"What gets between Latinas and education?" CNN's enfuriating article

I find myself at a loss for how to even begin processing CNN’s new article “What gets between Latinas and education.” All the tropes are hit: high dropout rates and even higher teen fertility rates, familial expectations of Latinas as “submissive underachievers and caretakers.” I suppose I should feel grateful that someone is bringing attention to this, but somehow, as a Latina with the goal of teaching at the university level, my reaction is mixed, ambivalent, mysterious to me. Yes, I am the only Cubana-Dominicana I know getting a Ph.D.*, but this is not unusual. As I grew up, I was the only Latina in my honors classes. I’m used to being the only one. But my chief problem is its assumption that the cultural definitions of latinadad—family loyalty and commitment—are causally associated with “submissive underarchievement.” Of course, no one mentions the counterexample stereotype of hardworking and over-achieving Asian-Americans who are incredibly committed to their families. And it chafes because family is exactly why I’ve achieved all I have and what spurs me on to dream bigger. It assigns blame to that part of being Latina that I find most compelling and most satisfying: relationship with family.

*My brother is the only Cuban-Dominican I know with a Ph.D.

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2 Responses to "What gets between Latinas and education?" CNN's enfuriating article

Julie said...

The other thing is that being a 'caretaker' does not contradict being an ambitious, educated, and successful over-achiever.

Hattie said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Alena

http://grantsforeducation.info

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