 Comment
Tune into Poco a Poco Radio this Sunday at 1:30PM CST to hear the excellent BILINGUAL interview my father and I did with Leonard Ramírez and Magda Ramírez-Castañeda, about the much anticipated release of: Chicanas of 18th Street: Narratives of a Movement from Latino Chicago.
(photos by Claudio Gaete-Tapia)
July 5, 2011 § 1 Comment
el es frida kahlo featured on Jewesses with Attitude in honor of Frida Kahlo’s 104th birthday.
A Latina “Jewess with attitude,” Maya Escobar plays with the web as a platform for engaging in community dialogue around identity and multiple identities–how they are socially and culturally constructed. She often assumes multiple identities in her performances, drawing from various existing representations.
About “el es frida kahlo,” she writes:
Frida Kahlo played with the identity that she wanted to project and the identity that was placed on her by others. Kahlo used her clothing, political affiliations, sexual escapades, and personal traumas, to create a character that informed her body of work. She inscribed her identity, painting her image over and over, constructing a mythology around her persona.
In el es frida kahlo I confront the ambivalence I experience as a result of my simultaneous obsession with Frida Kahlo and weariness towards her commodification.
What is your reaction to this confrontational piece? Do you identify with Escobar’s ambivalence towards Kahlo, her work, and her commodification in our culture?
March 18, 2011 § 1 Comment
So what’s the deal with the recent AMerican MEdia Output – “Welcome to Arizona” and “Go Public” campaigns?
As a follow up to Are You My Other? our current Internet based self-portrait dialogue exchange project, Escobar-Morales is establishing an online marketing agency. Acting as designers, distributors, and promo models, we plan to produce a series of advertisements addressing contentious topics in the news, such as Arizona’s SB-1070 and the Dream Act.
There are currently three scheduled New News is Old News exhibitions:
The first NNION exhibition opens on May 7th, 2011 at Gallery Aferro in Newark, New Jersey. The second exhibition will be in Cyprus! The third exhibition will be in Brooklyn at the WAH Center and opens in mid-July, 2011.
Please visit the Women Woman Residency KICKSTARTER Project
We ask you…
- who mediates the news?
- how is social media changing your foundation of news?
- can technology keep up with history?
- when was the last time you read the paper?
- is journalism dead?
The Wonder Women residency has selected ten NYC area artists to create work addressing these questions for New News is Old News (NNION). In this eight week residency, curators and artists construct and deconstruct: their understanding and experience of media; the different perspectives of journalism online vs. print; the future of news. Given the changing landscape of news and media, artists have new opportunity to engage and to create work addressing these intersections. The residency culminates with an exhibition of the artists projects (details below).
If you think that is exciting….It gets even better. In June, the curators and three selected NYC artists will travel to Nicosia, Cyprus to continue the dialogue with eight Cypriot artists. In an intensive two-week workshop, the artists will focus on international relations, local policies and news. The projects created will be exhibited in Cyrus and then in NYC.
Help _gaia fund the artists, the projects, and the exhibitions!
_gaia is a collective of women artists and activists creating art, events and opportunities in the visual and media arts, performance and design. Its members actively promote and support the work of local women artists while developing programs that encourage collaboration and create community to help emerging artists in need of studio space, facilities and resources. In pursuit of raising awareness _gaia concentrates on activism, from issues in the local community and the art world to global issues affecting the lives of women.
Wonder Women (WW) is a residency program in its sixth year presented by_gaia, an artist collective. The WW mission is to engage practicing, yet underrepresented artists who are eager to participate in a collective dialogue about the art world and feminism today. See the project blog for information about previous Wonder Women residencies.
The NNION Wonder Women:
Christine DaCruz: the obituaries. Christine has been threading portraits of deceased women.
Mairikke Dau: painting the news. Rikke has created a large still life painting in response to the Arizona shooting, and the various controversies which have risen from the event.
Sharon de la Cruz: Crooked Images. Sharon has created a feature news segment about Aunt Jemima discovering her sexuality.
Melissa MacAlpin: vows and love. Melissa has created a series of comics in response to the Sunday vows section of the NY Times.
Escobar-Morales: American Media Output. Andria Morales and Maya Escobar created an ad agency that is currently focusing on two campaigns around immigration, and Arizona.
Lindsey Muscato: spills from the NY Times. Focusing on the experience of reading the newspaper, Lindsey is drawing segments of the broadsheet, selected from organic spills.
Larysa Myers: extinct technology. Laryssa is creating a casket sized sculpture from discarded video tape.
Cristine Posner: the big oil spill (forgotten). Cristine has collected news articles addressing the June oil spill, and is creating a series of weekly cyanotypes based on the press.
