Thursday, April 16, 2015

Young Lords and The Black Panther Party

            There are many similarities between today’s culture and the institutions described in the Young Lords and Black Panther Party readings. In the Position Paper on Women, it is stated that “a woman who curses, drinks and runs around with a lot of men is considered dirty scum, crazy, and a whore.” Today, women are still held to similar standards, and are called whores or sluts for things that are, “considered natural for a man to do.” Thanks to progressive thinking, such as Title IX, women are now allowed to be more than a stay at home mom/cook/housekeeper, yet we are still looked down upon whenever we act like a man would, such as having multiple sexual partners or a high raking job.
            The Puerto Rican and Black cultures, however, make being a woman even more degrading. “All the anger and violence of centuries of oppression which should be directed against the oppressor is directed at the Puerto Rican woman.” Because it is culturally acceptable to beat and devalue women, their roles in society were pounded into their minds, creating self-esteem and worth issues that are still a prevalent issue today.

            Thankfully, as time went on it became clear that these acts of aggression were unjustifiably discriminatory. These kinds of realizations lead to the creation of groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords. The Black Panther Party created self-defense opportunities for disadvantaged minority groups to alleviate the threat of physical brutality. These kinds of groups encouraged women to stand up to “machismo” and become leaders in their own circles. The women involved in these movements created the liberties and opportunities that led to today’s more accepting society.

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