SOLDADERAS AND MILICIANAS: SIMILARITIES AND CONTRASTING VI EWS IN THEIR EVOLUTION AND REPRESENTATION by SUSANA VELA-ROBLES LL.M., University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, 2003 B.A., Metropolitan State College of Denver, 2000 J.D., Universidad Autnoma de Tamaulipas, Mxico, 1996 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Spanish 2014
2014 SUSANA VELA-ROBLES ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Susana Vela-Robles has been approved for the Spanish Program by Michael Abeyta, Chair Mara Luisa Fernndez Martnez Robert Hazan May 22, 2014
iii Vela-Robles, Susana (M.A., Spanish) Soldaderas and Milicianas: Si milarities and Contrasting Vi ews in Their Evolution and Representation. Thesis Directed by Associate Professor Michael Abeyta. ABSTRACT Two iconic figures emerged from with in the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) and the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939): the s oldaderas (Mexican female soldiers) and the milicianas (Spanish female combatants). They played an important role in history, and their various representations have e volved in ways shaped mainly by gender prejudice and historical events The evolution of their imag es purports both parallels and contrasts when portrayed in different venues such as corridos (folk ballads in the romancero tradition), photography, film, plays, literature and the national symbolism that, by and large, has contribu ted to the political identity of their respective countries, Mexico and Spain. Perhaps the main distinction that separates the overall evolution of the iconic soldaderas from the iconic milicianas addresse d in this thesis lies in how Mexico and Spain treated their historical memories or hi storical past. The spread of the soldadera figure was prominent in popular culture soon after and even during the Mexican revolution, and continued to receive consider able attention in recent times by depicting her as a strong fighter. In terms of interna tional identity or acclaim, la soldadera was introduced to United States audiences as early as 1914 in John ReedÂ’s Insurgent Mexico and in the form of corridos in 1919 a nd 1929. Moreover, in 1936, la soldadera contributed to the construction of Mexican -American identity when presented in a theatrical performance in the United States di rected by Josephina Niggli. The soldaderaÂ’s
iv image and representation have evolved in a more continuous fashion and her iconic presence continues to be felt today. This however, has not been the case with the milicianas. Even though, in many respects, milicianas are a force to be reckoned with and have a direct tie to the historical and national identity of Spain, they have not yet reached national prominence. The recent 2007 Law of Historical Memory opens up the possibility that the miliciana might become a symbol of national identity in Spain similar to La Adelita in Mexico. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Michael Abeyta.
v DEDICATION I dedicate this work to my bel oved and supportive husband, Thomas Vossen, along with my two beautiful toddler treasures, Alexande r and Anna Vossen-Vela, who have inspired me to be a better human bei ng. I also would like to thank my lovely mother, Dr. Elizabeth Robles-Municha for s upporting me in every possible way. I also thank my sweet mother-in law, Mrs. Anni e Vossen-Michiels, for her caring and support despite the long distance that separates us. Finally, I thank my sister Elizabeth VelaRobles and my friend Tania Carter for thei r unconditional support and friendship. There are simply no words to express all the love and gratitude I fe el and have to you all, my blessed family.
vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am privileged and grateful to have b een guided by many special people on this intellectual journey in every way possible. It is with deep appreciation that I acknowledge them here. First, I would like to thank Dr. Michael Abeyta, my thesis advisor, for his patience, guidance, support and vast knowledge with respect to Mexican literature and popular culture. I would also like to thank Dr. Mara Luisa Fernndez Martnez for instilling in me a deep interest in the study of her beloved country Spain, and Dr. Ryan Crewe for being instrumental in my search to find the best approach to my thesis. I thank Dr. Robert Hazan, who inspir ed me to continue my quest for knowledge, to always try to learn something new and to keep challenging myself. Finally, I thank Dr. Mario Lizrraga Bolio, whose great support and wisdom helped me to pursue my dreams when I was an eighteen year old adolescent. All of you have contributed enormously to my intellectual curiosities in one way or anot her, and I am very grateful for that.
vii TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTIONÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 1 II. SOLDADERASÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 8 Soldaderas in the Mexican RevolutionÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 13 Soldaderas: Women Soldiers and Camp Followers (1911-1920)Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….Â…. 14 Corridos, Photography, and Painting: The Birth of La AdelitaÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 18 Literature and Narrative: Nacha Cenicer os and Jessa PalancaresÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 29 On Film and in the Theater: Reinforcem ent and Evolution of the SoldaderaÂ’s ImageÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 34 La Soldadera (1966): A Camp FollowerÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 35 La Negra Angustias (1949): A Female SoldierÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 36 La Soldadera Crosses the United States Border: Josefina NiggliÂ’s Play (1936)Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 39 Modern Depictions of La Soldadera Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 42 Recovering the Historical Memory of the Soldaderas: EZLN Poster (1993)Â…. 42 Recovering the Historical Memory of Las Soldaderas (2007): Oil Protest Â…. 46 Recovering the Historical Memory of La s Soldaderas: Bicentenario (2010)Â… 48 III. MILICIANASÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…... 52 Milicianas in the Spanish Civil War: Historical Background (1930 Â– 1936)Â…Â…Â… 55 The Second Republic, Spanish Civil War and Social RevolutionÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 56 Milicianas: Front Line Co mbatants and Non-CombatantsÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 59 Romanceros, Photography, and Poster Art: Re presentation of the Heroines of the Republican LeftÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 66 Film: Libertarias (1996) by Vicente Aranda: Rise and Defeat of the MilicianasÂ… 85
viii Literature and Narrative: Milicianas and Underground Republican Women during the Franco Years, Carmen Laforet, Mara Te resa Len, Josefina Aldecoa and Dulce ChacnÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 91 Milicianas and the National Iden tity: The Memory BoomÂ…..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 106 IV. CONCLUSIONÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 110 WORKS CITEDÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 122
ix LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1. Martin, Angel. La Adelita 1996.............................................................Â…Â…Â…......... 8 2. Delacroix, Eugne. Marianne: La Libert guidant le peuple 1830.Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 9 3. Gmez R., Antonio. Amor Guerrillero 1946Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 11 4. Carmona, Alberto. Adelita: Soldier Girl of the Mexican Revolution 1953Â…Â…Â…Â… 12 5. Clemente Orozco, Jos. Las Soldaderas 1926...Â…Â…..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 23 6. Posada, Jos Guadalupe. Calavera de la Adelita 1900-1913...Â…Â…Â….Â…Â…Â…....... 24 7. The Casasola Collection. 1913. Gelatin dry plate 6212 .Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 25 8. The Casasola Collection. 1914. Gelatin dry plate 6207 .Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 26 9. The Casasola Collection. 1911-1914. Gelatin dry plate 5670..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 27 10. Herrera, Araceli. Syracuse Cultural Workers 1999........Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 43 11. Muoz Vargas, Jaime. Ruta Norte Laguna 2007.Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 47 12. Alexandre, Merighini. Mexico Bicentennial 2010 ...Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 49 13. Captain Mika Etchebhre, 1935-1938Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 62 14. Miliciana wearing the blue overall 1935-1938Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…........ 76 15. Miliciana posing for the camera, 1935-1938Â…..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 78 16. Miliciana posing for the camera, 1935-1938.Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 79 17. Milicianas performing auxi liary tasks, 1935-1938..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 80 18. Miliciana holding a baby, 1935-1938Â….. Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 82
x LIST OF POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR ABBREVIATIONS CNT Confederacin Nacional del Trabajo (National WorkerÂ’s Confederacy). CSO Crculo Sociali sta del Oeste (West Socialist Circle). JSU Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas (United Socialist Youth). ML Mujeres Libres (Free Women). PCE Partido Comunista de Espaa (Communist Party of Spain). POUM Partido Obrero de Unificacin Marxista (WorkerÂ’s Party of the Marxist Unification). PSOE Partido Socialista Obrero Espaol (Spanish Socialist WorkerÂ’s Party). UGT Unin General de Trabajadores (General WorkersÂ’ Union). UMA Unin de Mujeres Antifascistas (Antifascist WomenÂ’s Union).
