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My Broken Language


A Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright tells her lyrical coming of age story in a ...
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The family elders in My Broken Language are predominantly female. Are the challenges these women faced still relevant today?

Created: 01/06/22

Replies: 8

Posted Jan. 06, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3442

The family elders in My Broken Language are predominantly female.

The family elders in My Broken Language are predominantly female. Are the challenges these women faced still relevant today—such as migration, segregation, addiction, poverty, unequal educational and healthcare access? How do the women in your family and community take on leadership roles, big and small?


Posted Jan. 07, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: The family elders in My Broken ...

Yes, the challenges these women faced are still relevant.


Posted Jan. 08, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabeth

Join Date: 07/10/19

Posts: 63

RE: The family elders in My Broken ...

It goes without saying that women are still the primary caretakers of children and the family, and they typically are paid less than men for similar work. Poverty and addiction affect men and women equally in my opinion. However, access to education and healthcare seem to be equal depending on your socio-economic status. All the women in my family work in caretaker roles of some sort - teachers and nurses.


Posted Jan. 09, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 264

RE: The family elders in My Broken ...

I think the challenges are very relevant. The women in my family have never been particularly active politically but perhaps that's because they had so many children. On the home front, they are definitely the family force in terms of financial planning, staying organized and keeping the family on a productive path. I do see my brothers much more engaged in the traditional family responsibilities as compared with my fathers and uncles and I think that is a good thing.


Posted Jan. 14, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyoc

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 258

RE: The family elders in My Broken ...

My person experience is that women hold a family together.


Posted Jan. 15, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melissa c.

Join Date: 01/10/21

Posts: 124

RE: The family elders in My Broken ...

I agree the challenges these women elders face continue to be relevant. The women in my family have always been strong and held the family together and influence decisions made by the younger generation.


Posted Jan. 16, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christinec

Join Date: 03/09/20

Posts: 25

RE: The family elders in My Broken ...

Definitely still relevant. The women struggle to nurture (provide love, emotional and financial support) to their families while having their own struggles. Their hardest job is to provide encouragement and try to sustain Hope against a white world that is fearful of them (that fear looks like disdain). How teach courage in the face of it?


Posted Jan. 20, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 458

RE: The family elders in My Broken ...

I agree that the challenges the women faced in My Broken Language are still relevant today. The most glaring example of this, in my opinion, was the "welfare queen" debate. When a woman has a child or children and finds herself in a situation where she needs help- -SHE is the person who his vilified. It is the woman's character that is questioned and criticized. This made me think about some of the recent debate and legislation regarding abortion that seemingly punishes women but doesn't take into account that they cannot get pregnant by themselves. Why aren't we having more debates in classrooms about "deadbeat dads"?

Poverty is the greatest divider in access to good health care and education. There is a larger income gap today than when Quiara was growing up. Women are often forced to choose between a good paying, full time job and childcare--especially if they are single mothers--or choose between taking care of their children and higher education.

I'm curious about any childhood trauma that those who grow up in poverty may experience. I'm sure there is a lot of uncertainty, fear of needs not being met, fear of police in the neighborhoods, fear of gangs or drug dealers... Trauma aside, the constant stress of worrying about these things can cause serious health issues, including depression and anxiety, which may turn into full blown addiction.


Posted Jan. 23, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 276

RE: The family elders in My Broken ...

Yes, very much so! As I was reading, I was thinking that nothing has really changed, especially for poor and minority women. The part about the budgetary-induced closing of Casa Comadre, after just 18 months, and when it was making a real difference in women's lives, was heartbreaking to read. The section about the way women in Arecibo were tricked into sterilization back in the days of Quiara's grandmother was infuriating to me, even though I did know about this history. And poverty remains a barrier to access to quality health care and education. Quiara was born in 1977; it's sad to reflect that so little has changed in 45 years.


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