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Pathways: A Journal of Humanistic and Social Inquiry

Abstract

Yxta Maya Murray’s Locas and Felicia Luna Lemus’s Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties both grapple with themes relating to the impact of Malinchismo experienced by real-life Chicanas in both political and cultural discourses. Despite this parallel, these texts and their characters have not received critical attention in the field of Chicana Literature when compared with texts such as Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street. The womxn in these texts have similarly been stripped from narratives of activism because of their evocation of nontraditional forms of activism, which are often overlooked in comparison to more traditional ones, as a result of the application of respectability politics. While the womxn in these novels challenge the status quo through nontraditional activism and resistance, it is significant to consider how the systems of oppression that they are forced to navigate are intrinsic with those experienced by their real-life counterparts, as well as throughout the history and establishment of Chicana feminism and activism at large. This article is not meant to dichotomize Chicanas who partake in traditional versus nontraditional activism, but rather to provide insight as to how Chicanas have continuously acted as agents of change, in the face of colonization’s enduring legacies.

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