1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Two iconic figures emerged from with in the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) and the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939): the soldaderas (Mexican female soldiers) and the milicianas (Spanish female combatants). They played an important role in history, and their various representations have e volved in ways shaped mainly by gender prejudice and histor ical events. With the exception of the bourgeoisie, tremendous economic hardship was felt at every corner of Spain and Mexico in the early twentieth century, when both countries were enduring oppressive dictatorships led by Porfirio Daz in Mxico and by Primo de Rivera in Spain under the monarchy of Alf onso XIII. Porfirio DazÂ’ dictatorship (commonly known as the Porfiriato era) lasted thirty-five consecutive years, during which he ruled with an iron fist. The Me xican Revolution was a major struggle that started with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero in 1910, and lasted until 1920. What initially started as a revolt based on de mands for land reform, water and a more sympathetic national government led by the p easant leader Emiliano Zapata, escalated into an acute factional civil war. Ultimatel y, Francisco I Madero, a very important figure in the Mexican struggle and an advocate for democracy and social reform, was able to overthrow DiazÂ’ dictatorship and in its pla ce established a democr atic government. The Spanish Civil War was a major armed struggle between the Republicans and the Nationalists forces that began on Ju ly 17 1936 and ended on April 1, 1939. The Republicans were supporters of the progres sive Republican government, known as The Second Republic, and vehemently opposed the conservative Nationa lists led by General
2 Francisco Franco. In the end, the horrendous bloody war ended with the victory of the Nationalists or La Falange (Â“The PhalanxÂ”) and Spain lived under a brutal dictatorship that lasted thirty-six years, from 1939 to 1975. Prior to the establishment of the Second Republic in 1931, General Primo de Rivera ha d risen into power in 1923 via the direct orders of King Alfonso XIII by means of a Pronunciamiento that is, a military coup (Ben-Ami 65). General Primo de Rivera rule d a military dictatorship that lasted seven years until his forced resignation in 1930. As Primo de Rivera was overthrown, various political factions gathered and saw the opportu nity to elect a democratic government on April 11, 1931, that successfully led to the establishment of the Spanish Second Republic. The Second Republic expanded the rights of all Spanish citizens, incl uding women, at an incredible pace via the drafting of the 1931 Constitution. With no support, King Alfonso XIII abdicated his throne and went into exile, thus ending the monarchial period in Spain. However, this period of tremendous progressive social change prove d to be short lived, as Nationalist forces led by Gene ral Franco staged a coup that initiated a civi l war. In a way, Primo de RiveraÂ’s earli er conservative regime had paved the way for the Nationalists to strengthen and unify during the Spanish Civil War years, which ultimately helped them to attain their final victory. Both the Mexican Revolution and the Span ish Civil War broke out in an attempt to end the social injustices and unbearable lives of poor rural people primarily. Mexican and Spanish women took the uni que opportunities of revolutiona ry war to leave behind their family responsibil ities and to escape the expectations of a deeply male dominated society and of the Catholic Church (Fernnd ez 53). Spanish women sought to achieve, just as men did, freedom from an oppressi ve government and restoration of the Second
3 Republic. In the case of the milicianas, the women who joined the armed forces were not only fighting against fascism, they also f ought in a revolutionary war that focused on their political emancipation. In the case of the soldaderas in Mexico, some joined factions voluntarily (such as the Zapatistas) to fight shoulder to shoulder with men against the oppressive government. Others, nonetheless, were dra gged into the conflict involuntarily as they were kidnapped and forced to follow the male soldiers to their base camps as servants. It is difficult to distinguish clearly betw een soldaderas that functioned as female combatants and soldaderas that were camp followers. Soldaderas who followed their men to encampments to have refreshments ready, to nurse them when wounded or sick, and to comfort the dying were categorized as camp followers. The milicianas have similarly been categorized as those who were combatants in the front lines and those who were in the rearguard. Those who fought on the front lines were part of the mixed battalions, which included men and women. Milicianas on the rearguard lived in their homes and performed auxiliary tasks, but also carried arms to defend their cities and towns from every attack (Lines, Â“Female CombatantsÂ” 168-69). In contrast, the soldadera camp followers were always on the move. It did not matter whether they were pregnant or exhausted, and they usually di d their long distance trips by foot. Their newborns and toddlers risked death by dehydration and diarrhea (Poniatowska, Here is to you Jesusa! xvi-xvii). Another contrast between the soldaderas a nd the milicianas is that, at least initially, th e womenÂ’s new role as combatants was much more acknowledged and recognized for milicianas than it was for soldaderas. This is due to the fact that, during
4 the early stages of the Spanish Civil War and the Republican Revol ution, many left-wing associations were formed which advocat ed respect and equality of women. Nevertheless, both the soldaderas and milicianas faced gender discrimination one way or other. As mentioned above, miliciana s who fought on the front lines did initially receive some recognition by men. Such open acknowledgement and recognition on the part of men, however, was much more difficu lt to achieve for sold aderas who fought as combatants. This is why the view of th e soldadera evolved from a combatant to Â“La Adelita,Â” a term used to alleviate the threat posed to a strictly male dominated society. As a result, Â“La AdelitaÂ” constitutes the first evolution of the soldaderaÂ’s image. She was first portrayed as a beautiful, soft submissive and sexual woman in corridos (folk ballads in the romancero tradition) and photographs, often w earing traditional womenÂ’s clothes such as skirts and rebozos (traditional Mexican shawls). The milicianas were also portrayed in feminine ways; nonetheless, the fa ct that they were ge nerally shown wearing el mono azul (the blue overall), which were male uniforms downplayed their femininity to an extent. The Â“AdelitaÂ” image of soldad eras becomes more nuanced when she is introduced in film and theatre. La Soldadera ( The Mexican Female Soldier ; 1966) and La Negra Angustias ( The Mulatta Angustias ; 1949) are two films in wh ich the soldadera was the main protagonist and was acknowledged cinema tically both as a female combatant and as a camp follower. The milicianas also received recognition via cinema with the film Libertarias or Juegos de Guerra ( Libertarians or War Games ; 1996) though it took much longer for the milicianasÂ’ history to emerge in the public eye due to FrancoÂ’s dictatorship. In literature and narrative, milicianas and soldaderas have been represented
5 in a positive light as brave individuals in semi-autobiographical works. For the soldadera, two novels that stand out are Hasta no verte Jess mo ( Here is to you Jesusa! ; 1967) and Cartucho ( Cartridge ; 1931). Because of histor ical circumstances, it took longer for similar works and testimonies to appear for the miliciana. In 2002, the remarkable novel La voz dormida ( The Sleeping Voice ) by Dulce Chacn was published, portraying in detail the postwar harsh circ umstances under which women had to live. Over time, the soldaderaÂ’s image has evolved from the sensual and beautiful Â“La AdelitaÂ” image to representations of strong a nd brave women in arms in recent political events. As such, Â“La AdelitaÂ” has become a solid Mexican female icon of resistance and paradoxical sensuality, and has emerged as a national symbol of idealized femininity unlike the miliciana. In term s of international influence, the soldadera image crossed the United States border as early as 1914 in John ReedÂ’s Insurgent Mexico and in the form of corridos in 1919 and 1929. Furthermore, she was introduced as an icon for the first time in a 1936 play, Soldadera: A Play of the Mexican Revolution which portrays the soldadera as a female fighter. The milicianasÂ’ image emerged during the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and became an early iconic symbol of heroines in various press photographs. Nonetheless, propaganda also played a crucial key in deterr ing their prestige subsequently. They were humiliated, and in press accounts it was often st ated that milicianas lacked the necessary preparation in the battlefield. Perhaps worst of all, they were linked to whores (Palomar Bar 5) and at some point the Socialist pr ess even accused them of being conspirators with the Nationalists (Lines, Milicianas 163).
6 The Â“memory boomÂ” in post Franco Spain at the end of the twentieth century created a venue for film direct ors and novelists, among others, to recuperate the historical memory of the Second Republic and the Spanis h Civil War. Previously, the government did not really take into account the histor ical memory of the defeated Republicans and instead focused on commemorations of the death of Francisco Franco. Today, an ongoing debate persists amongst conservative an d left wing factions. The main battle is between those who do not want to open the wounds of the past and concentrate on a democratic present and those defeated Re publicans who want official recognition and acknowledgement. As such, the passage of the Law of Historical Memory in 2007 has not yet done justice to the iconic miliciana, a nd she has not reached the official national standing she deserves. The central theme of this thesis is a comparative study of th e soldadera and the miliciana as popular cultural phenomena, which emphasizes the evolution and representation of their iconographic images in Mexico and Spain. In this study, I have chosen to use a somewhat non-traditional a nd interdisciplinary approach that includes historical background and covers specific years when works were published during and after both the Mexican Revolut ion and the Spanish Civil War. The evolution of the soldaderaÂ’s image and the milicianaÂ’s image purports both parallels and contrasts when portrayed in different venues. This is the reason why I have also chosen to incorporate venues other than historical and literary wo rks to address the cultural roles of the soldaderas and milicianas. Examples of this are corridos (folk ballads in the romancero tradition), photography, film, plays and, genera lly, the national symbolism and influence of the soldadera and miliciana that, by and larg e, have contributed to the political identity
7 of their respective countries, Mexi co and Spain. As a result, the focus of this thesis is not a detailed analysis for each of the literary works presented here; instead, my goal is to evaluate and emphasize their impact on the way soldaderas and milicianas have come to be viewed over time. I have chosen to organize this thesis using a clear structure for the reader that includes two chapters that present the evolut ion of the soldaderas and the milicianas separately. The first of these discusses only the soldaderaÂ’s evolution as represented in corridos, photography, film, literary works, history and some political aspects. A separate chapter considers only the milicianas, by looking into her evolution and representation in a similar manner. In the conclusion, however, I in clude and discuss the parallels and contrasting tropes amongst these tw o icons. Finally, to support my analysis of the evolution of both the miliciana and th e soldadera icons, I have compiled as much evidence as I could from Spanish and Eng lish articles, books, writers, media, cinema, photography and other sources. I am cognizant, however, of the fact that other valuable works were left aside due to th e constraints of time and circum stances. It is my hope that others with the same interest in this subj ect matter could potentia lly expand on the works already included here and further in corporate those which were not.
