Zeze the X:
Incidences of Violence toward Latin American Women in the U.S. Media
Taller III International Women’s Studies
University of Havana,
October 25-29, 1999
In the United States, the only thing we as a people have in common anymore is Television.
It has been argued that television is our culture, and in fact, we learn how to think and behave
from television, and not schools, churches, parents, or books.
Television creates its own social reality, where it can repeat a message over and over,
and where fiction can come to sound like truth.
From the end of the paper . . .
I would like to close with a thought from Sandra Cisneros, one of my favorite contemporary writers.
Cisneros is the daughter of a Mexican father and a Mexican-American mother, and sister to
six brothers. She is nobody’s mother and nobody’s wife. Cisneros speaks of the struggle to
invent herself as an authentic person, a person who is constructed by her own efforts, and not
by the efforts of external forces. She fights to break away from the constraints of her culture,
her gender, her stereotype. She says, “I would like to baptize myself under a new name,
a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees. Esperanza as Lisandra or Maritza or
Zeze the X. Yes. Something like Zeze the X will do.”
[Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Random House, 1989. page 111]