Through history, women have been relegated, sometimes even abused, in many different societies. In Latin America in particular, many women were, for centuries, treated by their fathers, brothers and husbands with discrimination. Women in Latin America, Mexico included, were seen as child-bearers, homemakers and caregivers. These women had to watch their children, perform household chores and cook for their husbands. Many men did not consider women to be capable of working outside the home, which is part of the reason why the term “weaker sex” was coined.
In Latin America, women at those times had to act according to some social standards. In many Latin American cities, for example, women were not seen with good eyes if they spoke to men they did not know. Meanwhile, prostitution, for example, was legal in many Latin American areas, and men were not criticized, but rather seen as heroic, if they had several girlfriends, even if the man was married.
During the 20th century, Hispanic immigration to the United States began to slowly but steadily change American demographics. By 1940, Los Angeles was one of cities with the largest group of Chicanos in the United States.
American women also had their own problems: they were also stereotyped as homemakers, caregivers and child-bearers. Unlike women of minority races, however, white women largely evaded dealing with racism, unless they and/or their husbands befriended people of Black or Hispanic background.
Mexican-American men often spoke about “La Familia” (“The Family”). Mexican and Mexican-American women felt they were being left out by men when they spoke about “La Familia”.