8 CHAPTER II SOLDADERAS A gun is strapped to her back and bandoliers are draped across her chest. She wears a long skirt, a low cut blouse, and ha s a jovial and beautiful expression on her face as shown in figure 1. Similar images of the soldadera (female soldier or fighter) have not only often been reproduced on calendars but al so in placards, t-shir ts, books, and address books, and appear in various media thr ough film, photography, songs, art and plays Figure 1. Martin, Angel. La Adelita 1996. Photograph. Web. Calendarios y Propaganda, Mxico. D.F. October 27, 2013. The soldadera image appears to be remini scent of the portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty, Â“Marianne,Â” an icon of French Republicanism that encompasses freedom and democracy. Â“Marianne,Â” as shown in figure 2, is one of the most prominent national symbols of the French Republic and made her appearance in Eugne Delacroix's
9 painting: La Libert guidant le peuple ( Liberty Leading the People ), which was painted on July 1830 to commemorate the French Revolution. Figure 2 Delacroix, Eugne. Marianne, La Libert guidant le peuple 1830. Painting. Web; March 21, 2014. Romantic histor y painting: Commemorates the French Revolution on 28 July 1830, Palais du Louvre, Paris. Like the French Revolution, the Mexican Revolution encouraged large numbers of women to take part in the battlefiel d along with men in th e years between 1911 and 1920 (Salas 11-33). Becoming a soldadera a llowed some women to leave behind their family responsibilities and the expectations fr om society and the Catholic Church to gain a more equitable role amongst men (Fernndez 53). Over the years, however, the image of the soldadera has been subjected to misrepresentations that originate from a paternalistic view of popular culture. The brave and st rong soldadera, who fought shoulder to shoulder with men for freedom a nd equality, has evolve d into a sensual and romanticized object of desire that is often referred to as Â“La Adelita.Â” These romanticized depictions of La Adelita are a direct result of menÂ’s framing of these
10 women soldiers in the way they recorded hi story. Unlike the true soldadera or woman soldier, La Adelita hardly seems capable of fighting in a war. Men downplayed the soldaderasÂ’ legacy as strong a nd assertive, with various char acteristics often associated with men, and instead emphasized their sensualit y, beauty and loyalty to the men in their lives (Fernndez 54). From the 1930s to the 1960s, talent ed Mexican artists produced numerous paintings for calendars depicting the popular images of Mexican culture and history, including the iconic sold adera romantically depicted as La Adelita, that are still found in todayÂ’s popular calendars (Villa lba 13). Two paintings by A ngela Villalba portraying the soldaderas from the Golden Age of Calendar Art, 1930-1960, stand out: Amor Guerrillero ( Wartime Love ), shown in figure 3, and Adelita a soldier woman of the Mexican Revolution, shown in figure 4. La Adelita portrayed in figure 3 in Amor Guerrillero portrays precisely the romantic version of a soldadera of the base camp: She is young and beautiful, wears a neat outfit and hair style, red colored high heel shoes and poses for the painting with a candid smile. The painting encompasses male characteristics representing wartime and emancipation from the previous societal roles of women: bandoliers are draped across her chest and a rifle rests on her lap while sh e simultaneously smokes a cigarette with confidence. A Charro a typical cowboy, sings with great excitement while playing his guitar, at the same time he smiles and leans toward his beloved soldadera.
11 Figure 3 Gmez R., Antonio, Amor Guerrillero 1946. Galas de Mxico. Chicas de calendarios mexicanos. La poca de oro del arte de los calendarios: 19301960. Figure 4, on the other hand, portrays a soldad era presented as La Adelita dressed as a Charra Â‘a Mexican cowgirl.Â’ She is also portrayed as young and beautiful, smiling graciously while at the same time her skills with horses and rifles are emphasized. The background of the painting shows that she is surrounded by seven Charros Mexican cowboys, and one of them appears to be singing a corrido song as he also holds a guitar. These calendar portrayals are examples of popular cultural representations of the Â“soldaderaÂ” or Â“La Adelita.Â”
12 Figure 4 Carmona, Alberto. Adelita : Soldier Girl of the Mexican Revolution 1953. Collection of Museo Soumaya. Ch icas de calendarios mexicanos. La poca de oro del arte de los calendarios: 1930-1960. Â“La AdelitaÂ” and Â“soldaderaÂ” are used inte rchangeably to depict and refer to the same woman that has become the popular fema le Mexican icon she is today. In recent years, her image has been used to promot e more overtly political ends, such as the protection of indigenous rights in the Zapatista movement of 1993, protests against the privatization of the oil in dustry that took place in 2007, a nd a 2010 government organized parade commemorating the Bicentennial of MexicoÂ’s independence. In the United States, corridos were sung and recorded as early as 1919. Nonetheless, the iconic image of La Adelita was first introduced in a theatrical play in 1936. This play, Soldadera: A Play of the Mexican Revolution by Josephina Niggli, used La Adelita to help Â“construct the emergi ng Mexican-American identityÂ” of the time (Arrizn 107). This identity struggle was a call for the acknowledgement and acceptance of the Â“othernessÂ” of Mexican-Americans fr om Anglo-Americans -a call for a more
13 inclusive multicultural America. Thus, this Mexican icon did not only influence Mexican domestic history but also help ed to construct a Mexican-Ame rican political identity. For these reasons, it is important to understa nd how and why the image of the soldadera has evolved to that of La Adelita, and how she has been employed to fit specific purposes in recent years. This thesis approaches her evolution through the early period production of corridos and photography, literature, followe d by film and theater and, ultimately, her influence on the formation of Mexican-American identity in the United States. Soldaderas in the Mexican Revolution The Mexican Revolution allowed women to liberate from the constraints that the Catholic Church and Mexican society imposed upon them. In fact, the idea that a woman could take up a non-traditional profession as a soldier was a radical concept. In this regard, the Mexican Revolution functioned as a major catharsis that helped women to step out from their domesticity by becoming active soldaderas, both as camp followers that provided domestic services and as active combatants. During the early stages of this revolutionary movement, women made their first appearance by helping with supportive services. Throughout the conflic t, the opposing armies needed a medical corps, and Â“they depended on women to forage for and prepare the soldierÂ’s food, wash their clothes, and care for their woundsÂ” (King 183). Later on, ho wever, women began to serve in other roles, ranging from soldiers, warriors, and camp followers, to smugglers, spies and even prostitutes. For this reason, the term Â“s oldaderaÂ” holds a plurality of meanings and it has become difficult to clearly di stinguish their roles during the revolution. In times of war,
14 women became extremely resourceful and could fit into different roles at the same. A woman could start as a camp follower that catered to the needs of her man, only to become a colonel such as the case of La Negra Angustias that is discussed further in this thesis. In fact, the word Â“soldaderaÂ” is not to be found in standard dictionaries of the Spanish language, thus, leaving it exposed to the subjective interpretations of consumers of Mexican popular culture. Soldaderas: Women Soldiers and Camp Followers (1910-1920) The women who marched with the armies fighting in the revolutionary war were generally known as Â“soldaderasÂ”; they voluntarily chose to risk their lives and often left their families to take part in the revolution according to Arrizn (96). However, there are many cases of women who were kidnapped to se rve the different factional armies as is shown in the film La Soldadera by Jos Bolaos. In the film, the womanÂ’s new husband is conscripted to fight, so she chooses to follow him. Later on, however, she finds him dead on the battlefield and is herself captured. She is cap tured by a revolutionary who forces her to be his servan t and sexual partner. Whether voluntarily or not, some of these women went into combat while pregnant or while carrying their infants on th eir backs. Most of the soldaderas who joined the front lines of th e revolution belonged to the ru ral and urban lower-classes; those who belonged to the upper and middle cl asses were usually able to avoid being drafted. As a result, many of these women we re mestizas or Indian women from various ethnicities (96). Fighting on behalf of th e Villistas, according to Thord Gray, were Apaches, Tarahumaras and Tepehunaes; on the other hand, those fighting on behalf of
15 Carranza included Yaquis, Mayos, Pimas, Tara humaras and Tepehuanes (Resndez 538). All in all, these women perfor med a variety of tasks: Â“the y fought, searched and cooked food, cared for the wounded and did other essential services Â” (Soto 43-45). Many of the women who became soldaderas were illiter ate or poorly educated; however, amongst them were also teachers Â“who left the classr oom to join or support the troopsÂ” for more intellectual reasons (Arrizn 96). This illust rates how diverse the corps of soldaderas was. There is ample evidence that these wome n participated in th e battlefields during the revolution. As stated before, however, it is not always clear what roles they performed or who performed them. What, the n, was the main role of the soldadera? Was it as camp follower? Or was it to join the armed forces as a soldier? According to authors who have written on behalf of these women, sold aderas had distinctive features or roles. For Rosa E. King and Julio Guerrero, these women bore arms they could potentially use should it be necessary; however, for the most part their role was to follow the camp and stand by their men. In other words, their de scriptions of soldaderas mostly fit the portrayal of camp followers. The following is an excerpt from Mrs. KingÂ’s personal chronicle titled Tempest over Mexico where she refers to the Â“soldaderaÂ” as Â“the Mexican soldierÂ’s womanÂ” (183) bowing to her phenomenal courage and resourceful expertise: The wonderful soldiersÂ’ womenÂ—none lik e them in the world for patience and bravery at such times combed the town [Cuernavaca] for food, and when they could not get it any othe r way they stole, whatever and wherever they could, to nourish their men. These were the type of women
16 who one day, in the north, when th eir men ran short of ammunition, tied their rebozos [traditional Mexican shawls] to the ammunition cart and hauled it to them. I bow in respect to the Mexican women of this classÂ…. The Mexican woman who marched with the Mexican soldier, who went before him to the camping place to ha ve refreshments ready, who nursed him when sick and comforted hi m when dying, were helpers and constructionists, doing their part in laying the foundation of this liberal government of today. (183) Similarly, Julio Guerrero, as quoted in Anna MaciasÂ’ article on Women and the Mexican Revolution wrote a vivid description of soldaderas in La gnesis del crimen en Mxico also portraying them as camp followers: [These women] who accompany the husband or lover on his military marches, carrying a child, a basket filled with clothing, and working utensils. In the abandoned battlefi eld they carry water to their wounded masters, and despoil the dead of their clothingÂ… They are jealous and courageousÂ…and their moral code has two preceptsÂ… absolute fidelity and unconditional abnegation for the husba nd or lover, and respect for the officers of the battalion or regiment. (Macias 72) Andrs Resndez Fuentes bases his di stinction between combatants and camp followers on the work of Jane Holden Kelly and Anna Macias, a nd further categorizes them as Â“female soldiersÂ” and Â“soldaderas.Â” He refers to Â“soldadera sÂ” as those who were mainly camp followers, such as the ones desc ribed above. He uses Â“female soldiersÂ” to
17 describe those who actually fought in battle and who bore other salien t characteristics. According to Resndez, these women served di fferent purposes. Female soldiers were usually registered in the army rosters, a nd could climb up in the ranks if they proved themselves in battle. In contrast, Â“soldade rasÂ” were not officially recognized and had little hope of advancement. Thus, they se rved different purposes in the army. For Resndez, Â“soldaderasÂ” carried arms only in exceptional ci rcumstances; in other words, they were camp followers. On the other hand, the female soldiersÂ’ main purpose was to fight (546). Despite the fact that ResndezÂ’ distinction is confusing in terms of semantics, it is still of great value. It is confusing because he uses the term Â“soldadera,Â” which translates directly as Â“female soldie rÂ” in English, to refer to women as camp followers, and the term Â“female soldier,Â” to refer to female fighters. It is easier to use the general term Â“soldaderas,Â” to refer to women who participated in the revolution as either camp followers or female soldiers. Both groups of women were strong in thei r own right, ready to fight for their men, for the revolution, or for mere survival. Howe ver, it is next to impossible to establish how many women participated as soldaderas in the revolutio n, or to define the lines between women who were passive camp follo wers and those who were active female fighters. Nevertheless, their contribution has been immortalized in all kinds of artistic venues. The soldaderas as such, have b ecome well established icons of the Mexican Revolution that appear in a variety of litera ry works, corridos and visual: photography and film.