Sharone Vendriger: wikileaks. Sharone is creating a large mobius sculpture referencing transparency in public information.
Nicole Wilson: agency and the news. Nicole has created a video, that looks to the three graces as examples and agents of 21st century news.
February 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
Please support Maya Chinchilla in her efforts to raise $3,000 to send her partner Lolo, her mother Lolita and her daughter to Mexico to reunite with family they lost 34 years ago. Maya wants to use this experience to fight domestic violence and child abuse as well as create spaces for healing and support from our community. For more information about their story go here.
Instead of a birthday party this year with your help I am throwing a fundraiser for Lolo and her family to reunite with her 4 brothers and sisters that were kidnapped from her mother 34 years ago. This is the only thing I want for my birthday so please help make my wish come true!
So far for our silent auction we have:
-Warriors tickets donated by Lisa Marie
-a print and several goodies by artist Rio Yañez
-3 life coaching sessions valued at $100 each by Carmen Iñiguez & Colibri Coaching
-Burlesque class or performance at an event by Cherry Galette
-A meal for two at Lubaos Supper club donated by Irina Contreras and Nico Dacumos
-Dvds of the films ‘Pura Lengua’ and ‘Viernes Girl’ directed by Aurora Guerrero
-A dozen LadyCakes Cupcakes made by Anayvette Ladycakes Martinez
* ANd special Guests!
We will have yummy apetizers and we will be selling Sangria and asking for a $5-20 donation at the door. Please invite your friends and we are still taking auction donations and any other offerings you can think of!
Please share far and wide! More details to come!
February 1, 2011 § 2 Comments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (please forward or repost)
CPS Students Campaign for Miguel del Valle, Video Goes Viral
Tuesday, February 1, 2011, Chicago – High school students may not vote, but they can still impact elections. On Sunday, January 29, students from Sullivan HS in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the northside, wrote and starred in a campaign ad for Miguel del Valle that got over 1,000 hits in the first 48 hours on YouTube and Facebook. Their message is clear, Del Valle is the candidate who will invest in public education for all students, who like them who do not go to selective enrollment or charter schools. No press outlets caught Rahm Emanuel’s slip up, played twice in the video, until today when the Huffington Post picked up the story.
Christina Henriquez, Gerardo Aguilar and Alexandra Alvarez, in order of appearance, scripted the video in a neighbors living room before filming outside their school an hour later. Their effort to mobilize their community to support Miguel del Valle has been developing ever since they went to the Mayoral debate for youth put on by Mikva Challenge last month. Inspired by del Valle and angered by the other candidates they got together with the Latino Club, and tireless sponsor Jackie Rosa.
Last week they stopped by the newly opened northside office for Miguel del Valle, to learn to canvass their neighborhood.
The video uses a clip from the WGN Mayoral debate in which Rahm Emanuel wrongly states that “if you take away Northside Prep and Walter Payton, the seven best performing schools are all charters”. The next seven in fact, the top nine performing Chicago schools are all public. The video clearly questions anyone who would vote for a Mayor who does not care enough about the students in public school to even do his homework. Delivered with passion and confidence, the last words the students leave us ring true “you want a real school turnaround? Invest in us!”.
Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afonAiiMTm8
January 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
For a limited time Shomer Negiah Panties will be available on Are You My Other? at 1 for $15 or 2 for $20.
choose from: S-XL in Black & Hot Pink, Black & White, or White & Hot Pink
January 10, 2011 § 1 Comment
2011 is going to be a good year. I can feel it already. In addition to our upcoming presentation at the 2011 PCA/ACA Conference this April, Andria and I were also accepted to the Wonder Woman Residency at the _gaia studio, in New Jersey. Curated by Maya Joseph-Goteiner and Doris Caçoilo, this year’s theme is: New News is Old News.
New News is Old News
In our society, the importance of news has shifted; some would argue that it has been elasticized or else devalued. As the blogosphere replaces the daily newspaper as the purveyor and distributor of breaking news, the reporting of events is no longer filtered by the journalist/editor. Instead the voice of news is replaced by a dynamic exchange of information.
Already, online, the same article that has appeared black on white in the early print edition has been updated, corrected or even replaced on the web. Newspaper stories no longer fit the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of news as “a report of recent events: previously unknown information.” In many respects, we have created an endless source of updated information online, a bottomless pit of patter. We cannot possibly consume all the news and commentary published online, and while few people have the time to read the entire newspaper, even fewer can keep up with the minute-to-minute updates via Twitter, blogs, online publications, and RSS feeds.
A residency that focuses on the ways in which news is presented, represented, distributed, and modified within the space of the web… hmm… can you think of anything more perfect for us?
So what are we doing?
