Not Your Mamacita
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Not Your Mamacita

It's 2017, stop with all the hypersexualization already.

Not Your Mamacita
Debi Hasky

When I was younger my mom once told me that men who weren't hispanics, more specifically white men viewed Hispanic women to "mess around with" but not as women they would want to commit to. Boy did that mess me up for a bit, but it made me think what it meant to be a Hispanic woman in this day and age.

I never really saw it as a problem when I was younger. Mainly because I went to a private school and majority of my class were caucasian or light skinned hispanics, so they looked white. There were rarely any "women of color" and we weren't really the ones the boys went after. Much less me. I had the biggest and poofiest hair, I didn't develop a full figure as is expected of hispanic girls, aside from my thighs, and my eyebrows were a little too thick for a world that still worshipped thin brows and being a cheerleader did not help my social standing there.

I didn’t see the hypersexualization of Hispanic women in middle school. I really didn't see it until my senior year of high school. Middle school was mostly the era of the butt or boob fascination (not that that stopped after middle school, that was just the thing with the most notoriety at the time). My senior year is when I heard a guy in my class say he loved Mexican girls because they were good looking and feisty and one time he asked me to call him papi. Which one, is weird because I legit call my dad papi, two, was never and am not into calling guys daddy or anything and three, I didn't even like the guy. He was just a friend in our class, and a bit of a clown - so he might have been messing around, but it was still weird. It's not like he asked other girls to call him that. Not even the white looking hispanic girls.

It got worse when I started college.

I began to understand what my mom meant. I saw it everywhere I went. Mainly POC wanted to be with a hispanic/latina woman because they expected us to call them papi, or be "freaks in the sheets." They expected JLO or Shakira with the big hips and butts. If women like me did not live up to that expectation, it would happen eventually....after children of course. I have been told Hispanic women were beautiful, not for the reasons I have thought such as: their strength, resilience, not even for their strong minds, but because of their bodies. Because they are "thick."

My first semester in dance, I met some great people, and some…not so great. There was one guy in particular that kind of rubbed people the wrong way, and was a little too over enthusiastic with all women to say the least. He treated me as he did the other girls, but then one day he found out I was half Puerto Rican and he said "really? No way! Puerto Ricans are sexy." He spoke to me and looked at me with an insatiable hunger in his eyes, and it demanded to be satisfied, and I felt dirty.

I tried brushing it off, but then he continued making inappropriate remarks about how the guy I liked won't stay around for long, and how he probably wouldn’t be able to "take care of me" the way I should be taken care of anyway. That was the last straw, because his insults were not only disrespectful, but totally inappropriate and uncalled for. His implications of who I was based on my ethnicity made me angry because it was something I had heard before, but contrary to what my mom had said, I heard those "stereotypes" from hispanic men just like the guy in my class. I've heard all about how Puerto Rican women were sexy, and with that it has been implied that we are these sexual beasts that will whisper things like "papi" in your ear, or "take care" of men like a porn star would.
FYI, hispanic/latina….you know what? Women in general, no matter how thick they are, are not your personal porn stars, if you want that, date a porn star or at least make sure she's ok with that fantasy (hey your interests are your business). Stop assuming that because a woman is of a certain ethnicity we are made to fulfill every dirty, exotic, taboo fantasy you have ever had in your life.

With that let me just say…

I understand that my words may seem empty or annoying because I should just learn how to "take a compliment" the same way I should learn to take a compliment from men on the street who harass me and say the most inappropriate things, but I am tired. I am tired of feeling dirty because some guys decided they wanted me to be their victim of the day. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely some girls who love being called mamacita, I myself have been called "mamas" but ONLY by my family. Some girls may like being called mami or they may like calling men "papi," but that is not everyone. It's high time women stop being looked at as objects, and women of color stop being looked at like an object of foreign, forbidden fantasy. What's the right way to look at a WOC then?

With respect and dignity that is to be attributed to all mankind. We're not a fetish, we are flesh and bone, and blood and mind.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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