18 Corridos, Photography, and Painting: The Birth of La Adelita In some sense, this romantic misrepresentation of La Adelita reflects a paternalistic view in popular culture. Instead of constructing the soldaderasÂ’ legacy as strong, brave and assertive, as does Rosa E. King, thus conveying trai ts more traditionally associated with men, their beauty, sex appeal and loyalty to the men in their lives was highlighted instead (Fernndez 54). To summarize, La Adel itaÂ’s main function was to awaken erotic pleasure and ideal istic love in all male soldiers fighting in the revolution. Â“La Adelita,Â” was the title of one of th e most popular songs about the Mexican Revolution. The ballad was inspired by a woman from Durango who joined the Maderista movement early on. The song b ecame a popular emblem of the Revolution itself (Arrizn 90), while at the same time honor ing the women who participated in it. Over time, La AdelitaÂ’s name was used to refer to any female soldier who participated in the Mexican Revolution. In this way, the term Â“AdelitaÂ” gradually became equated with Â“soldaderaÂ” (Arrizn 90-91). Her influence was so great that in music the song Â“La AdelitaÂ” crossed the United States border and was recorded by Tro Gonzlez in New York in early December of 1919. Th e song Â“Marijuana, La SoldaderaÂ” was also recorded and released by the Hermanos Bauelos in January 1929 in Los Angeles, California. One can infer implicitly that most of the corridos depicting women during the Mexican Revolution or Â“the soldadera,Â” tr eated the Adelita as a mere product of consumerism and sexualized objectification, mo re so than the inte llectual and reserved type of woman. For some men she resemble d a loving faithful angel whose love for him was unconditional. For others, she was a mere object of de sire and pure femininity
19 (Arrizn 108). For better or worse, the corri dos constitute the early production of songs that gave birth to the Mexican icon La Adelita. Soldiers who actively participated in the Mexican Revolution talked and sang about going to dance with a soldadera named Ad elita in the camp (Salas 82). After the revolution, they continued singing songs about soldaderas. The soldaderas, as mentioned before, became well established characters that appear in a variety of literary works, art, corridos, and films. Even though the soldaderas comprised a wide range of women with unique stories of war to tell, they were us ually depicted in rath er conventional love stories. In other words, they became th e Â“Adelitas.Â” But there are many types of soldaderas. As quoted by Elizabeth Salas in her book Soldaderas Juan Gonzlez A. Alpuche wrote, Â“There were many types of sold aderas in the Revolution: Â‘La Valentina,Â’ modest and home-loving; Â‘La Cucaracha,Â’ a carefree woman who gave her liquor and love with open hands to all; Â‘Juana Gallo,Â’ the woman with fighting in her heart; but the most faithful and the most respected of the troop was Â‘La Adelit a,Â’Â… the adorable sweetheart of the ranksÂ” (Salas 82). During the revolution the corridos were disseminated and became famous through the military choirs, which were a common feature in most Mexican regiments during the Civil War. The choirs sang corridos and re gional music (Salas 93). There is no doubt that the corrido Â“La Adelita,Â” with its soldad era with a Â“heart of gol dÂ” and Â“sweetheart of the troopsÂ” dominates in Mexican culture. The most famous verses are those that describe Adelita as the soldierÂ’s beloved. Th is was the type of wo man worth fighting for and worth following:
20 Si Adelita se fuera con otro la seguira por tierra y por mar. si por mar en un buque de guerra si por tierra en un tren militar Adelita, por Dios te lo ruego, calma el fuego de esta mi pasin, porque te amo y te quiero rendido y por ti sufre mi fiel corazn. (Arrizn 92) If Adelita should go with another I would follow her over land and sea if by sea in a warship if by land on a military train. Adelita, for GodÂ’s sake I beg you, calm the fire of my passion, because I love you and I cannot resist you and my faithful heart suffers for you. (92) As portrayed in the above corrido, it is easy to see why the soldaderas are so popular: Â“No matter how hard things get, each man will always have his little soldadera ready at his summons, to take care of him, to love him, and to give him a gift once in a whileÂ” (Poniatowska 38). Â“La AdelitaÂ” has a plur ality of meanings. Fi rst, it is a song of hope that is mostly based in the virility of men at war. It also is a name that becomes the symbol for love in times for war. Finally, Â“La AdelitaÂ” is subject to passion and desire.
21 Sadly though, Â“AdelitaÂ’s brav ery and revolutionary spirit are lost to the fatalism and insecurities of male soldiers who are fo cused on passions, love and desire as they face combatÂ” (91). The following corrido co ntains the full verses of the song and exemplifies the various idealized connotati ons that La Adelita represented for the Mexican male soldier in combat: En lo alto de una abrupta serrana acampado se encontraba un regimiento y una moza que valiente los segua locamente enamorada del sargento. Popular entre la tropa era la Adelita la mujer que el sargento idolatraba, que adems de ser valiente era bonita, que hasta el mismo coronel la respetaba. Y se oa, que deca, aq ul que tanto la quera: y si Adelita se fuera con otro la seguira por tierra y por mar, si por mar en un buque de guerra, si por tierra en un tren militar. Y si Adelita quisiera ser mi esposa y si Adelita fuera mi mujer, le comprara un vestido de seda para llevarla a bailar al cuartel. (Â“La AdelitaÂ”)
22 On the heights of a steep mountain range a regiment was encamped, and a young woman bravely follows them, madly in love with the sergeant. Popular among the troops was Adelita, the woman that the sergeant idolized, and besides being brave she was pretty, so that even the colonel respected her. And it was heard that the one who loved her so much said: if Adelita were to leave with another man, IÂ’d follow her by land and see if by sea, in a warship; if by land, in a military train. If Adelita wanted to be my wife, if Adelita were my wife, IÂ’d buy her a silk dress to take her to the barrackÂ’s dance. (Â“La AdelitaÂ”) Soldaderas or Adelitas were also immo rtalized in various ways other than corridos. In a painting of soldaderas for the magazine, Los de Abajo ( The Underdogs) for example, Jos Clemente Orozco portr ays two soldaderas accompanying their men, carrying a child each on their backs as well as a bag of food and other ammunitions as shown in figure 5.
23 Figure 5. Clemente Orozco, Jos. Universidad de las Artes, Imgenes del Arte Mexicano; Coleccin INBA Acer vo Museo de Arte Moderno, Las soldaderas 1926; Web; 4 February, 2014. . Similarly, in figure 6, the artist Jos Guadalupe Posada portrays a soldadera riding a horse with fierce dete rmination and skill chasing down smaller figures fleeing in terror.
24 Figure 6 Posada, Jos Guadalupe, Calavera de la Adelita (soldadera) 19001913; Escuela Nacional Ernesto Sbato., Buenos Aires; Web; 4 February, 2014. . The documentary photographs of the Casa sola Collection, on the other hand, also communicate the sense of having been there, as the images are humane and depict everyday dimensions of life during wartime. Th is archive contains hun dreds of images of displayed love and affection amongst soldaderas and male soldiers. This is the kind of strong love and loyalty depicted in most corridos about women at the time. For instance, in figure 7, an indigenous looking woman (sol dadera) kisses the cheek of her lover in uniform with a chest full of ammunition. In the picture, the coupl e seems to be happy and sharing a special moment.
25 Figure 7 The Casasola Collection. 1913. Gelatin dry plate 6212. Mxico D.F. Similarly, another picture as shown in figure 8, shows a woman wearing a rebozo (traditional Mexican shawl) looking at her ma n with great pride while placing her hands on his shoulders with affection. The sold ier, on the other hand, remains still, looking straight into the camera with an almost defi ant look. Perhaps the look we associate with a real macho man, strong and convincing if only for the purpose of the image.
26 Figure 8. The Casasola Collection. 1914. Ge latin dry plate 6207. Mxico D.F. The Casasola Collection has been used by many authors interest ed in the Mexican Revolution or more specifically in soldader as. Elena Poniatowska is a distinguished writer who published a commentary titled Las Soldaderas: Women of the Mexican Revolution in 1999. She included fifty images repr oduced from this vast collection. On page 49 of PoniatowskaÂ’s commentary, there is one image; in particular, number 5670 that gave birth to the popular Adelita. The pi cture is provided in fi gure 9. This black and white image shows six women in long dresses; some with rebozos carrying baskets.
