Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Juarez Short-term Social Problem?

As we all know in Ciudad Juarez the murder of many young women has been occurring for years now. It is a very sensitive issue that makes headlines but yet at times people may be hesitant to discuss it. It is my firm belief that in order to shed light on these terrible acts it must be open to discussion so we may find a solution. And with that in mind…
It has been suggested that one of the positives stemming from the maquiladora industry coming to the US-Mexico border has been the freedom that female maquiladora workers have been able to acquire from having the ability to earn their own living and not having to entirely depend on men for their sustenance. According to Chafetz, when women living in a certain social environment (ie patriarchal in nature) get greater levels of resources short-term social problems may arise (Allan, 2006:295).
When the acts of “femicide” came to the world’s attention an explanation that was thrown around was that of the degradation of traditional values that was being produced by the liberating effects maquiladora work was having on its female workforce (Wright, 2006). The once traditionally-minded woman was now a fun-seeking person who put herself at risk by not staying at home.
Looking to Chafetz’ ideas, do you believe that the “emancipating” effects that supposedly the factory work (and income) has had on the maquiladora female worker be part of what is causing the murders? (I do not in anyway imply that the women have taken on a libertine life because of the “freedom” work has provided and that that is why they are now becoming targets for violence.) As Chafetz (Allan, 2006) suggests, do you believe that a “short-term imbalance” caused by the presence of women in the border workforce be a factor contributing to the murders?

Allan,K. 2007. The Social Lens: An Invitation to Social and Sociological Theory.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Wright, Melissa W.(2006).Disposable Women and Other Myths of Global
Capitalism.New York: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

1 comment:

  1. I think more than a "short-term imbalance" the maquiladora industry is equalizing the balance among men and women's social status. Like you mentioned before, women are feeling the freedom of becoming independent- socially and economically. This, I agree, has been difficult for many to accept- especially men who have been raised in completely dominant positions as men throughout their lives- having their mothers, sisters, and women in general tend to their every need. I see this especially when I visit Mexico, women are still discouraged from leaving the parents home unless they are married- "union libre" or extra-marital relationships are strictly condoned. It is uncommon to find young women who live alone and work strictly for their own sustenance.

    I definitely see a resistance among conservative men on the border and in other places in Mexico. Such is the evidence that only until this year has legislation been considered before congress to help women in violent situations and to legalize abortion in Mexico (it was only allowed in the Distrito Federal- the capital of Mexico). Thanks to the increasing number of women representatives in Congress has this legislation been enforced, and more pro-women's rights legislation is being heard in Congress.

    If you are implying that this sort of resistance to women's liberation is the cause of the murders- I agree to an extent. I agree that a lot of men are bitter to their loss of dominance in Mexican culture. However, I DO NOT agree that this gives them an excuse to murder women- nor do I agree that women should fall back to the traditional "shut-your-mouth, cook, and clean" ways.