Paul Noguera February – 25 Women Participation during the Mexican Revolution Women played a big role during the Mexican revolution. Before the Mexican revolution, women always were discriminated and isolated by men; they had always lived under male control and their dominance on many aspects of the society. Women in Mexico have always been characterized by certain stereotypes such as family life, marriage, and the influence that they had from the Catholic.
Women were never seen as people who could contribute to the society taking position such as in the government. This essay explains the transition and some of the contributions of many Mexican Women who were really important during the Mexican revolution. During the revolution women become to be part of Mexican politics for first time, they also had important participation on social movements and on the battlefields and finally they had and important influence on reforming the national Education in Mexico.
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Many women from high and lower class of the Mexican society managed to be part in high positions of Mexican politics despite of the inequalities they had to face during this period, gaining the respect of many men and of the society in many parts of Mexico. Many of the women who got to be in high positions of Mexicans politics become to be important political figures and inspiration for other women to believe in themselves. A woman who became an important figure in during the Mexican revolution was Hermilia Galindo. She was born in 1896 in Laredo, Durango Mexico (Mitchell, “Women’s Revolution,” p. 7), when the Mexican revolution began she was only fifteen year old. During Galindo’s political carrier she wrote many political disquisitions, was a public advocate for Carranza in many states and was the editor of the journal “Mujer Moderna” She rose quickly due to her intelligence, excellence speaking skills, and because she had skills and abilities that Carranza was shrewd enough to recognize and exploit. Hermilia was without doubt one of the most important public figures during the Mexican revolution, Carranza discover her when she was selected to give an speech upon his arrival after the fall of general Victoriano Huerta.
Hermilia wrote many articles, and spoke to many women’s groups, supporting Carranza’s rule and to encourage women to join revolutionary groups in order to stand up to the Catholic counter revolution (Mitchell, “Women’s Revolution,” p. 26) . Hermilia was also important because of her roles as a Mexican feminist, Galindo supported feminist ideas and Carranza’s government; when Hermilia was part of Carranza’s government she found her own journal before mentioned called “Mujer Moderna” (Mitchell, “Women’s Revolution,” p. 5) from which she would attack the Catholic Church directly and call women for social participation against it as well. One the things that Hermilia fought for, was for equal rights between men and women, declaring the women should have the right to vote, unfortunately she was unsuccessful. Political women during the Mexican revolution were not always accepted by the people, they had important popular opposition from the more conservative population of Mexico who wouldn’t accept their participation and intervention on politics.
Women as Hermila Galindo were essential to the revolution because they addressed feminist problems and had the courage and the energy to make them public and make the government be more aware about it. Women during the Mexican revolution didn’t only play an important role on politics, also on the streets and battlefield as well. There were some important social movements made by women during the Mexican revolution such as the Veracruz strike, where many women workers would fight to put an end to social and economic wrongs in the state (Mitchell, “Women’s Revolution,” p. 51). The Veracruz movement was one of the first social movements that happened during the Mexican revolution and was based on pressuring the government to enact a housing reform legislation that would make rent more fear for them not letting landlords to manipulate them. Also during the Mexican revolution we can see las Soldaderas as well, who were considered battlefield heroes of the Mexican revolution. Most of women workers as well as las Soldaderas were mestizas or Indian women who were affected or didn’t agree with government policies.
These women proved themselves as men’s equals, and showed that women are as successful as men in getting the job done. Not only did they put their lives in danger to fight for their cause, but their bravery was as admirable as that of the men who fought for their rights, if not more because often they did not have just themselves to take care of, but children as well. During the Veracruz strike hundreds of women workers got together to fight for lower rent and to make them-selves respected.
This social movement made by women become to be so important that called the attention of the government to make a change in the legislation about housing (Mitchell, “Women’s Revolution,” p. 25). Without these women fighting on the streets demanding a change in the constitution and with las Soldaderas fighting on the battlefield, the revolution would have been a different battle and women would have never had the chance to prove their abilities or gotten the recognition they deserved. Two Women who were really important during the Mexican revolution were Dolores Jimenez y Muro and Peta Rosa Ojeda.
Jimenez and Ojeda were schoolteachers, Jimenez was born in Aguascalientes, she was a political radical (Mitchell, “Women’s Revolution,” p. 23), Ojeda was from the state of Yucatan and she always supported the Mexican revolution in her role as a teacher (Mitchell, “Women’s Revolution,” p. 37). Their roots as a schoolteacher were evident in their reform to decentralize the Mexican educational system. Ojeda was always more focused at the local level in the state of Yucatan Mexico and Jimenez was more involved on reforming the educational national system.
By Jimenez trying to reform the educational national system would allow schools to be locally funded and controlled all over Mexico including in the state of Yucatan, where Ojeda was volunteering educating hacienda workers and trying to reform the education system of the state, this reformation would allow that each school would receive individual attention. Ojeda instead of Jimenez was more focused on educating workers in haciendas especially women who were repressed by the hacienda owner in Yucatan (Mitchell, “Women’s Revolution,” p. 38).
Also since Ojeda herself was in touch with all classes of people, she could more easily see their problems and needs. This moved her to fight for reforms about the expensive and insufficient housing the lower classes had to endure in the state (Mitchell, “Women’s Revolution,” p. 44). Even though Mexican women permeated every niche in the society of the revolution, they have gotten only a fraction of the recognition they deserve. Many of their stories have been forgotten or re-written by the society to which they gave their ideas, work, and lives.
Despite what male historians have led us to believe, Mexican women’s contributions were just as great as men’s were. They were of primary importance in the revolution and were essential to the causes for which they fought. Mexican women broke the molds of countless generations, and showed the strength of the female spirit. They took on core positions that were not traditional and excelled in many predominantly male-dominated roles. Mexican women were revolutionary in the way they stretched the boundaries of gender roles and reversed many stereotypes.