27 Figure 9 The Casasola Collection. 1911-14. Ge latin dry plate 5670. Mxico D.F. In this same photograph, there is one wo man, however, who stands out from the others; she is standing on the stairs of the passenger car wagon while looking to her left side searching for somethi ng. In an article in the Alquimia magazine directed by Jos Antonio Rodrguez, Miguel Angel Morales conf irmed the person behind one of the most emblematic photographs of the Mexican Revoluti on: La Adelita. He was referring to this woman standing on the stairs of the passenger car wagon. In the newspaper El Positivo: Peridico Cu ltural y de cosas buenas an article reveals that Jernimo Hernndez is th e one who took this photograph, which was published for the first time on Monday, Apr il 8, 1912 in the Maderista newspaper called Nueva Era. The article in the newspaper stated that on Saturday, April 6, the troops on orders from General Victoriano Huerta departed from Buena Vi sta station to Chihuahua. HuertaÂ’s troops were on thei r way to fight General Pascual Orozco who had revolted against President Francisco I. Madero ("La Adelita, han identificado quin tom la
28 fotografa"). The editor of the newspape r, however, inadvertently wrote underneath one of the three photos published in the article: Defender a mi Juan (Â“I will defend my JuanÂ”). Thus, he wrongly portrayed her as a female soldier w ithout knowing that the woman photographed belonged to the kitchen-car wagon; that is, she was a cook and not a soldier. The image was not widely disseminated unt il 1960, forty-eight y ears later, when it began to be reproduced in publications such as the Enciclopedia Grfica de la Revolucin Mexicana Historia Grfica de Mxico del siglo XX and in the commentary Las Soldaderas: Women of the Mexican Revolution by Poniatowska. This story of this photograph illustrates, unwittingl y or not, how the image of Â“La AdelitaÂ” has evolved, by being manipulated to fit specifi c purposes, such as presentin g a female cook as a soldier in some instances, or a female object of de sire in others. That being said, these photographs of revolutionary women are of im measurable historical importance: Â“If it was not for the photography of Agustn Casasola and Jorge Guerra, and countless rolls of celluloid by Salvador Toscano, we would know nothing about the soldaderas because history has not treated them kindly Â– in fact it has denigrated themÂ” (Poniatwoska 27). The corridos in this sense tried to make up for the lack of recognition. Through songs, photography and art, La Adelita came to sym bolize both a myth and the reality of women in the revolutionary war. The appearance of La Adelita in corri dos and simultaneously in documentary photographs constitutes the first stage in the evolution of the Â“soldaderaÂ” as a Mexican icon. In photography and corridos La Adelita ha s been portrayed not as the masculine female soldier but as an idealized and sexual icon to award men with an inspirational and
29 attractive companion who follows him wherever he goes and comforts him while he is in combat. Literature and Narrative: Nacha Ceniceros and Jessa Palancares The few women who did dare to write in these years (1920Â’s and 30Â’s) tended to stay away from the battlefields of the revolution, with the exception of Nellie Campobello, who witnessed first-hand the ev ents of the revoluti on in the North of Mexico. Cartucho ( Cartridge ), a collection of tales published in 1931 is considered a classic literary work of the Mexican Revolu tion, showing the Villistas in a favorable light at a time when most of the literature was criminalizing them. In Cartucho Campobello writes about a soldadera named Nacha Ceniceros. In this short story, she addresses her life, love, death and partisanship. To start, Nacha Ceniceros was Â“a coronela who carried a pistol and wore braidsÂ…and had an incredible skill, she could do anything a man could with his masculine strengthÂ” (21). Further, death is introduced in the story when Ceniceros accidentally killed colonel Gallardo, a man she was in love with. When the revolutionary leader Pancho Villa was notified that Gallardo was killed, he was shocked and re plied: Â“Execute the man who did it,Â” not knowing he had been shot by a woman. This did not matter, Nacha Ceniceros Â“was executed subsequently by the fi ring squadÂ’s volleyÂ” (21). In the end, Nacha Ceniceros di d not die, but this was Â“the version that was told for many years in the North of MexicoÂ” (21) wr ites Campobello. Campobello ends the story on Â“Nacha CenicerosÂ” by praising her strength and determinati on. She also supports the VillistasÂ’ faction by saying: Â“The curtain of lies against Villa, spread by organized groups
30 of slanderers and propagators of the black lege nd, will fall, just as will the bronze statues that have been erected with th eir contributions. Now I say Â–and I say it with the voice of someone who has known how to unravel lies, Â¡ Viva Nacha Ceniceros, Coronela de la revolucin !Â” (22). These statements, as well as many others included in Cartucho express CampobelloÂ’s critical consciousness of the manner in which historical events are mythologized and distorted. The reason behi nd this is that she witnessed these war events that took place in Northern Mexico wh en she was only four years of age. Even though Campobello was one of the few wome n involved in the center of Mexico's intellectual groups of the time, her work was not really considered a novel, but rather a collection of intimate anecdotes and childhood me mories (Linhard 83). To this day, she is considered the only female Mexican wr iter to have published narrations (semiautobiographical) during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920. According to Jorge Fornet, novels such as Cartucho by Campobello, or any other womenÂ’s writing on the revolution faced trem endous obstacles in the 1920Â’s and 1930Â’s due to the Â“crisis of virili tyÂ” of Mexican literature (q td. in Linhard 83). Elena Poniatowska attributes these obstacles to machismo Â– discrimination, and further, points out that, Nelly Campobello continues to be th e unknown author of two remarkable texts, Cartucho and Las manos de mam (My motherÂ’s Hands), which never received their deserved recognition (Poniatowska, Las Soldaderas 36). The novel of the Mexican Revolution by Mariano Azuela publis hed in serial form in 1915, Los de abajo ( The Underdogs ), on the other hand, Â“appeared to sati sfy the necessary prerequisites for a national virile literatureÂ” (qtd. in Linhard 83) at the time.
31 Hasta no verte Jess mo is a biographic novel by author Elena Poniatwoska published in 1967, a year before the Tlatel olco Massacre of October 2, 1968. After endless evenings of intervie wing, documenting and gathering information from a former soldadera, Jessa Palancares, Poniatwoska ended up befriending the protagonist of her novel and dedicated it to her postmortem. An indigenous woman from humble beginnings, Jessa Palancares, goes through a much suffered life experiencing profound poverty, cruelty from the various step-mothers she had when her mother died at age five, and physical abuse. At age fifteen she join ed the armed forces and married her abusive husband, who beat her repeatedly and was an o fficer during the revolution. The expertise of novelist-writer Poniatowska lies in portraying the visual and literary descriptions of the lives of the more deprived citizens such as Jessa Palancares. Through her numerous interviews with Jessa Palancares, Poniatow ska was confronted with real poverty; her work seeks to give voice to women like Jes sa, Â“to those ostensibly vanquishedÂ” women (Schuessler 127, 177). Jessa, the wife of Ca ptain Pedro Aguilar, was an incredible woman who lived through both glory and defeat. As Poniatowska points out, Â“she knew the rails, the steady gunfire, th e arguments between the Â‘tr oublemaker soldaderas;Â’ she also experienced the glories of battle, taki ng out the enemy with a single shot. The bullets in the blue air explode d like little white balls, clouds of deafening smoke covered the sky and enlivened JessaÂ” ( Hasta no verte Jess mo xvii). Among the various chapters from Hasta no verte Jess mo some aspects stand out, such as how the Mexican forces divided up the companies: cavalry and infantry, and her suffering and violent life as a wife and widow. Each general would take the people who suited them the most based on their height; Â“if they were tall, they were cavalry; if
32 they were short they were infantryÂ” (Poniat owska 91). Jessa na rrates how brutal life was in the battlefield, she says: Â“the little ones, the young ones, didnÂ’t understand how it worked, so they went out in front and were shot, end of story. They caught them like piglets being taken off to sl aughterÂ” (90). On the other hand, she further comments how much she loved the sound of battles, Â“because they sound so nice. You hear the first shots, but once the fighting gets going you donÂ’t hear them anymore, you just see the smoke coming from the different places. Just remembering it made me want to go back to the RevolutionÂ” (213). Jessa also recalls the violent episodes with her husband Pedro Aguilar: Â“Pedro beat me for everythingÂ” (96). He hit her a nd split her Â“head open.Â” As a result, she lost her Â“long wavy hair because of all the sore s and bloodÂ” (95). She describes how she could not bathe or change and how her husband rejected her in every sense; he did not speak to her, thus, neither w ould any of his friend soldiers. Â“Even when I was alone,Â” she said, Â“I wasnÂ’t allowed to have my head uncovered, because he would come and order: Cover yourself. I was a martyrÂ” (96). While Pe dro was alive, the soldierÂ’s assistants to Pedro took care of Jessa. They bought her gr oceries and water, or whatever else she needed. Once her husband died, she lost all th e privileges that came with being a married woman (131). Despite her tumultuous and violent life on the battlefield with her husband, Jessa also knew what was best for her and knew when to take the opportunity to break free. When Pedro was killed, Jessa led the twen ty-five soldiers as well as corporals, sergeants, lieutenants and the major to Gene ral Espinosa y Crdoba at Villa Gonzlez. When General Espinosa y Crdoba saw that Â“she was in charge,Â” he said to her, Â“you
33 stay in commandÂ” (130). Courageously a nd blatantly she replie d, Â“No seor, IÂ’m not a soldier and they canÂ’t name me commander.Â” Besides, Â“up in the north they grabbed women and abused them. She continued: Â“lis ten, IÂ’m not here because IÂ’m a soldier. I was following my husband even though I didnÂ’t want to. The general sa id to her that he will not pay her. To his surprise, she repl ied: Â“Then donÂ’t pay me Â… It should be my inheritance from my husbandÂ…. you can take the money and shove it wherever it fits; after all, itÂ’s only toilet paper anywayÂ” ( 131). This excerpt encompasses who Jessa Palancares really was: a brave and defian t woman who depicts both the camp follower soldadera, as well as a strong leader and an outspoken and independent woman. Despite her acute deprivations, she lived with dign ity while paying her dues the best way she could; in the final years of her life she worked as a laundry maid among the many humble jobs she performed to survive. The autobi ography speaks to the national consciousness of Mexico about the remembrance of the dis possessed. Nacha Ceniceros as portrayed in Cartucho on the other hand, was a clear soldadera combatant, who Â“joined the revolution because Porfirio DiazÂ’s henchmen had assa ssinated her fatherÂ” (Campobello 21). As pointed out in Carlos FuentesÂ’ Foreword in Elena Poniatowska: An Intimate Biography by Michael Schuessler there is no doubt that Â“Elena Poniatowska has contributed greatly toward giving women a unique position amidst the deprivation, prejudice, and exclusion in a world, which is still male-dominatedÂ” (x). Poniatowska gave that opportunity to Jessa, the same way Campobello did with Nacha Ceniceros. An example of this is the romanticized Coronela depicted in the popular film: Como agua para chocolate ( Like Water for Chocolate ) based on the novel published in 1989 by
34 acclaimed Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel. It is because of these intellectualsÂ’ work that soldaderas continue to have a voi ce in contemporary literature today. On Film and in the Theater: Reinforcement and Evolution of the SoldaderaÂ’s Image Film and theater in the 1930Â’s, 40Â’s and 60Â’ s helped to reinforce the image of the soldadera. As such, this reinforcement al so contributes to he r gradual evolution by featuring and highlighting distinctive characte ristics of the soldadera. La Adelita, as depicted in the corridos, presented a more simplistic picture of soldaderas, a platonic image, an object of desire, an image of femininity and softness. However, films such as La Negra Angustias by Landeta (1949) emphasized other attributes in her, such as assertiveness and stoicism. The film La Soldadera by Bolaos (1966) emphasizes her characteristics as a camp follower. Hence, film brings a more multifaceted depiction of the soldadera. JosefinaÂ’s Niggli, in her 1936Â’s play titled Soldadera: A Play of the Mexican Revolution emphasized how different these women appear to be from one another (Niggli 157-192). It is important to note, however, that NiggliÂ’s play is one of the first times that the image of the soldadera was used to reconstruct Mexican-American identity: the Mexican soldadera was taken outside of Mexico as represented by the courageous and virtuous soldaderas in the play. Not to mention that songs as Â“La Adelita,Â” were recorded as earlier as 1919 in New York followed by Â“Marijuana, La SoldaderaÂ” in 1929 in Los Angeles, CA, as st ated before in the corridos and photography section. I will now turn the discussion to the films, La Soldadera and La Negra Angustias followed by NiggliÂ’s play.
