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“You can’t sit with us”
“Ese hombre será mío o de nadie mas.” That man will be mine or no one’s at all.
Movies and telenovelas, alongside other forms of media, have created an image of women; this idea that women can’t have meaningful relationships with other women without jealousy or a man getting in the way. Solely based on media representation, women are taught that the biggest competitors are women and for all the wrong reasons like Queen B and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie say in Flawless***.
It’s a common critique that women can’t be friends. Women can’t see other women being successful without wanting to sabotage their success. The oversexualized image of the Latinas means that we can’t be successful and friends, right?
Not everything is the way that media representation paints it to be. Friendships especially the friendship between women is a staple in our culture. This has been proven by my 7+ years of friendship with my best friend Ana and the friendships I have made in college.
Coming to college, I had no idea what to expect when it came to the social aspect of it. I was alone. My best friend was miles away in Merced while I was in Redlands, nowhere near walking distance. If I’m honest, I was hesitant in making friends. No other woman understood my sense of humor or was able to relate to me the way that my best friend did. I thought I was screwed. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I slowly started making friends unsure of what to expect. My core group of friends here at the University of Redlands consists of badass women all working their butts off to achieve their goals.
My friends in the language lab: Samantha Acuna, Jazmine Contreras, Sonia Casillas, and Jocelyn Garrido just to name a few, demonstrate with their perseverance that minorities can make it on a campus that doesn’t have much diversity. These intelligent women have made me feel at home during a time where I felt more like an outsider than a student. They have taught me to proudly demonstrate my intelligence and to share my opinions without fear of judgment based on my skin color. Like we say El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido, when we are all kicking butt not only academically but personally as well.
I am a proud sista of WRW, Wadada Wa Rangi Wengi. A non-Greek sistahood whose focus is diversity, community service, and sisterhood. I have met incredible women that are united by similar passions but individuals nevertheless. They have taught me the importance of sisterhood, belonging and how to be yourself.
Lastly, I would like to mention the woman who have shaped my perspective on what friendship means to me. It is no other than my best friend Ana. I met Ana during a time period in my life where I didn’t get along with many other girls. My sense of humor and other little quirks were not the norm. We became friends in 7th grade and we have maintained that friendship over the years to present day.
My friendship with Ana has taught me what it means to be an ally, a secret keeper, but most importantly a friend. Together, we have gone through thick and thin to put it lightly. She has helped me, and I have helped her, together we have overcome things that people our age probably shouldn’t have to go through, but we have.
My friendship with Ana has had its ups and downs, distance and busy schedules contribute to our limited time together. Yet, no matter what we have going on we are quick to jump to help the other out. The same is applicable to my friends and sistas, no matter the situation we are there for each other. These women are pursuing their own individual goals, pushing through adversities, spending sleepless nights but getting down to business nevertheless.
Are there women like the women portrayed in telenovelas? Yes, there are women like that. However, when you find yourself surrounded by ambitious women you yourself are empowered by their determination and encouraged to not take no as an answer.
Like Jay-Z said “You can’t mess with my clique”. Especially when that clique is made up of chingonas/ badass women, we won’t be stopped.
Let’s give it up for our ride or dies! Let me know what friendships have left a lasting impact on your life!