Seeing and Being Seen
Personally I have never felt tokenized because as a Latina woman I know how easy it is to be such in a situation where you feel like your worth is only in what you represent and not what you can bring to the table. While I understand that in certain situations people want to hear or need the perspective of a certain group of people and that is always welcomed being a token of a community is completely different I have seen this used plenty of times in my life and have tried my hardest to avoid it. When people first meet me I assume that I have faced many challenges in my life because of the place I came from and because of my ethnicity. I never grew up wealthy but my parents always made sure that I had everything I needed. Another assumption of the typical Latina girl is that we live under the reign of this “machista” household where the man of the house is controlling but that was not my case.
While my father was strict on me it had more to do with my studies he made sure that I knew what his expectations were of me and that was to go to college and get a career; not to be a good housewife or mother. Many of the women in my life have resented me because of this my mom did not teach me how to cook from a young age and I have always been pretty messy. My aunts and uncles always thought that my parents were too easy on me and that they were not raising me to be a good Latina girl, this was hard on me as a grew up because i was not this token Latina women and I still do not strive to be the idea that my family members have of the token Latina women because I know that it is not my path in life. I feel that in a lot of ways my family has come to the conclusion that I am neglecting my Mexican roots and look down on them which makes it hard for me to relate to many of my older family members.