Tag Archives: EDUCATED WOMEN IN LOS ANGELES

Celebrating Women Herstory Month: “Hija de la Chingada” by Cindy Crystal Gonzalez

“Hija de la Chingada Y Que”

            “Estas carnes indias que despreciamos nosotros los Mexicanos asi como despreciamos condenamos a nuestra madre, Malinalli. Nos condenamos a nosotros mismos. Esta raza vencida, enemigo cuerpo”. Gloria Anzaldúa

“Traidora, Traitor….” These were the words I heard from my tias when La Malinche would come up in conversation. I never understood why the mere mention of La Malinche provoked such anxiety. Anzaldúa tells us that La Malinche became La Chingada -the fucked one. Her name evokes mixed emotions to Chicanas, Mexicanas, and Pochas. She was Hernan Cortes’s interpreter and sexual object; su primer conquista. She is blamed for the destruction of the great Aztec People. In her complexity, she represents both innocence and guilt. La Chingada is our greatest Mexican contradiction, our most deep-(seed)ed confusion. For some, she deserved all that she endured under Cortes’s dominion because she was the whore that sold her people out, La Traidora. She provoked su conquista, She got what she deserved.

For others, she belongs on a pedestal of honor. They challenge the conventional beliefs around La Malinche and re-imagine her as a young innocent Indian wombyn who was sold into slavery and birthed our distinct Raza, La Madre del Mestizaje. Children of Mexico will either uplift her as a Mother or degrade her as La Chingada. This is the binary that Anzaldua both traces out and also teaches us to transcend. Her writing is incredibly relevant to me and to the children of Mexico because it is a chronicle, a retelling, and a transforming of our story and our identity. I am quite literally La Hija de la Chingada (daughter of the fucked one) historically, and presently this is my identity.

My mother stands 5 feet tall, canela skinned, with wavy opaque hair. Abuelita always called her prietita. She embodies the features of an India. Machismo and white supremacy team up in the Mexican experience against wombyn that bare indigenous features forcing them to become subservient and if one rebels, there is a price to pay. At an early age Ama worked in a bar as a dancer. In the thirsty eyes of the depraved men around her, she was sorted neatly into the whore category, deserving of any and all desecrations of her dignity. Without her knowing she was falling into the whore side of the long established virgin/whore dichotomy that has been constructed for Mexican wombyn.

“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, Happy New Year!” My mom gave me a rambunctious hug and a big Brandy smooch and so began the year 1997. I was smiling in the smile-now-cry-later Pachuca Xingona tradition that raised me. For as long as I can recall, this is how my New Year’s Eve celebrations felt. Deep down there has always been a void in my person that my mom could not fill. It was the absence of a caring, protective ever-present Apa. This emptiness has hollowed my identity.

The year was 1997. I was 14 years old. It was the year I became determined to find my father, to give the Gonzalez along side my name meaning and to become whole. In truth, this is a journey all the children of colonial violence are on, one way or another. When I questioned my mother about my father, she would respond, “El no quiere nada que ver contingo”. At some point my mom finally reached out to Alvaro Gonzalez and demanded child support. He responded with a request for a DNA test. I was offended but I extended my arm with blind courage and pride. Some weeks later he showed up at my mother’s doorstep asking to take me out for lunch. I remember my mom being hesitant but she let me go with him and tio Victor. I had barely started to sip on my Jarrito as his apology began. “Perdoname Mija pero te tengo que decir que, Yo no soy tu Padre.” I was quiet. Everything was muted. I stared at him, “Pues quien es mi padre si yo tengo tu apellido?” It wasn’t long before the moment of truth. My mother nervously said, “Cindy… l was abducted and held hostage en un hotel in Mexico City for a long weekend. I was raped by a man. He is your father.” Tears raced down my cheeks as anger began to enter my heart. I felt betrayed, incomplete; it became painfully true to me that I was, una “Hija de la Chingada”- literally and metaphorically.

My mother is my people’s mother; she is La Malinche y La Chingada. Her truth resembled La Chingada’s experience with machismo and white supremacy. She was raped, belittled, and kept in captivity for the pleasures of a man who looked at her and said to himself India puta. As a result, she started to despise the indian in her. Ama hated herself entirely from the shame that was attached to her rape. She was bottling up a shame and hate in her heart that would spear head a shift in her sexuality. She transformed from an undocumented- indigenous looking wombyn that fell neatly into the virgin/whore dichotomy into a femme-lesbian who hated men for the next twenty years of her life and transcended the binary.

