The Role of Women in the Mexican Revolution
During the period between 1910 and 1920, there was social and political unrest in Mexico as one of the famous Mexican Revolutions took place. The revolution started with the efforts to overthrow the president Porfirio Diaz. The major causes of the Mexican revolution were the over thirty years dictatorship rule of the president Porfirio Diaz, extreme exploitation, poor treatment of workers, poor working conditions, inflation, inferior housing, deficient social services and the huge disparity between the rich and the poor. The oppressive regime of Porfirio Diaz did not give people the freedom to express their opinions, their democratic right to choose public officials and there were many cases of injustices that were happening in the country. These circumstances made men, women and children to participate in the Revolution, to fight for freedom, justice and a better life.
Mexican women did not have a place in the largely patriarchal Mexican society before the revolution. They lived a silent life as they were consumed by family life, marriage and the Catholic Church. The Mexican Civil Code passed in 1884 under the regime of Porfirio Diaz, restricted the women’s rights at home and at work. The 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution gave the Mexican women an opportunity to control their lives, live freely and independently. The Mexican women were an important element in the revolution. They strongly advocated for what they believed in and went into the battlefields to fight for the same cause.
The most influential women were the female political figures. They had to endure jail terms because of their fearless pursuit for the rights of their fellow women. Despite the inequalities in Mexico, these women rose to higher ranks in politics and acquired the admiration of men and women. They were role models as they showed that the Mexican women can have another place in society, other than the kitchen. Dolores Jimenez Muro, Juana Belen and Hermila Galindo were the most influential women. Muro was a political writer and Galindo – a political speaker. Most of the intellectual contributions were done by female school teachers. Jimenez being an editor in a feminist journal La Mujer Mexicana and a leader of the feminist group that was against the Diaz regime actively called for the political legalization of the participation of Mexican women in their physical, economic, intellectual and moral fight.
Juan Belen was imprisoned several times as she called for anti-capitalist revolution by the peasant workers. Her newspaper The Vesper was used to critique the clergy and the traditional stereotypes assigned to Mexican women. Galindo supported many radical feminist issues as she openly stated that Catholic Church was a major obstacle to its advancement in Mexico. The historical photographs in the Casasola Collection explore the major role and participation of women during the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The women were victims of the fighting as they fought as soldiers by joining the men in frontlines while others performed the work of nurses, cooks and aids.
Mexican Men and Women Soldiers Fighting Together in the Mexican Revolution
The female soldiers or soldaderas were considered to be the battlefield heroes of the Mexican Revolution. The female legend known as Adelita is said to have been courageous in the battlefield like the other women who could go to the battlefield with their children on their backs.
Two Mexican Women Soldiers’ Armed and Ready for War
The soldaderas were also tasked with the responsibility to guard the ammunition stored in the camps and pick up the arms of the soldiers who were killed. They also smuggled arms from the United States and spied on the enemy. The women in the Mexican revolution proved that women can be successful. They endured bad living conditions, malnutrition and child bearing under inhospitable environments. The women soldiers who went to the battlefields were expected to dress like men, acted like men and go on horseback.
The women’s participation in the revolution enabled them to bring feminist issues to light and encouraged the women to discover the potential they have. The contributions they brought to the revolution were as great as the men’s. The Mexican women’s participation in the revolution reversed many stereotypes women have been assigned. They broke the traditional boundaries that tied the women in the kitchen, thus allowing them regain their position in the society. However, the women who were closely attached to the Catholic Church were against the revolution because the Church held a position that was in contrast to the Revolution. . Stephanie states that the Mexican women soldiers were seen as a representation for the adoration of the female soldier who became the prospective enthusiast, girlfriend, or wife of combat soldiers.
In conclusion, the women’s significant support for the soldiers has been down played and the women seen as sexual beings during the revolution and not heroes. Without the support of women, men would not have been strong in the battlefield. Women play an essential role not only in the society but also in the battlefield. It is unfortunate that their role has been romanticized. Their roles are put in scenarios that characterize them through sexist viewpoints. This undermines the significance of women in the society, because people are influenced to take the roles of women in an insignificant sense. Therefore, it is essential that the roles that women play in the battlefields are accorded the respect they deserve. It is true that men need their support whether it is physical, emotional or psychological.