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I am doing a report on African American women and Hispanic women. I am doing it on the lines of something like femininity, or the role that each plays in the family, or possibly how they are looked upon by society. I am not to sure in which direction I want to go. Could you please help me. If you know of any websites that would be of benefit to me please let me know, or if you have any information, I would gladly appreciate it. - Aisha

Thanks for your note to Feminist.com--and in reading your note I immediately thought of this book called The Unknown City by Michelle Fine and Lois Weis--the book profiles working-class urban youth and in one specific section it looks at three different communities--the black community, the white community and the Hispanic community--and how each of these communities related to different issues such as domestic violence. In this instance, what the researchers found is that: black women felt so open about their experiences and simultaneously so loyal to their families so their general response was "yes, my husband beats me, but why do you care, that's our issue." The white women felt like they had to "protect" themselves and their families, so they weren't open about their experiences or they were detached---i.e. domestic violence is a problem in the community--period. The Hispanic women felt so protective of their families that they said "it's a family matter--and that's all."

So given this response and your proposal--how about asking each of these communities about their interpretation on femininity or the family--and see what responses you get. I hope you can follow my long-winded example and imagine how I saw it related to your proposal. Let me know if you need me to clarify anything and/or if I can be of further assistance.


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