35 La Soldadera (1966): A Camp Follower This is a film by Jos Antonio Bolaos, who based his depiction on John ReedÂ’s Elizabetta and Sergei Mikhailovich EisensteinÂ’s ideas abou t the soldaderas (Salas 100). Bolaos wanted to diversify the representa tion of soldadera, if only phenotypically speaking. The main character in the film is Lzara, who is portrayed by actress Silvia Pinal Hidalgo. Unlike the other indigenous looking soldaderas, Lzara is white and blonde. Lzara does not come from the lowe st class but rather from a town and is expected to marry well and live in a nice house. She does not appear to be a full blooded Mexican Indian, but rather a mestizo (a person of mixed blood) or even a criollo (creole) ( La Soldadera ). As such, BolaosÂ’s intention is to accentuate the diversity that existed amongst soldaderas in terms of class as well as ethnicity. In the film, LzaraÂ’s new beloved husband is conscripted by government troops at the time of the Mexican Revolution, so she fo llows him. After the Federalist troops are defeated, she finds him dead on the batt lefield. Alone now, she is captured by a revolutionary soldier who forces her to serve him and to be his concubine. As stated earlier, many women were kidnapped to serve the different factional armies and Lzara depicts one of those women taken by force. After this rebel dies, she joins yet another soldier who cares for her and her infant. In the film, Lzara Â“seems only to be going through the motions of living a very difficu lt lifeÂ” while resisting hunger, turmoil, sadness and abuse (Salas 99-101). As pointed out earlier and in accordan ce with the distinction Andrs Resndez Fuentes makes based on Kelley and Macias, in this context, Lzara fits in the category of
36 the camp follower, which he calls Â“soldadera,Â” but not of the female soldier, who bears arms and often engages in combat (Kelley and Macias 142, 41). Lzara clearly depicts the camp follower in this film -the woma n who follows his man in tempestuous and dangerous realities, cooks, cares for him and gives him physical pleasure and company. La Negra Angustias (1949): A Female Soldier La Negra Angustias, from the novel of the same tit le by Francisco Rojas Gonzlez (1944, 1999) and in the film directed by Mati lde Landeta in 1949 depicts the Zapatista uprising in Southern Mexico during the revolu tion (Macias 73-75). The film centers on a female rebel combatant named Angustias, whose name significantly translates to Â“anguish,Â” and her struggles to overcome th e sexual and racial barriers to her full participation in the fight for social justice. In the course of the film, Angustias becomes a well-respected revolutionary le ader. It is important to note, however, that her tough demeanor did not develop overnight; rather it came from her difficult motherless upbringing, racial distinction, as she was a mulata or Â‘creoleÂ’ and her gender. During the revolution, it was customary for men to rob women and force them to serve them sexually. When a man tried to rape Angustias, in an attempt to defend herself she stabbed him to death without hesitation. This rape episode highlights one of the gender weaknesses that women in gene ral confronted on a regular basis ( La Negra Angustias ). In the case of Angustias, her murder ous action is particul arly relevant, for her character not only confront s gender prejudice and abusiv e behavior from her opposite gender, but does so bravely and without hesitation by killing that man.
37 AngustiasÂ’s dual representation in the film is crucial for she not only depicts a true soldadera combatant, or rather a revolutionary serving as a colonel under Emiliano Zapata during the revoluti on, but is the epitome of feminist revenge. Both characterizations come directly from the c limate the Mexican Revolution itself created. Angustias breaks with the status quo of what is expected fr om womenÂ’s role in society, such as marriage and subordination. In rega rds to womenÂ’s role in society, Simon de Beauvoir contends in The Second Sex that Â“ reared by women within a feminine world, their normal destiny is marriage, which sti ll means practically s ubordination to manÂ” (xxxvi), an expectation that in the film Angustias utterly rejected with serious consequences: she was harassed by the villagers. Once inspired by her revolutionary and vigorous ideals, Angustias understands that there are no limitations when compared with her fellow male revolutionaries. In fact, she proves herself to be tougher than men and smarter. According to Sheila Ruth in Issues in Feminism sexism promotes the idea that wo men alone are beings that cannot think for themselves, they need a man, but men, on the other hand, ar e able to think of themselves without a woman. This is what famous feminist Simone De Beauvoir refers to as Â“the other sexÂ” when referring to women because she Â“appears essentially to the male as a sexual beingÂ” only with no inte llectual capabilities of her own (Ruth116). A woman then becomes Â“simply what man decrees, because man defines woman as relative to himÂ” (116). According to De Beauvoir, Â“one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in societ y; it is civilization as a whol e that produces this creatureÂ” (267). The civilization or whole humanity is male in De BeuvoirÂ’s analysis.
38 Angustias in this sense, Â“was born a woma n,Â” but instead of conforming to male societal rules in direct rela tion to her sex, the character c hooses Â“to become a woman,Â” a highly, independent and strong woman shap ed by the opportunities the Mexican Revolution brought to the country and to women like Angustias. As such, in this feminist light, Angustias reinvents herself and refuses to occupy a secondary pl ace in the world in relation to men. A self-assert ed Angustias also begins to comprehend the importance of education and hires a private tuto r to learn how to read and write She represents a genuine exception to the rule, particularly for the period, early twentieth century Mexico As stated earlier, according to Andr s Resndez Fuentes, some of these soldaderas were camp followers and did not bear arms except in unusual circumstances and they very seldom engaged in combat, while others were female soldiers who set out to fight, such as Angustias (545 Â– 546). A lthough a fictional charac ter, Angustias reflects historicial reality: among th e Mexican troops, some of these women soldiers were officers. One of these women might have been Â“Coronela Mara de la Luz Espinosa Barrera of Yautepec, Morelos, whose service record shows that she was on active duty as a Zapatista from 1910 to 1920Â” (Mac ias 72-73). She rose from soldado raso Â‘privateÂ’ to colonel in ZapataÂ’s army. This woman bears some resemblance to the character Angustias. Based on Andrs Resndez FuentesÂ’s di stinction between soldaderas and female soldiers, the main character of th e film Angustias (Mara Elena Marqus) was indeed a female soldier. There are interesting parallels between the real and the fictional characters. La Negra Angustias was a mulatto motherless chil d who grew up in povert y just as Mara de la Luz Espinosa Barrera, although the latter was not mulatto. In both cases, their
39 mothers died at their births. In both cases the father never remarried, and both women felt acutely the pain and loneliness of havi ng to grow up without the nurturing of a mother. Both took care of goats in their ch ildhood. In return, th e goats would provide them the nurturing and companionship so desper ately needed. They both rose to the rank of colonel during the revolution and both kill ed. Angustias killed a man to avoid being raped while Mara de la Luz Espinosa Barrera killed the woman who was having an affair with her husband (Macias 74). La Soldadera Crosses the United Stat es Border: Josefina NiggliÂ’s Play (1936) Josefina Niggli was a Southwestern artis t born during the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution, July 13, 1910 in Hidalgo, Nuevo Len, Mxico. After the assassination of Mexican president Francisco y Madero in 1913, Niggli was sent to San Antonio, Texas to escape the violence of the re volution. In 1920, after livi ng in San Antonio Texas for seven years, Niggli and her family returned to Mxico. In 1925 she is sent again to San Antonio, this time to begin her high school a nd subsequent university education which led to her early creat ive writing publications and gradua te studies (Niggli ix). She managed to attain great popularity in the 1930Â’ s; despite the Great Depression that was taking place in the United States. In fact, she was the first dramatist of Mexican or Mexican-American descent to have published previously produced material (Arrizn 107). An example of these publications was Lo mexicano (Mexicanness), which provided colorful and vivid mate rial regarding her own exile, that was subsequently used in plays. Among her various works is her play Soldadera: A Play of the Mexican Revolution (1936), which represents th e struggle of women and th eir active participation in the Revolution (Niggli 160).