I won’t spill all the beans yet, but here is an excerpt from our preliminary proposal:
Our project takes its cue from the recent Buy Life Digital Death campaign, where celebrities volunteered their virtual lives (activity on Twitter and Facebook) with the goal of raising $1 million for children and families in Africa and India affected by HIV/AIDS. We were fascinated by their use of highly stylized, seductive images of Kim Kardashian (and other participating celebrities) lying in a coffin, and the role these images play in the dissemination of news coverage surrounding this HIV/AIDS campaign.
Almost immediately following Digital Death’s inception, images of a “dead” Kardashian started appearing in news stories everywhere from CNN to Gawker. Now layered with multiple levels of history and meaning, screenshots of the sultry Kardashian lying in a coffin, continue to be re-distributed on personal blogs, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter pages…
Stay tuned for more project updates here and on Are You My Other?
October 7, 2010 § 2 Comments
July 25, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Excerpt from the Tzit Tzit: Fiber Art and Jewish Identity Exhibition Catalog, by curator Ben Schacter.
Maya Escobar is a Latina Jew who relishes her ability to blur the boundaries not only between cultures but Jewish denominations. Her Shomer Negiah Panites is an extreme example. The expression shomer negiah refers to the law that limits sexual relations. While a women is menstruating and for several days after, she is not allowed to touch her husband. At the end of this time, she takes a ritual bath called a mikvah. This monthly ritual balances abstinence, cleanliness and intimacy. It is said by those who follow this tradition that time together is made even more precious.
Escobar’s work seems to turn this custom on its ear. First, sexuality in the Orthodox community is not publicly displayed. Underwear or anything remotely like it would not be shown in public. Second, part of the function of shomer negiah is one of modesty, not one to tease. But in a twist of modernity, the “tease” can be a way of female control. To exclaim, “Hands Off!” at precisely the moment of greatest vulnerability is exactly what Escobar’s underwear does.
Heckshered Tallis presents an air of transgression without doing so. A hecksher is a stamp placed on food to certify that its ingredients and method of processing follows the dietary rules observed by many Jews, called Kashrut. The symbols themselves have nothing to do with prayer and do not belong on a tallis, or prayer shawl, but the obsessive imprimatur suggests an over compensation on the part of the wearer. Women are not required to wear such garments but some congregants of more liberal egalitarian congregations do. Is Escobar suggesting women’s insecurity by obsessively certifying this tallis as “Kosher?”
Kosher Davening, 2006
The pattern of heckshers also creates a fashion akin to a Louis Vuitton print where the fabric is paradigmatic of luxury. Hechshered Tallis brings high fashion and religion together in a satisfyingly truthful and critical way. Even more interesting is the way Escobar’s work comments on different traditions and laws through fashion. Escobar’s oeuvre highlights denominational fragmentation by drawing attention to certain details of Jewish life. The traditional woman who follows shomer negiah would most likely not wear a tallis. Identity is rarely mixed in this way. For an artist to be able to make cross-denominational commentary such as found in Shomer Negiah Panties and Heckshered Tallis takes keen observation. Escobar does not exempt her own experience from such examination.
As she shared with me, her family chided her to make napkins for her future, now husband. This traditional role, that is to make the home, chaffed her mildly. She was resistant to such commonplace assumptions about gender so to exaggerate the request, she embroidered “napkin for my husband” across hand woven fabric. Her actions as a wife would thus never be taken for granted.
Napkin For My Husband, 2007
Napkin has been given an additional function, as a challah cover. One covers the challah, or bread made specifically to honor the Sabbath, before the blessing is said and the bread is cut. To embellish a cover heightens the ritual by making the objects beautiful. Napkin tethers together Jewish practice and the work of a relationship. Through her demonstrated knowledge of Jewish custom in her work, one wonders if she also knows Eishet Hayil, a song sung in praise of one’s wife. “A good wife, who can find? She is precious far beyond rubies.” Perhaps Escobar is not so passive aggressively demanding to be serenaded.
July 24, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Recently I had the honor of being featured on Savvy Latina.
Savvy Latina is more than just an online publication; it’s a lifestyle.
Savvy Latina is here to fill a void for today’s successful, stylized & sophisticated Latina. Savvy Latina is dedicated to keeping in step and following topics important to today’s Latina.
Savvy Latina offers in-depth coverage of key figures in Latino culture, entertainments rising and accomplished stars, business leaders, politicians, policy makers and the Savviest Latinas.
Image is everything but knowledge is the key. Savvy Latina is dedicated to keeping Today’s Latina looking good and well informed with the newest and latest. Savvy Latina’s mission is to make sure today’s Latina has a source dedicated to just who she is, a publication with a wealth of information on various topics important as well as entertaining to her.
