Ojo: The "Cholo Word Of The Day" is simply for fun. This is not an academic exercise, therefore I do not spend much time checking for espelling or grammatical errors. Most of the words are not only used by "cholos," but by many people in S. Texas - and their usage can vary. c/s

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Fixing A Plate

One of my high school friends made a comment after observing a very normal (in my eyes) gesture between couples at our high school reunion. I'm not exactly sure which of my friends made the comment - either the independant, intelligent, confident L.A. chica (she's reading this) or the Ohio State graduate student professora.

We had food at most of our reunion events (of course, raza always eating w/o regard for the diabetes or high cholesterol that runs in our people) - fajitas, tortillas, frijoles, menudo, and of course lots of cerveza. The comment was made after observing that more than one wife, fiance, or girlfriend, got up to serve their significant other a plate of food. The women got up, fixed their husbands a plate, gave it to them, then went back and served themselves a plate.

One of my friends thinks the gesture is an act of submissiviness and indicates that the woman is playing the role of servant. She says most Mexican men aren't there emotionally for their Women, so this gesture isn't deserved. I quickly pointed out that the same men who had their plates served, earlier in the day, took it upon themselves to start the fire at the bbq, cook the meat, and clean up, while their wives chatted away. I pointed out that I think those are just gestures and roles men and women sometimes play, especially Mexicanos. I don't think it's wrong - in fact, I think it's nice to see.

I don't think we have to stop being gentlemen or ladies in order to avoid being sexists. Anyway, I love arguing with my friend, so it's fun to see the way to see the way she thinks.


Blogger Cracked Chancla said...

Hello Texican, I've heard you mentioned on many other blogs and also mentioned often is your cholo word of the day feature. I'm glad I finally had a chance to stop by.

You know, I was talking to a friend recently about the whole women serving their men thing. I recounted how surprised I was the first time my husband (then boyfriend)came over for dinner and my mother handed me a serving spoon and a dinner plate and said, "Sirvele." I was kind of annoyed and thought he could fix his own damn plate but that would have come off as disrespectful so I shrugged and did it. In the long run it just worked better that way cause I know what he likes and does not and how much he can eat. I figure its the least I can do, after all he lugs the large laundry basket up and down two flights of stairs on laundry days.

4:02 PM

Blogger cindylu said...

I would have agreed with you. Sometimes, I don't mind the division of labor. I don't mind staying in and helping in the kitchen or the house because I really don't like mowing the lawn or doing other yard work. Also, I may balk at serving my brothers (especially if I'm in a bad mood), but as a sign of respect I'll gladly serve my father, tios and abuelo.

7:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a modern woman. I understand before women had roles to fill, domestic, and men had the role of provider, but that isn't so anymore. For some of the women at the reunion it was the men that were guests, in other words, it was not the husband/boyfriends party but the wife/girlfriends. Why should she have to serve a perfectly capable man at her special function? The example of opening doors and getting the bar b que ready don't fly with me...those are not regular occurances, but dinner is everynight therefore she must serve him every night!

If a woman is being taken care of emotionally and spiritually by her husband then let her sew his clothes if he wants. But Hispanic males from the RGV aren't known for their abundance of sensitivity and nurturing natures. I would rather my partner ask me about my day and listen to what I was saying than fire up the grill. We should not be limited to roles from olden days otherwise progress will not be made. Yes, those are nice gestures but the minute someone puts a man or woman in a confining role is the moment we lose our individuality. I would rather my husband see me as a person with feelings, hopes, and goals, than his waitress and he my door man. P.S. My man cooks for me, serves me, and cleans up afterwards.

11:57 AM

Blogger Gustavo said...

Costumbres son costumbres. I wonder why the majority of women have long hair. Long hair on women is probably a costumbre that some man came up with. I think that as long as someone is not being forced to do something then it is ok. It is just an arrangement that the couple has established. The hair example was lame I know.

8:08 PM

Blogger dr.v (Not a narcotic Pez dispenser) said...

"dont mess with Texas" - hola, i've been indulging in your blog some time now. The whole serving bit - my extended familia does it all the time - being Mexican and all. But the whole food/eating ritual is a way of showing love for someone in our culture. Most of the time people don't feel forced to do it. Hey, my dad is revolutionary, he sometimes will serve mom and me at family events. He knows it's about sharing responsibilities and treating everyone equally.

7:18 PM

Blogger Stained Glass Soul said...

I serve my husband's plate at parties (usually my family's) and a lot of times at home as well. No, I am by no means a submissive woman. I think my husband would roll his eyes and laugh if anyone called me submissive.

For me it is costumbre. The women in our family have always served the men's plates. Probably because my family is from un ranchito in Mexico where the men tended to the cattle and farms, while the women tended to the home.

So why do I do it? Partly out of custom and tradition. And partly out of love for my husband. Yes, I may serve his plate, but there are a number of things the he does for me. Things that I could do that I hate to do, such as take out the garbage, wash the cars, order the take-out food.

It's part of the give and take in a relationship. It's the little every day things that show love, much more so than the big gift once or twice a year. My husband doesn't have to give me two dozen roses on our anniversary. It's more special to me when he makes sure I sleep in on the weekends, knowing I've had a tough week at work.

5:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Que onda loco? I'm married to a bolia and she fixes my plate if I'm doing something, especially if we have family or company over. Out of five siblings, 3 of us married Anglos, so, around the holidays or family gatherings it's a pretty mixed crowd, 50-50 raza y bolios. All the latin women, and the anglos married to us, take care of serving their men. Most times everybody fixes their own, but the offer is always there to have mine fixed for me. Respect? Probably. Submissiveness? Probably not. Mutual respect goes a long way. Our women should be reciprocated for their acts of generosity and hospitality, especially when they proudly take care of us in public. "Reciprocated"... Mira lo! Que chingon!

11:32 PM


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