40 Just as the film director Jos Ant onio Bolaos wanted to diversify the representation of the soldadera in his film bearing the same name, La Soldadera Josefina Niggli also showed how different the sold aderas were from another in her play Soldadera: A Play of the Mexican Revolution In this play she introduces seven female characters and only one male character. The female followers of Venustiano Carranza include: Concha, the leader, Mara, the gua rd; Cricket, the coquette; two older women named Tomasa, Adelita, the youngest and the blond, an ammunition guard (Niggli 157192). As such, we see a depiction of soldad era that encompasses relevant opposing roles, giving the image of the revolutionary woma n a more multifaceted interpretation. Even though the blonde in NiggliÂ’s play is an a mmunition guard and the blonde in BolaosÂ’s film is mainly portrayed as a camp follower, both wanted to accentuate the diversity that existed amongst soldaderas in term s of class as well as ethnicity. It is interesting to note th at NiggliÂ’s work on her play represents a crucial moment in transnational identi ty politics: through NiggliÂ’s play Mexico was taken outside of Mexico. In other words, th roughout NiggliÂ’s work, MexicoÂ’s domestic history crosses the United States border with the presentati on and further dissemination of the role played by Mexican female soldiers known as Â“soldaderasÂ” to American audiences. Her play provided a contextual a nd political frame that contri buted to the construction of Mexican-American identity. During and after the Great Depression in the United States, a shift in population was experienced. Many Mexicans had been born on the United States soil and enjoyed American citizenship. These Mexicans livi ng in the United States were, for the most part, rejected by the Anglos based on racial and cultural grounds. As a result, new ways
41 to combat discrimination and to attain so cial and economic mobility were sought via assimilation and Americanization. Vari ous organizations emerged promoting assimilation into the Anglo-Saxon culture; one of them was the establishment of The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) (Bernal and Martinelli 50-51). Middle class educated Mexican -Americans, such as Josefi na Niggli might have found this constant discrimination humiliating and tried ways to proactively alleviate and further advance this politic al identity struggle. To illustrate this search for political identity, Arrizn points out that Niggli Â“stages herself as one of these women [solda deras]Â” (107). There is no doubt that the production of the play and the work as a whole was a way to demand her rights as a Mexican-American. In other words, it was a venue she found for Â“making herself heard by the Anglo majority, of maki ng herself known and visible as an ethnic otherÂ” (Arrizn 99). Her eclectic aptitude and folkloric creativity colors her construction of MexicanAmerican identity. The two films La Soldadera and La Negra Angustias reinforced the already existing image of the soldadera. The films used opposing points of view and brought in more nuances into their portray al: one is black, while the ot her is blonde, one becomes a female soldier, the other a camp follower, one comes from the upper class, the other from the bottom and one is strong and savvy, while the other is passive ly going through the motions to survive a very difficult life. The play is very relevant for Â“it was the first theatrical representation, north or south of the border in the United States, of the participation of female soldiers in the Mexican RevolutionÂ” (Arrizn 98).
42 Modern Depictions of the Soldadera In recent times, the soldadera has received more and more of an iconic status in Mxico. While her image has been used for a variety of purposes that feature different aspects of her Mexican history, nowadays she is predominantly portrayed as the strong and courageous female soldier. Appropriatio ns of images of soldaderas portrayed as female soldiers for political and/or cultu ral purposes are apparent in the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) poster of year 1993 on indigenous womenÂ’s rights, followed by the portrayal of soldaderas in a protest against the privatization of the oil industry in Mexico City led and organized by political leader Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador in the Spring of 2007. Last, another depiction with political purposes from 2010 is the Soldadera Unit, a part of the Mexican Army, which marched in a parade organized by the Mexican government. Recovering the Historical Memory of the Soldaderas: Zapatista Revolutionary Law for Women Poster (1993) The soldaderas have not only been the subject of study in popular culture and folklore but have also been used as polit ical icons calling for i ndigenous womenÂ’s civil rights, as represented in th e Ejrcito Zapatista de Libe racin Nacional (EZLN, Zapatista National Liberation Army) poster in 1993, Chiapas, Mexico. The Zapatista Revolutionary Law for Women bilingual poster provided in figure 10 advocates for the rights of indigenous women. The laws for women are presented in both languages, English and Spanish, to create social consciousness amongst Hispanic and Anglo communities as well as to encourage participation.
43 Figure 10. Herrera, Araceli. Syracuse Cultural Workers: Zapatista Revolutionary Law for Women 1999. Poster # P503CW. Syracuse, New York. The ten Revolutionary Laws were adopted in March 1993, ten months before the official first EZLN uprising. The EZLN, a revolutionary left ist group most often referred to as the Â“Zapatistas,Â” is based in Chiapas, a southern state in Mexico. Their main spokesperson is Â“Subcomandante MarcosÂ” (Sub-commander Marcos). In his writings and speeches he relied on the legacy of Emiliano Zapata, a peasant hero from the Mexican Revolution, to do justice for the marginalized i ndigenous people. The roots of the struggle spring from a history of marginalization and racism to which the Mayan Indians have been subjected to. However, their Â“Declaration of WarÂ” a nd other statements and Â“communiquesÂ” encompassed the poor of all ethnic groups across the length and breadth of greater Mexico ("Revolt of the Rural Poor"). The following is a passage from the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) Â“Declar ation from the Lacandn Jungle,Â” 1993:
44 We have nothing to lose, absolutely nothing, no decent roof over our heads, no land, no work, poor health, no food, no education, no right to freely and democratically choose our leaders, no independence from foreign interests, and no justice for ou rselves or our children. But we say enough is enough! We are the descenda nts of those who truly built this nation, we are the millions of dispossessed, and we call upon all of our brethren to join our crusade, the only option to avoid dyi ng of starvation! ("Revolt of the Rural Poor") This declaration represents a crusade for the advancement of all those who live in complete marginalizat ion and poverty. The declaration itself is, without a doubt, an ongoing call for survival and indigenous rights. Human rights are ri ghts that a person or a group of people have, claim or exercise. Hu man rights are not privileges, and for this reason they must be asserted in most cases by force, such as the case of the indigenous Mayan peoples in Chiapas, Mexico. Mi cheline R. Ishay, states in her book, The History of Human Rights that human rights Â“are rights held by individuals simply because they are part of the human species. They are ri ghts shared equally by ev eryone regardless of sex, race, nationality, and econom ic backgroundÂ” (3). The qu estion one must ask is, are human rights universal or cult urally bound? Â“The invocation of cultural rights tends to occur when a specific group feels deprived of political, social and economic rights (Ishay 11). In the case, of the poster Zapatista Revolutionary Law for Women, the photograph of the indigenous women with faces masked and armed with sticks depicts a community of militant women prepared to engage in armed struggle for their human and civil rights
45 precisely because they feel deprived. Even though their status is Â“regulated wholly or partially by their own [Mayan] customs or traditions,Â” they still lack the Â“full and effective enjoyment of Â… universal fundament al freedomsÂ” (Ishay 312-313). To further extrapolate, this photograph of indigenous women as depicted as female soldiers (soldaderas) juxtaposed with the declaration of laws pr otecting womenÂ’s rights in the poster, encompasses three important consider ations in terms of political representation and realism: 1) cultural right s: indigenous (Mayan) rights, 2) human rights: universal, and 3) womenÂ’s rights. The declared rights together with the photograph convey a unifi ed visual iconic message in the poster: soldaderas are ready to fight for their univer sal human rights and the rights of women including th e right to participate in the [Zapatista] revolutionary struggle, to work, to receive a just salary, to decide the number of children they have, to access to primary health care for themselves and children, to education, to choose their partner with no obligatio n to marry, to be free of violen ce, the right to occupy positions of leadership in the organization, and finall y, to hold military ranks in the revolutionary armed forces. In comparison with the photographs of so ldaderas from the Casasola Collection, the Zapatista poster shows some interesting similarities and differences in the way women are depicted. The poster measures 18 inches by 2 feet, incorporates political representations of Comandante Ramona along with approximately forty other female indigenous fighters armed with sticks, dressed in skirts, sandals, and some wearing tennis shoes. Their mouths are covered with handke rchiefs. In various pictures from the Casasola archive women are also armed, though it appears they carry fire arms
46 (Poniatwoska 65). Some of them are dressed in skirts, others wear pa nts. Soldaderas in the Casasola Archive wear sa ndals and boots mostly, and not the tennis shoes that the poster of EZLN portrays. Even though the photographs from the Casasola archive and the photograph used for the EZLN poster are about eighty three years apart from each other, the message is clear in both of them: Â“determination, unity and braveryÂ” (La Botz). Recovering the Historical Memory of Las Soldaderas: Oil Protest of 2007 It was April 27, 2007, when in Mexico City tens of thousands of demonstrators marched protesting the Pemex privatization in Paseo de la Reforma as shown in figure 11. A group of female fighters dressed as soldader as took to the streets on this day with Â“their long skirts, broad sombreros, bandolee rs strung across their chests, and toting .22 carbinesÂ” (Ross). According to press articles of the time, the women representing the Adelitas sang Â“we have arrived to defend our oil. Whoever wants to give it to the foreigners, will get the shit kick ed out of him!" (Ross). The Adelitas squad in this protest were supporters of the leftwing populist leader Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador (AMLO), who came together Â“after the stolen 2006 election in a seven-week sit-in that shut down the capitalÂ’s main thoroughfaresÂ” (Ross). Along with other Mexican nationals, the emblematic AdelitasÂ’ main purpose was to paralyze legislative activities and to dema nd a national debate on president Calderon's plans to open up the nationalized petrol eum corporation Pemex to transnational investment (Ross). Unlike previous sexually objectified re presentations of soldaderas, this time their depiction was that of polit icized, outspoken, and se lf-defiant women.