Savvy Latina was founded by a Latina and dedicated to Latinas with traditional beliefs but that are also craving some of the finer things in life that are well deserved as a result of our hard work and dedication we have put in to advance not only themselves but Latinas as a whole socially and economically.
Today’s Latinas are not only influencing but are now directing government policy, business practices, arts, entertainment, fashion and a whole lot more.
We are proud to present to you Savvy Latina. We hope you love it as much as we do.
July 23, 2010 § Leave a Comment
March 4, 2010 § Leave a Comment
February 3, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Last night @DovBear sent me this tweet:
@Mayaescobar posted your jewish women clip w\o realizing it was parody. A little too well done.
expert from his post:
“Aside: At the end, the woman on the film suggests that Jewish women who are dissatisfied with their back of the bus status secretly wish to be men. There’s some truth to that, of course. Jewish women wish to be men in the same way that Jim Crow blacks wished to be white, meaning they want the same freedoms and opportunities that are available to men. Though Judaism has made much progress in this regard, the RW and Ultra circles still run like MadMen. Telling women they’re more spiritual, pat pat, run along, is just a way to protect the status quo.”
Jewish Women from the series Acciones Plásticas 2007
selection comments posted below:
if you follow the link-trail, it becomes clear that this video is likely making fun of the attitudes it depicts. so as right as what you say in this post is, it’s not really aimed at this video…
So are you opposed to any distinction whatsoever between men and women in Judaism? Do you think we should get rid of the mechitza and the laws of niddah and negiah and tzniut because they all make distinctions between male/female and thus somehow discriminate against and oppress women? If so, why aren’t you a Conservative Jew? If not, why not? What kinds of distinctions between men and women are not discriminatory in your book?
The fact is, Judaism have a very conservative halachic process that makes it difficult or impossible to change most things. Do you think we should change that process to make it easier to make big changes? If so how is that different from the Conservatives?
People mistakenly think that every explanation for distinctions between men and women must be some kind of conspiratorial justification for the status quo. But that’s not true. You have to look at the history of the explanation. For example, consider shelo asani isha. The explanation is, women, slaves and gentiles don’t have to perform certain mitzvot, so we’re thanking Hashem for giving us more mitzvot to do. Conspiracy to trick people into thinking Judaism isn’t sexist? No — it’s in the tosefta to the earlier version of the three berachot (which thanked Hashem for not making one an ignoramus.) So that supposedly “P.C.” explanation was from before the mitzvah was even finalized!
It’s a mistake to think about Judaism in the same terms you think about American history. It’s apples and oranges. If not, you’d be calling someone a “bigot” for not accepting the ordination of women, just like many liberals today will call you a bigot if you don’t accept gay marriage. Of course bigot is an implicit reference to anti-black American racism. Which is a lot different from differing roles of the sexes in Judaism.
Actually, oppressing women is the best reason to get rid of the mechitza. Nidda has nothing to do with this.
And Tzniut has nothing to do with this. Tzniut has everything to do with social norms. Oppressive double-standard tzniut should be abolished immediately,
And you do not have to be a Conservative Jew to understand this. You just have to be an Orthodox woman.
AFIK the mechitza is an outcropping of the orthodox halachic process. It is at least a universally (amongst orthodox) practice minhag. How would abolishing the mechitza be consistent with orthodox Judaism?
I enjoy davening in my own (men’s) section, because I would likely feel distracted/embarrassed by any attractive women in our shul standing next to me, hearing me sing, etc. I don’t see how this translates into a desire on my part to oppress women. I’m sure there are men who wouldn’t feel this way, and would probably daven just fine, just as there are young men, on the other side of the spectrum, who would maybe even ogle women. But it’s impossible to satisfy everyone in a community.
I agree that there are misogynists in Jewish communities, but I don’t think allocating separate space to men and women in the synagogue automatically translates into oppressing women.
In most Orthodox shuls, I would agree that most mechitzot themselves are misogynistic.
Buried in the back, or the corner, with an obstructed view of the proceedings.
The purpose of the mechitza is to allow for the inclusion of women in the service. Not the exclusion.
so it really depends upon how it is felt about and put into practice lemaise. I remember one woman quoting a sicha of the lubavitcher rebbe ztz”l a”h and saying “it sounds like litvish appologetics doesn’t it?” she then adds “well there is a difference, the litvishers are telling this to women, the rebbe first said this sicha to men!”
This wikipedia article seems to support your views, except for the citation of R’ Hirsh (who might be hard to depict as a feminist). But the article may be leaving out earlier sources.
