Gloria Anzalduas Borderlands/La Fronteraand To Live in the Borderlands Means You discusses what it’s like to live in the borderlands and how it feels to be of different races and feel conflicted or judged by the people around them and by their own country. Anzaldua goes on to discuss the new mestiza way as kind of border woman who is able to negotiate between different cultures and cross over from one to the other and therefore has a perspective of all those different worlds that someone who is monocultural cannot have (Blanco 4) Anzalduas works encourages everyone to not limit themselves to one identity,race,gender.
The borderlands to me means the area separating two societies/nations where they border each other and struggle over the land in between. Before reading about this I was not familiar with the concept but after reading into this and doing research, I became more aware of what borderlands mean , and how it affects people.
Therefore, being someone that is mixed with white,mexican and another race, and in my opinion being mixed with white causes a lot of internal and external problems. You feel conflicted because of the oppression that’s associated with whites, what they took or did to your people. Furthermore, your own race might not fully accept you and they ridicule you for having those parts that make up you. The borderlands separating them from the rest of the world.
Anzalduas view that we should not limit ourselves to one race,gender and being open to this creates this ultimate being, a person that’s woke, informative of all races history.
The mestiza combination of races creates a world of no discrimination of openess, a world where no one is judged by the color of their skin or ethnicity and gender because they decide what they want to identify as. Everyone would see this country and every country as theirs, more people would be informed about the history, struggles of every minority. Therefore, the use of the words like majority/minority would no longer need to exist because we would not have to quantify ourselves to distinguish how many of us there are because we would all be equal. Anzaldua states in Borderlands/la Frontera that As a mestiza I have no country, my homeland cast me out; yet all countries are mine because I am every womans sister or potential lover. (As a lesbian I have no race, my own people disclaim me; but I am all races because there is the queer of me in all races.)(Anzaldua 102) Additionally, she expresses that since there are queer in every race she identifies with every race. I can personally relate to this because I am a American, I identify as Bisexual, I am mixed with Black and Nigerian and probably a lot of other things. Therefore, if we all thought like this originally and even now this could lessen the discrimination and unfairness in this country with not only race but gender anf sexuality.
According to Anzaldua holding counterstance is non effective because we are so determined and set in what we believe we would just be arguing our view over the others forever. She believes that we would have to fully understand everyones point of view and accept them as neither wrong or right and learn how to live and coexist with each other and if we can not do that we need to let it go. Furthermore, that we need a new perspective that includes everyone instead of excludes. She goes on to say All reaction is limited by, and dependent on, what it is reacting against. Because the counter-stance stems from a problem with authorityouter as well as innerits a step towards liberation from cultural domination. But it is not a way of life. At some point, on our way to a new consciousness, we will have to leave the opposite bank, the split between the two mortal combatants somehow healed so that we are on both shores at once and, at once, see through serpent and eagle eyes.(Anzaldua 101)
Personally, I do agree with her but it’s going to take a lot of work people are not as open as we would like. Therefore, it would take a lot of work within everyone and together as a whole it is attainable but again our government leaders, us a country and even other countries would have to come together to resolve this. I agree with her because I think that this perspective would end a lot of discrimination and war in our country and allows openess and freedom for everyone.
The mestiza cope with dissolution of borders and walls with both sides after not feeling accepted by knowing what parts make up them and learning how to coexist with the different parts of themselves, while having tolerance for opposing views. Anzaldua states that She learns to juggle cultures. She has a plural personality, she operates in a pluralistic modenothing is thrust out, the good the bad and the ugly, nothing rejected, nothing abandoned. Not only does she sustain contradictions, she turns the ambivalence into something else.(Anzaldua 101) I personally can relate to this I am interested in learning what different ethnicities make me, learning about their history and using that information to get a better understanding. For example, I am part Nigerian and part American, and before I knew that I was part Nigerian, in social conversations with people from different parts of africa, they all named stereotypes about each other and ridiculed how Nigerians acted. Originally, that was my first time hearing those stereotypes now looking back after reading into the borderlands, if we all thought like the new mestiza consciousness then people would be able to accept everyone. Once I feel comfortable enough to start exploring that part of me, I am afraid to not be accepted, to be ridiculed because I was raised in America. But with reading Anzalduas novels, I feel like it will help me at the end of the process with this new perspective.
The new mestiza in order to proceed along her journey, has to continue to spread the word, encourage people and inform people that we can coexist that we all bleed the same blood. She also has to look and review true history and be able to have new perspectives about the people around her, she has to do a lot of self work Anzaldua goes on to express that This step is a conscious rupture with all oppressive traditions of all cultures and religions. She communicates that rupture, documents the struggle. She reinterprets history and, using new symbols, she shapes new myths. She adopts new perspectives toward the darkskinned, women and queers. She strengthens her tolerance (and intolerance) for ambiguity. She is willing to share, to make herself vulnerable to foreign ways of seeing and thinking.She surrenders all notions of safety, of the familiar. Deconstruct, construct. She becomes a nahual, able to transform herself into a tree, a coyote, into another person. She learns to transform the small I into the total Self.(Anzaldua 105) This paragraph was very important to me because this is the next step for the mestizas, in order for us to be able to accept everyones race we also have to accept gender we have to stand up as a whole and fight for all women that are discriminated against in all races. This person has to be completely vulnerable but informative and impenetrable by any stereotype. I can apply this to my own life and experiences because openness and acceptance so far has gotten me great places being able to be in a melting pot and meet people who are just like you, find things you have in common you can bond. Support is very important I feel like just like it’s imperative for the mestizas to create this new perspective of thinking that can end a lot of problems we face today. I can apply that to myself when I start trying to discover myself, I can apply it next time I see something I do not understand and easily want to judge and defend my country because it belongs to everyone.
Therefore, when Anzaldua says A misinformed people is a subjugated people” (Anzaldua 108). If we all knew the real truth about each others histories it would clear up who these countries belong to, who inhabited them and hopefully that would create understanding that it belongs to all of us. Commonly in history it’s the European or people of white descent taking over these places that were originally inhabited by someone else and then treating them like outsiders, destroying their lands and homes. Even if we go about this there will still be people who are opposed to it. I can personally relate to living in the borderlands because I have also faced discrimination as a black bisexual women and I am also struggling with dealing with the different parts of myself and wondering will I be accepted and how to deal with not being accepted because I grew up in America. Anzalduas concepts are relevant to contemporary American culture and society, because today we are living in a country where it’s ran by a masochistic rich white man in power appealing to the presumably low income, far right and of the southern regions but definitely white power Americans that believe that this is their country and will do anything to further in Making America Great Again which is influencing anti immigration,sexism,discrimination and anti-integration. ICE deported millions of people and basically had them in prison/concentration camps with poor conditions, people were separated from their kids and deported separately from their families. Meaning, I also feel like we have to encourage people to vote in order to put the leaders that have the same view as us in charge.
What can we learn from Anzaldua to improve our own lives and the lives of others, is to take time to understand the people around us rather than trying to beat our perspectives, religious beliefs etc on other people, if we all start working eternally and use the new mestiza consciousness of acceptance first starting with race and gender , sexuality we can focus on other issues like global warming etc . We can make it a place where to live in America means you are neither hispana india negra espa?ola ni gabacha, eres mestiza, mulata, half-breed caught in the crossfire between camps while carrying all five races on your back not knowing which side to turn to, run from(Anzaldua 194) We can also learn from Anzaldua that we are all the same in some way. We can live in a world where there is no wrong and right, we can accept everyone;s opinion and live together.