Controversies – Gloria Anzaldua short stories


Social Activism

Social activism is a key factor in Gloria’s work that allows her to point out some social injustice through her work. In fact, the social injustice that Gloria discusses is accompanied with, oppression, pain, wounds and trauma that are a great part to her life. Gloria tries to criticize this society, full of barriers, full ideologies and full stigmatization that are the main component of any kind of discrimination especially for women. A perfect example of this is the anthology This Bridge Called My Back, which is about the introduction of the first time issues of race, class, and sexuality within the feminist debate. This anthology makes clear the lack of support for women rights. For this motive, Gloria writes, “The writers’ coming to terms with community—race, group, class, gender, self—its expectations, supports and lessons. Their coming to grips with its perversions—racism, prejudice, elitism, misogyny, homophobia, and murder. And coming to terms with the incorporation of disease, struggling to overthrow the internal colonial /pro-racist loyalties” (vii).

Women’s Rights

This controversy of lack of support for women’s rights was gaining strength over the years thanks to increasing discrimination to Latino and black races. As with a gun in hand, Gloria took her pen and stared to write the daily life suffering of these races that fought for a position of this society . For this reason, she writes, “In “La Prieta” which is an expression   of her grandmother, “too bad mihijita was morena, muy prieta […] it was too bad I was dark like an Indian” (198). With this idea, Gloria tries to highlight the discrimination and think over one gender as one identity that would not provide the ideal place for a women (PANCHIBA F. BARRIENTOS). During her life time, Gloria that has a fundamental idea that it is impossible to get a full identity thanks to all influences the people have.

Because I, a mestiza, Continually walk out of one culture and into another, Because I am in all cultures at the same time, Alma entre dos mundos, tres, cuatro, Me zumba la cabeza con lo contradictorio. Estoy norteada por todas las voces que me hablan Simultaneamente. (Anzaldua, 2007: 99)13


Her way of writing is characterized by multiple facets on her life. Gloria shows a great dynamic in her writing, which is illustrated by one controversy. This controversy is the change of language during her writing. This was taught by her family, which are Spanish speakers. This way of writing, caused the rising of criticism on her writing, because some of her books were published for an American public. This created that some of the readers felt uncomfortable

at the time of the reading.  For example “En boca cerrada no entran moscas ,”(Austin 207) which means flies don’t enter a closed mouth. Gloria always had in her hands professional translators because she did not have the all the vocabulary that an American citizen had. Sometimes she refused to do the translation, and this was intentional because Gloria want to show two main reasons. The first one was about cultural identity, which is her language; the second one was the idea of how two languages can interact together.


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Linguistic Terrorism

Gloria talks about linguistic terrorism,  it is refer to tongue-less, which means the  lack of proper use of their home  language. this happen when children of immigrants forget their natal language given by their parents in their new countries.  Therefore, this implies a lost of cultural identity that a language has in a person. For this motive Gloria said,”we are your linguistic nightmare , your linguistic aberration, the object of you ridicule. Racially, culturally and linguistically speaking we are orphans; we speak an orphan language .”()  this is also leads to the discrimination for both sides of the coin, which are the discrimination from the new country  to their language and the discrimination from their families to the bad use of their language.

Mirella. “The Wound as Bridge: The Path of Conocimiento in Gloria Anzaldúa’s …” Revue LISA/LISA e-Journal. Littératures, Histoire Des Idées, Images, Sociétés Du Monde Anglophone – Literature, History of Ideas, Images and Societies of the English-Speaking World, Presses Universitaires De Rennes, 15 Dec. 2014,

“What Is Linguistic Terrorism?” The Gloria E. Anzaldua Foundation,


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