It’s part of a series called Acciones Plasticas by a Jewish Latina artist. http://mayaescobar.com/accionesplasticas.html It looks like an examination/satire of the stereotypes associated with her heritage.
Whoah, that lady had the most steriotypical modeof Ashkenazi-Jewish speech I ever saw…
Uriel do you really and truly think everything frum Jews say and do is authentically Jewish? well guess again. The post is a critism of the man made culture, not the god decreed religion.
The answer to your question is no. Will you answer my questions?
Look at the quote from Rav Hirsh in the wikipedia article and you’ll see that the idea that women are more spiritual than men is indeed authenticly Jewish (unless you see Rav Hirsch as some kind of pre-feminist apoogist). How old it is, I’m not so sure.
The idea that women have a better nature or more spiritual is NOT authenticly Jewish. We know this because non Jews got fed the same horse manure as a way of keeping them satisfied with less. Look, I dont even know what youre arguing: The more right you go the worse off Jewish women are -in satmar they cant even drive and have to shave their heads. Thats an inrefutable facr.
That’s an odd way of proving something, you have to admit. I think a better way is to see how old an idea is. But even if it’s not that old, if Rav Hirsh and Rav Aaron Soloveichik said it, I would say that’s pretty authentic. Something doesn’t have to be somewhere in the Mishnah to be authentic (though the older the more authentic). Much of kabbalah, mussar and chassidus would be inauthentic if that were your standard. At that point you’d be creating your own special denomination that is very picky and choosy about what in modern Judaism is authentic to you — and that sounds like Reform.
Are you saying Satmar is more authentic than other Jewish groups? Chazal surely had more contact with heretics and gentiles than Satmar does.
I think Zapp is right.
This is a parody / satire for sure. She is NOT serious.
February 3, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Recently Latina Role Model was featured on TikiTiki Blog: stories with cultura, color and sabor, in a post by Carrie Ferguson Weir called Smart Latina vs. Sexy Latina. Carrie asked readers:
So, has your Smart Latina run up against the Sexy Latina? What do you see when you watch Maya’s video? What does it bring up for you? Why can’t we be both Smart and Sexy? Let’s talk about this, break it down, maybe shatter some stereotypes, and bust our own too.
Check out the PROFOUND difference in the nature of the comments left on this post (comments posted below) vs the ones left on YouTube.
my contribution to post on Tiki Tiki:
I perform over-the-top representations of different identities. I group together these representations (characters) as a means of challenging limited perspectives of what women are like, and in this case, what Latina women are like.
This character is supposed to be an intellectual, accomplished, socially conscious woman- who will forever be seen as the “Sexy Latina.” The low quality video blog is meant to mock scenes in movies, where the hot high school teacher walks down the hall and all the boys undress her in their minds.
But I am not taking a negative or positive stance either. I want to question the role Latinas play in perpetuating this persona, and question if that is even a bad thing? Are we limiting ourselves by continuing to have this same conversation, even though the behavior persists, are we enforcing it by bring more attention to it?
I haven’t always been so impartial. Out of all of the characters in Acciones Plásticas, The Latina Role Model is the one I identified with the most. My original description of the way this character was perceived by others was much more reactionary and much angrier than it is now. (see below)
The Sexy Latina© from Acciones Plásticas free (stereotype) postcard, 2007
The Sexy Latina© is an educated woman who cares about important social and political issues. She wears suggestive provocative clothing to compensate for giving up her role as a homemaker. She uses her sexuality to obtain positions in the work world.
Latina Role Model from Acciones Plásticas プリクラ 2009
Over the last two years this character has really evolved. Here is the new description of The Latina Role Model, re-imagined as part of my Acciones Plásticas プリクラ collaboration with artist Rio Yañez:
The Latina Role Model is a diploma totin’ intellectual, sexy, social media goddess.
What do you think? How does the earlier description of The Sexy Latina© differ from this new description of The Latina Role Model? How do these two images relate to the Latina Role Model YouTube video?
Sra. López says:
This is an excellent post and an excellent video. It really does make you think.
I am really not qualified to speak from a “Latina perspective” on this topic because I am Anglo. (If you read my blog, you’ll know I’m Sra. López only because I married a Salvadoran.)
That being the case, I can’t speak from personal experience on Latina stereotypes, but I would like to contribute an opinion or two on topics that are pretty closely related.
For example, it really bothers me that the Latinas picked as reporters and journalists on Univision and Telemundo seem to be more for the purposes of eye candy than to report the news and add intelligent commentary — not that they aren’t intelligent women, but I think the sexism by the head honchos over there is pretty evident, not just on the news, but on other programming as well… And English language channels aren’t always much better. I think Western women in general – no matter what their race, fight very hard to overcome the sense that we are valued more as objects of sex/beauty, than for what’s inside.
