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Being a woke brown chingona

3-14 Rosa Arambula (Dalton Flandro) (1 of 1).jpg
Rosa Arambula, chingona. (Dalton Flandro / The Signpost)


Chingona – noun. 1. a Spanish slang term meaning “bad-ass woman.”

Being a woman has given me the strength to be unapologetic, especially in a society that tries to silence women of color.

To me, being a chingona is an act of resistance.

It is raising your voice even more when others try to silence it, especially when you’re taught from a young age that, “calladita te ves mas bonita,” or “in silence you are more beautiful.”

It is being so sure of yourself and owning something inside of you that no one can take away it from you.

Being a chingona means to break down barriers and refuse to apologize for your existence.

It is being your own person despite what your cultura (culture) or familia (family) want you to be because machismo is so entrenched within la cultura.

It means making your ancestors proud — those who have endured so much pain and hardships in a world unkind to women — and paving the way for the women who come after you.

For a very long time, we were being told that white features are superior and prettier than our brown features. We must be able to shut that down and call it what it is: a lie.

Brown is beautiful. Our noses resembling those of Aztecs, Mayans or Incans are beautiful. Our brown features in general are beautiful.

It is having La Raza (a Spanish language term translating to “The Race, Spanish “raza” meaning “race, ethnicity; breed, strain, lineage”) depend on you, because even though you do not belong to anyone, you are accountable to many.

It is the fire that is burning inside of you that is bigger and brighter than the one that is around you, and that comes from your mother’s side.

It means going to places that no one in your cultura or familia have ever been. It is applying and attending college or running for office.

This is what it means to be a chingona. It is moving through the world with a lot of fight in your step. It is being unapologetic above anything else.

Gracias, thank you, to all the women in my cultura who suffer in silence, who go unnoticed and who are the backbones of our familias.

Not only do we celebrate you this month, but we celebrate you every day of the year.

This is for all my mujeres chingonas and all my Latinas who are still trying to learn how to be unapologetic. You are radiant. You are magical. You make the world go round.

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