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date: 17 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article begins delving into the intersectionality of the conceptual knowledge embedded in the terms “women,” “gender,” and “sexuality.” The evolution of these three concepts has transformed the field of women, gender, and sexuality studies. While drawing on feminist and interdisciplinary methods to center on women’s issues, the field examines constructs of gender power relations, systems of oppression, and privilege. Students and scholars in the field examine these concepts as they intersect with other identities and social sites such as race, sexual orientation, inequality, class, and disability. The article begins with a general examination of the epistemological inquires considered in the title. It then traces the interdisciplinarity of women’s studies and feminist theory while contextualizing Latina feminism within Third World feminisms as conceptualized in the twentieth century. The article also argues that in Latina/o culture, the epistemology of these terms is reinforced by the power of heterosexuality, patriarchy, and the ramifications of colonial history. In this framework, the article examines the dichotomy of marianismo and machismo as markers of the legacy of colonialism. In what contexts this legacy influences Latina feminist discourses and views in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? What type of genealogies have been fundamental in tracing the colonial history of Latina/American feminism across borders? What kinds of methodological considerations for studying sexuality, and non-conforming gendering processes in Latina/o/Latinx culture in the twenty-first century are currently relevant? Are Latinas becoming more visible and influential in the twenty-first century? These inquiries are considered important for engaging with contemporary issues in Latino/a studies.

Keywords: gender, sexuality, women of color, marianismo, machismo, Gloria Anzaldúa, La Malinche, Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz, Latina/Chicana feminism and Latina/o/Latinx

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