It’s very frustrating and I don’t envy the difficult job many women have of raising daughters in this world. (I have 2 sons) … With my own self esteem issues, I can’t imagine what a challenge it would be to raise a girl who is confident in herself and who doesn’t let Hollywood, fashion magazines, men, or even other females, get her down.
I don’t know the solution to achieving true equality, but I think talking about it all is a good start.
Angelica Perez says:
Very interesting…The role model I immediately identified with was the socially-conscious, smart role model, which made me realize how loaded that role is. Being an accomplished and educated Latina comes with so many expectations — the whole giving back to the community, serving your community, being a role model and mentor for others, etc. — that’s not something that an accomplished non-Latina woman has to worry about (or feel committed to).
With regards to the sexy role model — I always say that there is no sexier woman than the one that exudes confidence in herself and who she is — the sexy clothes are just extras…
Ana Lilian says:
I guess I just never even thought of myself as the Sexy Latina…but a cute one yes! LOL! But once I´m on the dance floor, then the sexy comes out and it´s all good.
But,seriously, I guess I just lack the perceived-Latina sassy-ness as I´ve never felt that bias towards me.
I will definitely agree with dear Sra. López that the media, especially the Hispanic media, is completely promoting the hot Latina stereotype, and not much of the smart Latina one. Why do their “news” anchors feel they need to have their breast augmented to be taken seriously?
I think it is inherent in our culture to be “hot” in every sense of the word because we are so passionate.
I love what Maya was trying to accomplish and say with her video, but I found that she couldn’t hide or deny her Latin sensuality even when she was trying to play the part of an “intellectual, accomplished, socially conscious woman.”
This DID make me stop and think, but what I realized is that I tend to shoot for a 3rd type. I go for “Classy Latina.” You know, the one that can wear the big hoops and sexy top with a pant suit. Someone like Ingrid Hoffman or Karla Martinez.
C. Morales says:
My impression is that Latina women play into the stereotype because Latino men often expect them to, and they are threatened by a smart woman. It is not just non-Latino men who expect a mujer caliente and nothing more.
How you project yourself, depends on you, no matter what. I, like Ana, never felt that I was looked at differently because I am Latina. I don’t see my self as a Sexy, Hot, Latina(I hope my husband does, though). Hell, I’m 33, been married for 12 years, and have 3 kids. I don’t get “chifles” anymore… ): LOL!
This is directed towards the younger, single generation. How they present themselves as the future “Latina Generation”, depends on how they are raised. It’s up to us, as moms, to teach our daughters to go and be the BEST they can be. It’s up to me to raise my daughter to know what it right from wrong. Do guys really still think that girls are still destined to be “home/baby makers? Really??
Forget Hollywood. Forget the Media. Heck, forget the evening news. If those ladies felt that they need to have their lady lumps hanging out in order to get the job, then I feel sorry for them. But, it is what it is.
I will raise my daughter to know that education is the key to being classy and sexy! Not exposed Humps and Lady Lumps! Also, I will raise my boys to see women and they see themselves. Whether they marry a Latina or not.
Ay, me pase de mas! he he!
A smart and fun video commentary on the stereotypes of women in general…the educated intellectual, the hot babe, the innocent women. I like that Maya uses humor to deflect the extremes. Also that she creates a fine line between integrating the different role types. This is interesting because everyone is never just one thing…but we may choose to identify one way.
Melissa Garcia Logan says:
I think it’s part of a male dominated culture. Many women have this problem of having to manage male expectations in their professional lives, whether it is living with objectification or men projecting their need for nurturing from any woman they meet. I’ve had jobs where men thought it was okay to flirt with me and expected me to fulfill some messed up hot secretary fantasy, and I’ve had jobs where men I worked with expected me to be maternal and when I was driven, I was labeled aggressive. I’m not a dog, I’m not a hooker, and I’m definitely not your mother, guys.
I think we have to teach men when they’re children that women can fill many roles and to expect them to be as capable and androgynous as any man performing the same duties. By the same token, I don’t know how I feel about using gender or sexuality as an asset to get ahead, my feeling is that anything you do that is manipulative in nature, is skirting unethical, if not flat out crossing the line.
Having a sense of humor about stereotypes though, I don’t know if I see a problem as long as you don’t go too far and reinforce them. If it’s clear it’s a joke and part of the joke is how ridiculous stereotypical behavior really is…
I love the feedback, ladies. All great points and fabulous reflection.
I am left wondering this, after reading Ana and Liz’s comments: Is stereotype/perception felt/seen at a greater level when we don’t live in predominately Latino communities?
