I don't like the terms Latina/Hispanic - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-28-2009, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And I don't know why, probably because i never really heard them before because race is such a non issue here, I particularly dislike latina every time i hear it I think of a salsa dancer with long legs with a mini skirt and a bra and thats just so not me.
I don't really have the "hispanic" look anyways but i feel many of latin americans don't either so I don't believe we are a race or ethnicity for that matter a Mexican is very different from an Argentinian, we were also colonized by europeans had some natives, and the spanish brought some african slaves, so we have pretty much every color under the rainbow, my backgorund is my moms side was form spain and my dad's was from italy, BTW i don't feel european at all either, I guess I am just Venezuelan if you want to define me somehow.

BTW this thread is a product of filling out some papers for an american university

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Old 01-30-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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Yeah... racial "categories" are pretty ridiculous. The idea of "race" is a social construct- it kind of disregards ethnicity and nationality, which are much more define-able. Venezuelan is an nationality, African-American is an ethnicity, "white" is a race but it doesn't tell you ANYTHING- you could be a fair skinned person from Columbia- does that make you "white" or "Latino?" "Hispanic" really doesn't mean anything. My DH who is Dominican just says "Spanish," because according to him that's the only thing that all so-called "Latinos" have in common- they speak Spanish. Some people think that saying "that Spanish guy at my job" is not PC or is somehow derogatory but really it tells you more about him than saying "that Latino guy."


I'm surprised no one has replied to your post yet because to me, it really gets to the heart of the issue of what is so frustrating about racism-- the fact that "race" doesn't even really exist. You say you don't have a "Hispanic" look-- see, that's why "hispanic" is a very ambiguous term. Does it mean you come from a Spanish speaking country? Are non-spanish speaking children of, say, Puerto Rican immigrants considered "hispanic?"

I feel like if we could get to get the whole world to see how pointless and impossible racial "categorization" is there would be less prejudice and racism in the world.



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Old 01-30-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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nak

My kids' dad calls himself "Tex-Mex," but to me that makes him sound like a category of food at a restaurant.

I struggle with what to "call" my kids (because unfortunately in this world we DO have to apply a label). I mostly go with half-Hispanic since I don't like "latino/a" either. They're not all white, not Mexican, not really Spanish (the dad speaks it but I don't and neither do the kids)... I don't know. I love how beautifully bi-racial they are, but I guess I'll have to leave it up to them as they get older as to how to refer to their ethnicity.

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Old 01-30-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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My husband absolutely detests being called latino, hispanic, mexican. He is Spanish. His family came from Spain, plain and simple. Oh and by the way he is 52.
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:07 PM
 
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"Latin" people are called Hispanic because they speak Spanish, that's how you call a person that speaks spanish "hispanoparlante". But it's also incorrect to call a Mexican, Venezuelan, etc. Spanish. Spanish is the language.
DH is French but he was raised in Spain and he considers himself a Spaniard. He doesnt like to be called Latino or Hispanic.
My mom is mexican, she doesnt like to be called Latina or Hispanic, she says "I'm Mexican and proud, thankyou"

A person from Spain is Spaniard, a Mexican is a Mexican, etc, but why the name calling? All of us are human beings. End of it.

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Old 01-31-2009, 08:58 PM
 
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nak
i know that in europe is a demeaning term, but i like "sudaca".
i'm south american, argentinian(or is it argentine?)
i have the same image when i hear the "latina" thing
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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I really don't care or take offense to what people call me. I'm from Ecuador, and often times people think I'm Mexican or Latina or Greek or Italian. Honestly, it doesn't matter...I'm a human being.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:18 AM
 
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Funny, growing up in Canada (born to Salvadorean parents) I always got the "what ARE you?" and found the long explanations tedious (Central American, no not the US, no I'm not Spanish but I speak it). Eventually I came to use the term Latina which most understood, and was able to elaborate from there.

I actually LIKE the term Latina. To me, it speaks to the many things I find I have in common with other Latin Americans, especially women. The thing that bugs me is being called "Spanish" as I am not, but do speak it....
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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These were very thought provoking things to read and I am very glad that the OP posted it.