Anzaldúa, enlightens us of the classifications that wombyn who are descendants from Mexico fall into according to our culture. “For a woman of my culture there used to be only three directions she could turn: Church as a nun, to the streets as a prostitute, and or to the home as a mother”. While those are three options they amount to two directions, nuns and moms on the good side and whores on the bad side. My mother transcended into a third identity, one which challenges the limits for an undocumented Mexican wombyn’s sexuality by taking the power to define her sexuality outside of the norms. La Chingada, La Malinche is a metaphor for reclaiming our indian side as a practice of autonomy in a world of cultural domination. Many wombyn of color have similar stories, we continue to be affected by the cultural aspect of our identity, sexuality, and wombynhood. La Malinche is our ancestral mother therefore, firmly and resolutely I chose to embody La Hija de la Chingada as a practice of liberation from the shackles of machismo and white supremacy for myself and the forthcoming mothers and Hijas de la Chingada. For our Mother’s legacy is immortal!

 

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Women’s Herstory Month: Honoring Lupita- Woman of Steel

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A strong Mujer is one that always thinks about others, her actions are honest and genuine. She always sacrifices for righteousness even on her weakest moments without thinking about recognition; sees the good in people and believes she can change the world. This defines a strong Chingona Mujer and I am honored to kick off Women’s Herstory Month 2016 with our very own Woman of Steel: Lupita Garcia Founder of Fuck Cancer Crew. She deserves recognition for all her hard work in the community; not only as an advocate for any victim of this monstrous illness but also for being such an amazing individual with whom we can all rely on any time any place.

Lupita is consistently organizing fundraisers, benefits concerts and always coming up with new ideas to help others, especially Cancer victims. And as a result, the Graffiti community as well as many artists that love and support her have also joined forces with her and her battle with Cancer. On August 9, 2014, the Graff Lab and Frame DTK organized a Graffiti party “Fuck Cancer” fundraiser to help Lupita with her treatment expenses.  This is just one of the many times we have all joined with her treatment expenses.  This is just one of the many times we have all joined together to honor Lupita over the years.

She is not the type of woman who wants her battle with Cancer make her appear weak or live in self-pity; instead, she holds herself strong as the great Woman of Steel she is. Her mission is for others to have a good time and celebrate life to the fullest while she makes events such as “Dancing the Cancer Away” Benefits concert she held on November 14-15, 2015. During the holidays, her spirit lights even brighter; as she hosts her annual Haunted House in her community to bring scares and laughs to everyone during her favorite Halloween festivities with not only Haunted Houses but also awesome traditions of Pumpkin Carving Contests as the one she held on Halloween 2014.

She gives the public the opportunity to genuinely want to help her as much as she wants to help others. I have known Lupita for a few years now and I have had the honor to work with her in various art and community events and I must say that it is always a pleasure to be in her presence. I have never met a woman who approaches life in such a strong Chingona way as she does! No pity parties here. For this and for an end less list of good deeds she has done for Cancer victims, children and her Graffiti community; she has been nominated as one of our Strong Inspiring Woman that over the years she continuously supports her community. And I am sure we will see many more years filled with adventurous moments with Lupita, organizing benefit shows and selling her brand merchandise everywhere. Her statement is as true as it gets, Fuck Cancer! She has established not only a brand but a statement to live for herself. She has given this gift to hundreds of victims and supporters over the years as well. She is an inspiration to many of us and we all got her back on anything she plans to do to make this world a better place.

Much Love & Respect,

Monica Smiles Tobon

Here are some links to help support our Woman of Steel!

http://gngscreenprinting.bigcartel.com/

http://relay.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=74291&pg=personal&px=38513095&utm_campaign=rfl_2016&utm_source=cd&utm_medium=email&utm_content=MA_sharemyteampage&s_src=boundlessfundraising&s_subsrc=bfAphFbTpMypg

 

LUPITA’S STORY:

Here’s my story for those asking:

My name is Lupita Garcia a mommy to 3 beautiful kids (JR 19, Bella 11, and Ari 20) and a wife to (Ray Garcia). They are not only my life support but also my happiness and reason for wanting to fight to live. Without them I don’t think id survive this battle. For what now seems like a lifetime (going on yrs) I’ve been battling cancer. I’ve had cancer in my breasts, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer the most recent diagnosis is stomach cancer that has metastasized. This journey with cancer has been the hardest, most chaotic and heart breaking experience of my life. Still, despite so much tragedy, loss and almost giving in I was able to find myself. In doing so i found the person I was meant to be. Looking back at that moment I realize that I was walking down a dark path I was allowing this cancer to consume in more ways than one. I’ve heard people say that in darkness we either find ourselves or lose ourselves. I was lucky to be able to experience both sides. I needed to lose myself in order to find the new me. What lead to my new self is my end but for now I call it my salvation. Cancer, yes the c word the monster the horrible disease that devastates and kills, I call my salvation. Don’t get me wrong it is my worst enemy I HATE CANCER. Still somehow my cancer journey has been one that has changed me and my outlook on MY LIFE. To make it that much sweeter for me CANCER brought my family closer together and has made us all more compassionate human beings. This is what I’ve learned to live is not just breathing or getting through another day. To live is to know love happiness and most of all fulfillment. My mind and heart are in sync and for the first time in a long time I can see clearly. Every day I am alive is a blessing, it’s a gift. So every day that I get to wake up will be a day that I share my story and give someone a reason to smile. It’s my responsibility to give back and to show others that there is still hope for us. One person at a time one small act of kindness goes a long way. My family and I have found a way to fight cancer together and help those that are struggling get thru a rough patch. Together we are a stronger force and it’s the best feeling.
There is nothing in this world I want more than to be cancer free. I guess it’s not in my cards not yet anyway. My hubby once said to me cancer is the worst thing to happen to us but it has also been the best thing. It’s an unexpected blessing. I didn’t get what he meant not until I had my moment of clarity with this monster. You may understand this next statement or not. I am to some point grateful that CANCER is a part of me. I can’t say that I would have preferred to have found my purpose and myself another way. There’s a saying I can relate to now: To appreciate what you have you must suffer for it. Cancer has made me suffer its broken me more than once. It has caused the most damage to not just my life but those close to me. We’ve had to endure things that no one should ever have to. ALL THIS STILL WONT CHANGE HOW I FEEL ABOUT MY CANCER JOURNEY. I CAN ACTUALLY SAY I’M GRATEFUL THAT I WAS DAMMED WITH CANCER. I’VE MET SO MANY PEOPLE, DONE AMAZING THINGS, EXPERIENCED THINGS, LEARNED AND HAVE BECOME SOMEONE THAT PEOPLE LOOK UP TOO BECAUSE OF CANCER. THE MONSTER THAT INVADED MY BODY WITHOUT PERMISSION OR INVITE IS NOW A VIP HOLDER, FOR THE MEANTIME.

Petal x Blosm: Las Amazonas Prints Available @ Art Angeles Gallery!

So excited to announce that our very own Los Angeles based legendary Graffiti Artists Petal and Blosm have joined forced with Art Angeles Gallery and will be presenting to the public their iconic Las Amazonas Fine Art prints for sale. This is a very rare and limited edition of the prints that were showcased at the L. A Art Show 2015 as well as part of the panel discussion of Las Amazonas which was held on Saturday August 9, 2014 at the ESMoA museum. The subject matter of this print is depicting how the contribution of Graffiti women in this male dominant world is larger than life just as their contribution in the arts. Therefore it is a symbolic image representing this exquisite Los Angeles Graffiti Art Movement.

You do not want to miss out on owning such a historical fine art print; especially if you consider yourself a graffiti art lover. This is as real as it gets.

AND FOR A LIMITED TIME YOU CAN ORDER NOW!
AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS ONLINE EXCLUSIVE OFFER TODAY. 50% OFF!

Small 12*18- ($100)$50
Medium 18*24- ($200)$100
Large 24*36- ($300)$150
X large 36*48- ($400)$200

to purchase prints please click on the link below:

http://www.artangelesgallery.com/

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Fore more information on PETAL & BLOSM please click on the links below:

https://mstobon.com/2015/03/26/womens-history-month-petal-blosm-graffiti-art-legends/

https://dangerbeez.wordpress.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petal_and_Blosm

 

MUCH LOVE & RESPECT

MONICA SMILES TOBON

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Wendy Random Chavez: Issue 1–Summer 2015

Wendy Random Chavez is a talented Los Angeles based photographer and dear friend of mine. I always support any of her projects and visions; very intelligent and creative young professional with an amazing career ahead of her.

You will find Wendy Random Chavez walking thru the streets of Los Angeles capturing the true essence of our beautiful city as well as the bitter-sweet reality lying under the skyline.

I cannot wait for her to reveal to the public her latest project and work of art in photography!

So stay tuned for this Summer 2015!

You can follow her on Instagram @wendyrandom

https://www.facebook.com/messages/The.Original.Random

 

WENDY RANDOM CHAVEZ