This comes to mind because your comments made me realize I never thought too much of my Latina side and my American side until I lived in cities where there weren’t a bunch of Cubans running around me everywhere. My otherness was apparent and pointed out. It was almost like, wow, I am different?
I emailed your post to my niece, whose studying at Penn State, this is what she had to say:
Well, I agree with her lol. A lot of people especially here in Pennsylvania, see me as exotic because I’m Hispanic. They expect me to speak Spanish all of the time and a lot of them expect me to be kinda stupid and slutty. But when people get to know me, they find out that I’m extremely smart. Smarter than most people they encounter. And it sucks because I’m always having to prove myself to people and to teachers. But in the end, I’m the one that’s dropping jaws for my intellect and not for my attractiveness =)
The end haha. Hope that helps.
I am one PROUD Tia!!! (:
Liz, aha! Thank you for sending the post to your niece and validating my theory. I love how your niece wrote to you and the “stupid and slutty” line made me bust out laughing — especially because she obviously is not.
Gracias, proud Tia!
(Maybe she needs to write for the Tiki Tiki? hmmmm?)
Great video and excellent points.
I think that this expectation for Latinas to appear sexy is one reason why I reject the hot mom movement. I wish there was just as much social pressure to be smart Latinas, smart moms, smart women as there is to be hot, sexy, etc.
February 2, 2010 § Leave a Comment
excerpt from article in The Jewish Chronicle by Justin Jacobs
Walk into the Saint Vincent College art gallery in Latrobe and the first thing you’ll see is a wall covered in brightly colored women’s panties.
Not the most common item on display at this small, staunchly Catholic institution, but peek a little closer — each pair is adorned with Hebrew text: shomer negia (don’t touch). Or, as artist and designer Maya Escobar explained, many interpret her panties as, “If you’ve gotten this far, you’re too far.”
The underwear is part of Tzit Tzit: Fiber Art and Jewish Identity, Saint Vincent’s new exhibition as assembled by guest curator and associate art professor Ben Schachter. The pieces included interpret the exhibition’s title both literally and metaphorically — tzit tzit as art, certainly, but also as a symbol of how Jews are bound together by material through tradition and practice.
“I wanted to make something like a ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bracelet but for young, Jewish girls,” said Escobar of her popular creation (they sell online at her Web site). “But why do people automatically assume it has to be a sexual message for men? It should be a halachic thing for women. Ideally, these aid in being shomer negia because they’re a reminder. They’re about individual sexuality for women.”
“They’re provocative and also ‘keep your hands off’ at the moment of greatest vulnerability. It’s really post-modern and funny,” said Schachter. “I mean, it’s underwear.”
click here for full article
SHOMER NEGIAH PANTIES are avaliable on ShomerNegiahPanties.com
January 21, 2010 § Leave a Comment
January 16, 2010 § Leave a Comment
January 13, 2010 § 1 Comment
Here are some behind the scenes images from the many Acciones Plásticas プリクラ photo shoots.
The Latina Hipster
The Homegirl putting on fake nails (lovin’ the shabbos candlesticks and theory books in the background)
The Avodah Girl
goodness. I’ve been thinking a lot about the intersections between new media and traditional forms of knowledge and how these intersections can be ways of supporting tradition, innovation, resistance and liberation. As a media-maker, I’ve thought a lot about non-traditional forms of telling stories and the value of stories to allow us as individuals and communities to grow and remain in movement. I want to both honor our traditions and create space for challenge in order to support growth. This is particularly challenging when, as indigenos, we are usually FORCED into the frozen stance (as my sister Whisper says) of the “American Imaginary”. Born out of a flat analysis, the “American Imaginary” boxes us into specific archetypes and narratives that, though perhaps grounded in truth, metaphorically and at times literally “freeze” us and immobilize us from engaging in healthy movement and LIFE. As a guatemalan-born/ mixed -id’d/ mayan-adoptee I’ve dreamed about new and innovative ways to create forums and craft form that embodies the intersections of say, mayan id, transracial queer, working class, single teen mama id. For example, as a queerasfuck femme I’ve LITERALLY dreamed of beginning a series of corsets created out of huipil’s with stories attached to each… though I have yet to begin work on that. I am so excited by the thoughts of spaces for dialogue, beauty, challenge & examination of the COMPLEX identities embodies by the our contemporary indigena communities. . Fierce and phenomenal chicana and radical latina artists have had HUGE impacts on me but I’ve been hungry to see this come from other guatemelan/ mayan artists. Today, I got a taste of a contemporary and GUATEMALAN artist who is actively engaged in a similar examination! I came across this blog (and art work) and it was as if an answer was given to me in the form of possibilities. A sweet affirmation that this form of mayan/guatemalan art CAN and DOES exist.