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Old 02-02-2009, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ha, I forgot I posted this, very interesting responses, I don't really take offense in the terms I just don't feel it is me, I actually do like Latin American, because I am from latin america, I don't find it hard to say at all
Hispanic hmm I don't know I guess I do speak spanish but still don't like the term, I feel when people say hispanic it's associated with certain physical characteristics that latin americans may or may not have.
Anyways I guess no one has asked me what I am so no need to put a label on just those stupid forms, people have asked me where I'm from and I don't mind at all, I'm very glad to explain about my country.

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Old 02-02-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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Interesting... I've honestly never quite understood those terms either. I work with a couple guys (brothers) who's dad is from Puerto Rico and SO many people make the mistake that they are Mexican. I always correct them and say "no, they're half Puerto Rican" (because that's where their dad is from). I've never once thought of them as Latino or Hispanic (neither one of them speak Spanish btw).... Just never crossed my mind.

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Old 02-02-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Louise* View Post
Ha, I forgot I posted this, very interesting responses, I don't really take offense in the terms I just don't feel it is me, I actually do like Latin American, because I am from latin america, I don't find it hard to say at all
Hispanic hmm I don't know I guess I do speak spanish but still don't like the term, I feel when people say hispanic it's associated with certain physical characteristics that latin americans may or may not have.
Anyways I guess no one has asked me what I am so no need to put a label on just those stupid forms, people have asked me where I'm from and I don't mind at all, I'm very glad to explain about my country.
And I guess this would be the difference, I was born in Canada and have never lived in El Salvador. I would feel weird saying I'm Salvadorean outright (have done it in my younger days) because I know nothing about it other than how I was raised. I know the food, I speak the language (complete with Salvadorean accent), read it and write it, love Latin music (all genres), etc. Just don't ask me details about the cities or where something is situated because I have no clue!!! One Salvadorean woman actually got really nasty with me asking me about something I didn't know, I then had to explain I've only ever been there as an adult once and it was for three weeks.

Sorry to go so long with this...just wanted to explain why some of us might feel comfortable using different terms as the country of origin ones might not apply. I know that for many of my other Latino friends (born here in North america), they have parents from two different Latin American countries and their explanations get longer!!!
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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I could be Latina but I always put mixed. I feel that I am a mix of Spanish missionaries and native Americans and white pilgrims and economic migrants. There wasn't a mixed box? I don't remember what form I just filled out but I put that. I am so glad they have it! Even a lot of "white" people are really mixed, and I don't mean with unknown black ancestors, I mean with Finno-Ungric, Basque, and other ancestors, just like African-Americans are mixes of many different tribal groups in Africa. So I totally agree!

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Old 02-05-2009, 02:53 AM
 
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Well, I consider myself African-American, but, as many other AAs know, that is synonomous with "mixed' as many of us, like me are mixed with Native American, Creole, white, Spanish, etc.

So, I pick the easy way out.

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Old 02-06-2009, 07:09 AM
 
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I personally am "white", I wouldn't really fit the common stereotype of a Hispanic or Latino that people tend to have. My background is... Spaniards in Cuba. So I tend not to say anything, especially because I do not speak Spanish, well other than basics. Normally, if people ask me, which is usually something like "Oh, you look exotic, what is your background?" I'll just mention that part of my background is Spanish, which I guess fits more.

I do not like the terms you mentioned, because to be honest, those words in many people do not bring up very positive pictures and a lot of time they are stereotypical pictures and that really just : ticks me off.

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Old 02-08-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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One question, do you have to fill in your ethnicity in forms? Which forms?
University?

I dont mean to sound ignorant, but I have never come across any form in my life where I had to define myself in terms of skin colour or ethnicity.
Just my nationality and my parents nationaly counted.
Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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to the pp, I see you are in Germany...In the U.S. we have to fill out "race" all the time!

Every time I do a survey, fill out a comment card, any kind of form (SAT's, certifications, etc.) it always asks "race".

I find it so odd. I have to check "caucasion" as that is what I am. But i do not really identify with it. It's so weird. My ancestors are from Canada and France. However, I just feel "American" I think categorzing race is rediculous, as generations go on and on we all get more mixed and mixed. I think celebrating culture is a great thing don't get me wrong, I just don't see the point in forcing people to have one label.

I was also thinking about this the other day, I don't really get the term "african american" like, if i was to move to Africa and had children there, would they be called American African (as in the reverse of it here?) lol maybe i think about random stuff too much!

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