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Guadalupe Jaimes
Professor Ditch
English 113B
18 February 2015
Cultural Behavior Issues
A variety of cultures are within every human being. However, there is one culture with
which we feel most comfortable expressing. The culture that I express every single day of my
life is my Hispanic culture. In this culture of mine, I am expected to perform and meet certain
expectations that are set by it. These expectations are especially to be followed when we
communicate with our opposite culture, the masculine culture. My Hispanic culture contains a
lot of gender expectations that I have to live up to which may be problematic at times. My
Hispanic culture influences my way of living and thinking that it has led me to unfairly judge all
women who dont perform their gender the way I am expected to.
It is my job to act and behave a certain way to meet my Hispanic cultures standards.
Consequences such as being judged and being a disappointment in the family could be the
outcome of nonconforming to its rules and standards of gender performance. The main concerns
that my Hispanic culture has on women from the culture is to perform inappropriately. Professor
of sociology, Aaron Devor, argues that, Very young children learn their cultures social
definitions of gender and gender identity at the same time that they learn what gender behaviors
are appropriate for them (36). Devor states how, as children, we learn about our cultures
appropriate gender behavior and performance. In my Hispanic culture, I grew up with the beliefs
that woman that are a part of my culture, must be polite, unable to go out a lot, and organized. I

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view my culture as the domino effect; we are still going to be having those same expectations in
my Hispanic culture as long as we keep obeying them.
As previously mentioned, my Hispanic culture has many rules and expectations that
should be followed in order to be rightfully respected in it. For instance, I have two cousins that
share my Hispanic culture which means they also have the same gender performance
expectations as me. We are aware of what is right and wrong to do in our culture. As the misfit or
nonconformist, I dont always live up to my Hispanic cultures expectations. Since the beginning
of my childhood I have been taught to be polite while being in the presence of others. Words
such as Como se dice? (What do you say?), have been repeated to me whenever someone gave
me something. I was expected to politely say gracias. I remember when I was young, I would
do something impolite and my mom would always compare me to my cousins and say why
cant you be more like your cousins as if that would make me behave correctly.
Now as an adolescent I do believe that being polite is an important part of my gender
performance. In addition, my Hispanic culture believes that a womens role is to be polite and
that no man will want me if I dont act lady-like. At times I dont believe what my mom says, but
there are times when I agree with her. I do believe my mom, in this case, and communicate in a
courteous manner whenever I am in a presence of a man because I dont see why acting rude or
impolite would intrigue anybody. I am proud of being a part of this Hispanic culture because it
has taught me the importance of respectfulness and the advantages it contains. Therefore, my
Hispanic culture leads me to judge a woman when she is being impolite. I tend to think negative
of them. Judgments start to occur in my head. Does she not know how bad she looks talking like
that? Does she think it is okay to act that way in front of anybody? Does her family or culture not
teach her anything? Questions like these are what I ask myself when I see a woman being

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impolite to someone. My Hispanic culture influences my feminine gender performance which
leads me to believe that all other women are supposed to act the same way I am expected to act.
My mother is the main source that I get my Hispanic influences from. She is expected to
fulfill her motherly role in a Hispanic culture by influencing me with all her knowledge. All
these efforts are to direct me in the appropriate way so that I could be a well-rounded feminine
woman. One area in which she is expected to guide me away from is my freedom. I may sound a
bit dramatic or exaggerating, but I could never ask my mom permission to go out with friends
without her telling me that its not lady-like to be out in the streets, as she would say, late at
night. In Alisa Valdes-Rodriguezs article, My Hips My Caderas, she states, Indeed, they will
feel threatened, and will soon lose interest in hips that want to andar por la calle come un
hombre (carry themselves like a man) (75). Valdes-Rodriguez and I are treated the same way
when we go out, the only difference is that my mom is the one telling me that its not right and
safe for a girl to be out on the streets. Therefore, when I see women from my Hispanic culture
that goes out at night, I think negative of them. I understand that not all mothers are the same and
not all are a part of the same culture that I was raised in, but none of that seems to change my
negative opinion of them.
Organization is key in my everyday life. Being organized is a big deal when it comes to
my Hispanic culture because it says a lot about my persona, according to my culture. I was raised
with the thought that women and men perform an important task throughout their lives. Women
are the caretakers of the family and men are the financial providers. In Emily Shirers article,
Theres a Reason Women Clean More: Theyre Judged for It, she mentions how, Women in
general just have higher standards for cleanliness than men do (1). I could relate to the previous
quote because my Hispanic culture expects me to be organized and clean every day. If I do not

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meet these standards I could come off as a lazy and useless woman. This may seem harsh, but
my Hispanic culture is really serious when it comes to cleanliness. Being organized and clean is
one trait that is important to show off to my opposite sex. Therefore, this leads me to judge
females that are unorganized as being lazy and having no shame. This is a trait that my mother
frequently advises me that I wont find a male that likes me because I am unorganized. For
instance, when I go to my girlfriends house, her house is a mess which is problematic for me
because I am not used to seeing a lot mess around a house. I respond to this negatively and judge
them because they arent organized as my Hispanic culture taught me to be so I expect every girl
to be organized.
Some people might say that I may just be a very judgmental person. I could be viewed as
a person that expects everybody to perform and behave the same way as I do because I am a
conceited person. This of course, falls into the gender stereotyping category. However, I am
truthfully speaking about my Hispanic cultures influential power it has on me. In Jason Del
Gandios book, Rhetoric for Radicals, he claimed that we must get people to understand that all
norms are socially created (22). This quote explains how people have to acknowledge that they
way we act or behave is due to the socially created norms we were raised in. In my case, the
Hispanic cultures rules and expectations of women are the norms that I was born and raised into.
To conclude, being polite, having a curfew, and being an organized woman are important
qualities that my Hispanic culture requires me to have. I cannot change the way my mind thinks
of women that dont share the same culture as me because it has been too long in which I have
practiced and performed these expectations. I will just have to keep dealing with the unfair
judgments since I will continue to perform what is expected of me in my Hispanic culture.
Works Cited

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Del Gandio, Jason. Rhetoric for Radicals. Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers,
2008. Print.
Devor, Aaron. Becoming Members of Society: The Social Meanings of Gender. Composing
Gender. Boston, Mass: Bedford/St. Martins, 2008. 35-43. Print.
Shire, Emily. Theres a Reason Women Clean More: Theyre Judged for It. XX Factor, 2013.
Valdes-Rodriguez. My Hips, My Caderas. MSNs Underwire, 2000. Print.