November 22, 2009 § Leave a Comment
November 1, 2009 § 4 Comments
Acciones Plásticas プリクラ
The Latina Hipster
a bad-ass Morrissey-lovin’, tuff-girl sexy chica
The Latina Role Model
a diploma totin’ intellectual, sexy, social media goddess
a hybridized version of Escobar’s Midwestern Chach and Yañez’s West Coast Chola.
In Acciones Plásticas Escobar created a multi-faceted “doll” by assuming the role of designer and distributor, and even posing as the actual doll itself. Each doll was a satirical characterization of some of the many roles that have been projected upon her, and into which she has, at points, inevitably fallen. In conjunction with these images, she developed a short series of low-definition youtube video blogs through which she inhabits the lives of “real women” who have each been visibly defined by societal constructs.
Recently, Yañez has been utilizing Japanese photobooths (known as Purikura or “print-club”) as an artist’s tool for creating portraits. These booths are much more common in Japan than their United States counterparts. As a catalyst for creative expression and social interaction they are used primarily by young urban Japanese girls. A standard feature in all Purikura booths allows the user to digitally decorate their portraits after they take them. The options are vast and include wild characters, excessive starbursts of light, pre-made phrases and the option to draw your own text directly on the image. Purikura gives the subjects near-divine powers of self-expression in crafting their own portraits.
The two artists who met over the web, decided to bring together Escobar’s highly charged and evocative Acciones Plásticas characters with Yanez’s notorious Chicano graphic-art style and new found obsession with Purikura images, as a way of addressing the construction of Latina identities.
Maya posed as The Latina Hipster: a bad-ass Morrissey-lovin’, tuff-girl sexy chica; The Latina Role Model: a diploma totin’ intellectual, sexy, social media goddess; and finally, The Homegirl: a hybridized version of Escobar’s Midwestern Chach (or Chachi Mama) and Yañez’s West Coast Chola.
Maya sent digital images to Rio, who in turn drew portraits of her as each of these constructed identities. He approached each portrait with a Purikura sensibility and decorated them each as the characters represented might accessorize themselves.
The final series of portraits is the result of negotiating multiple identities and influences. Guatemalan, Jewish, and Chicano sensibilities reflected back through a Japanese Purikura aesthetic. Acciones Plásticas プリクラ challenge and question the thin line between archetype and stereotype. The Purikura elements present the novel signifiers of each social construct represented in the series.
This collaboration is the first of many to come as Maya and Rio explore the commonalities and differences of their cultural identities.
For more information on Acciones Plásticas プリクラcheck out Rio’s blog and stay tuned for guest post by seeNoga aka Carianne Noga on meeting the Chach Homegirl in real life.
(video of the Chach featured below)
October 25, 2009 § 1 Comment
Shomer Negiah is a concept in Jewish law halacha that prohibits any degree of physical contact with, or touching of, a member of the opposite sex, except for one’s spouse and immediate family. Shomer means “guards”, but due to its common use in phrases relating to religious practice, it has come to mean: “adhere to” as well. Negiah is the Hebrew word for “touch”, and thus Shomer Negiah is a term used to describe one who “guards the touch” or simply “adheres to restrictions of touch”. Although the feminine form of the term is technically Shomeret Negiah, it is almost always used in the masculine, even when in reference to women. Shomer Negiah Panties allow a woman to abide by the halacha, but still be individual and sexy at the same time.
May 3, 2009 § Leave a Comment
April 30, 2009 § 1 Comment
Jones asks to what extent do we self construct?
I feel like a little kid in a candy store, really, I do.
Here is another Sarah Jones video.
Have I mentioned how amazing I think she is?
April 29, 2009 § 1 Comment
From the Vanessa Hidary the Hebrew Mamita
UPDATE: this post generated these responses
El Rio’s got The Hebrew Mamita’s back in the Bay Area, f’sho!
Hidary’s ability to discuss her Jewish identity and experiences while talkin’ hella mad shit is amazing. She’s a kindred spirit to my Ghetto Frida project. After watching the videos on her youtube page I didn’t hesitate for a minute to head over to the official Hebrew Mamita online store and purchase her CD. She describes the album as “not appropriate for young children but spectacular for adults with flava!” a line I’m kicking myself for not coming up with.
El Rio’s got The Hebrew Mamita’s back in the Bay Area, f’sho!
The YouTube video below is the Puerto Rican Jewess’s riff on “Ga Bless You Ma.” For those of you innocents, this is a common enough phrase slung at female passerby by tigueritos hanging out on the street corners of Washington Heights and other New York City ‘hoods. And just in case you think I can’t spell, there’s nothing religious about the phrase…at least not when you say it like that.