Friday, July 17, 2009

In Praise of Wise Latinas

Apparently today you can be a sexy Latina, a pregnant Latina, a spicy Latina, but pair the adjective wise with the noun and parts of the populace froth and roar and tell formally avowed Wise Latina that she has "some 'splainin' to do."
Since I was raised by, work with and am one, I thought I would bring up a couple of examples, and a meal in their honor.

From the distant past:

Malinche: So wise she has confounded historians and been reviled by the populace she practically spawned. Her linguistic talents brought collaboration (some say betrayal) between the Spaniards and the natives.

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz: the first writer and intellectual of the new world. Oh, gosh, she did this in Spanish. Perhaps you haven't heard of her.

From the nearer past: Linda Chavez, conservative aide to Ronald Reagan.
Dolores Huerta. Ever hear of her hubby, Cesar Chavez?

Immediate? She's not just wise, she's brilliant. Alma Guillermoprieto is an incisive
intelligent journalist.

A spackling, a sampling. And as you chew on the pervasive power of ethnic branding, Starving Reader, and identify a number of wise Latina contemporaries in your world, here's a meal:

Mole, in honor of the educated Spanish nuns and the wild mixture of flavors, brought by the ingredients the laborers harvested.
Beans, a pre-Conquest staple.
Hand made corn tortillas. Inhale the scent of freshly ground corn, turned into masa and then heated on a comal or griddle. Rustic and elemental. Like wisdom.

Accompanied by a bottomless vodka martini. So I can forget that "wise latina," for certain people, is an oxymoron.


  1. Wow! I love it! Why wouldn't I? These Latinas are verifiably wise. Test to follow. Maga

  2. Enticing pic but...
    Of these three, which is the Sexy one, de pregnant one, and the spicy saucy one??

    While I'm at it: which loves dogs the most, which is the wise girl, and which is the Youngest???

  3. You're right. I don't know them all.

    Fortunately, though, I can think of the wise Latinas I have known and be thankful. How sad that some people live such limited lives that they don't have wise Latina friends of their own. I mean really! It's not like wise Latinas are a rarity or anything.

  4. CO: click de links, dawg--
    A: Glad you love it--
    P: When you spot them in the media let me know.
    Always looking forward to something to celebrate.

  5. I have nothing wise or sassy to say. (Pregnant pause)
    I just love everything you do.
    Um. You sure are funny too.

  6. I'll keep an eye on the news. In the meantime, since I can't introduce you to people from my hometown and until I can introduce you to my wise (and fun) Latina neighbors, here's an interesting bunch.

  7. I think this is my favorite Restless Chef post. Besides the Gumbo one. Brilliant.

  8. I read in Monica Hubbard's Wired Women (maybe you did, too) that Senator Gloria Romero will run for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2010.

  9. I'm on a mission. A mission from Dios.

  10. I like this wise Latina's blog ( She's not in the news yet, but I think she will be someday.