47 Figure 11 Muoz Vargas, Jaime. Ruta Norte Laguna. 2007. Photograph. Web. 27 October 2013. Â“AdelitasÂ” protest against privatization of O il, Mexico City, Spring 2007. The determination of the Adelita squad was witnessed and reported by a foreign journalist. It was very hot the day the prot est took place, and when a U.S. reporter asked one of the Adelitas protesters if she was tired, the woman with the megaphone turned to her compaeras and asked them, "and Berta [one of th em] came to her feet with a loud "No!" and said: "Sure the sun is hot but so wh at? The sun can't stop us, the rain can't stop us, the cold can't stop us and you know why? Because we are right! We are fighting for our oil and for our country. This is the resi stance. We don't get tired" (Ross). These women representing the soldaderas in this prot est seemed to integrate the spirit of the soldadera combatant of the revolution. Their dress and presence, along with BertaÂ’s declarations, demonstrate that La Adelita, although in many instances she is shown as soft and sexually objectified, can also fit the brave and out spoken soldadera. According to Tabea Alexa Linhard, the portrayal of La Adelita as a figure in Mexican popular culture by and large minimizes the challenges experienced by women in
48 the battlefield (44-45). Year s later, however, La AdelitaÂ’s image has been appropriated to portray potential sites of resistance, not in the battlefield per se, but in public discourse and protest as is shown in the protest agai nst the nationalization of Pemex. Today, the Adelita continues to be an icon of resistance in Mexican folklore, music, and culture. Recovering the Historical Memory of Las Soldaderas: Bicentenario (2010) There are times when it is worthwhile to celebrate victories, particularly the independence of a nation. This is an occasion to congregate, unite and parade as part of Â“the [common] beliefs, attitudes and predispos itions that conform a [Mexican] political cultureÂ” (Robert A. Dahl 262-63). The Mexi can people share a comm on birthplace, thus belonging to the same nation. As such, they also share the idea of the nation-state, Â“a sovereign, self-governing political unit that binds together an d expresses the feelings and needs of a single nationÂ” and its people (Bal l and Dagger 14-15). In 2010, the nation of Mexico and its citizens proudly commemorate d 200 years of independence from Spanish rule and 100 years of its revolution that bega n in 1910 with the overthrow of the Dictator Porfirio Daz. As part of the Mexican Bicentennial celebr ation that attracted foreign delegations from thirteen countries, the federal police also participated for the first time ever. As figure 12 shows, women dressed as soldader as marched in the emblematic parade representing the nation-state. It is important to note that it has been customary for only the armed forces to parade during these festiv ities. Nevertheless, on this occasion various historical units and flags also participated (Â“Las fo tos del BicentenarioÂ”).
49 Figure 12 Alexandre, Merighini. Mexico Bicentennial 2010. Mexican Soldaderas in a parade celebrating th e Bicentennial of Mexico's independence from Spain. Web; 29 January 2014. . In regards to the parade including the so ldaderas, it is probable that government money was invested in the actual elaboration of cost umes, dressing and overall representation of these soldad eras. They uniformly wore beautiful and well ironed red, green and yellow skirts with white long sleeve sh irts. The three altern ating colors of their skirts were representative of the Mexican fla g. They also carried high-velocity magazine rifles and wore the crossed bandoliers typically used by t hose who fought in one of the most brutal struggles of th e early 20th Century (Â“Las fotos del BicentenarioÂ”). This parade is the latest embodiment of soldader as as publicly portrayed and representing the Mexican government. Surely, there will be other forms of appropriation of soldaderasÂ’ images in the years to come. Whether they are portrayed as strong and brave female soldiers used for political ends, or as beautiful and sensual objects of desire as portrayed by Mexican
50 popular culture, there is no doubt that the sold adera has become the stoic Mexican female icon of resistance and paradoxical sensuality. To conclude, the image of the soldadera has its origins in the Mexican Revolution and it has evolved as a nationa l icon of Mexican women in mainstream popular culture. Some of the original soldaderas joined th e Mexican Revolution as a way to emancipate themselves from the constrained societal and moral regulations dictat ed by the Catholic Church. Whether voluntarily or not, many of these wo men joined and completely committed themselves to the cause, bravely ri sking their lives and the lives of their children. What is meant by a Â“soldadera,Â” however is not always clear, as we have seen. For some intellectuals, who have explored and written on the topic of Â“soldaderasÂ”, making a clear distinction can be challenging as they served as either female fighters, camp followers or both (Linhard 44). The birth of La Adelita constitutes the first stage in the evolution of the soldaderaÂ’s image. The soldadera portrayed as La Adelita mainly emphasized feminine characteristics of beauty, self-sacrifice a nd pronounced objectification of desire. For instance, in the popular calendars produced annually in Mexico by Angel Martin, La AdelitaÂ’s image as paralleled with Mexican nationalism is shown with her voluptuous breasts supported by two cartri dge belts; long lose hair accompanied by a beautiful face holding the Mexican flag in one hand, a nd a bugle in the other (Arrizn 108). The image of the soldadera, also known as La Adelita, further solidifies when she is introduced to the media: film and play. In the films La Soldadera and La Negra Angustias the directors use opposing poi nts of view (soldier vs. camp follower), to bring
51 more nuances into their portray al, thus her iconic status be gins to emerge in a more multifaceted way, and not as simplistic as th e romantic and sensual Adelita of the corridos and calendars. Although La Adelita is depicted as a sensual and beautiful Mexican icon such as the popular calendars produced annually in Mexico, in recent times, the evolution of the soldadera as a fe male icon of the Mexican Revolution acquires more and more a variety of political purposes that highlight different aspects of her history. Most significantly, in recent political discourse and events she is predominantly portrayed as the strong soldier woman. Surely, there will be other forms of appropriations of soldaderasÂ’ images in the years to come. However, whereas they are portrayed in a range from the brave female fi ghter to the beautiful and sensual objects of desire, there is no doubt that she has become a solid nati onal Mexican female icon of resistance and sensuality. The play by Josefina Niggli is the first time the soldadera reaches even higher iconic status and is used to se rve another purpose. In this cas e, the soldadera is used to strengthen and solidify the Mexican-American identity in the United States. As such, Â“with the birth of the Chicano movement in the 1960s, the name of La Adelita began to represent more of who the soldaderas really were,Â”--brave female soldiers (Fernndez 62). For better or worse, sure ly the Mexican iconic soldader a has made an impression in MexicoÂ’s history. So great was her impressi on perhaps that her sensual yet emblematic image was introduced into Anglo audiences in th e form of a theatrical play. In this way the soldadera served as a bridge of political culture that helped to Â“construct the emerging Mexican-American identityÂ” of the time (Arri zn 107), calling perhaps for the inclusion and final recognition of Mexican Ameri can Â‘othernessÂ’ in the United States.
52 CHAPTER III MILICIANAS During the 1920s, discontent was spread ing all throughout Spain. Indeed, the people were tired of the tyranny of the bour geoisie, and the oppression of Primo de RiveraÂ’s military dictatorship. He was in charge of launching La Falange Espaola (Â“Spanish Phalanx"), which was a Nationalist party inspired by fascism. Eventually, Primo de RiveraÂ’s power started to fade a nd he resigned. King Alfonso XIII continued to govern under a monarchial regime; nonetheless, he lost popular support in the major cities in Spain. With no support, he did not have any other choice but to abdicate from his throne. Political instab ility and tremendous economic hardship were felt at every corner. Women, for their part, were invisible as they lived in utter marginalization in the domestic sphere they were Â“geneticallyÂ” su ited for. Women were considered to be El ngel del Hogar (Â“The Angel of the HomeÂ”), an uncont ested reality so engrained in the collective mind, particularly among men, which e ffectively perpetuated the inferiority of gender myths amongst women (Nash, Â“UncontestedÂ” 28). The arrival of the Second Republic in 1931 changed all that, and brought about the granting of fundamental ri ghts to women, such as the right to vote and hold public office. Women took advantage of these cha nges and affiliated with groups that held radical philosophies Â“that called for the crea tion of a society that was organized along egalitarian principlesÂ” (Lines, Milicianas 39). Elections were called on January 7, 1936 and the popular front was elected. Opposing these republicanos (Republicans) were the so-called nacionalistas or falangistas (Nationalists, Phalangists), who were secretly planning a military coup dÂ’ etat Civil war broke out and after four bloody years of
53 fighting (1935-1939), the revolutionary Republican forces were defeated, along with all the social and political advancements gr anted to women during the Second Republic. The resulting dictatorship of Francisco Fr anco dominated Spanish life from 1939 to 1975. It was during the outbreak of the Civ il War and the intense anarchic-social revolution that the icon of the miliciana (Spanish woman combatant) emerged. Whether a myth or a reality, the miliciana was a woma n who felt she could fight side by side with men and could endure the same harshness men experienced on the ba ttlefields. They fought not only against fascism, but also agai nst gender prejudice. This iconic miliciana, as represented in some of the images and initial propaganda that was used to recruit women to fight in the front lines, wore el mono azul (the blue overall) and carried a rifle (Lines 154-55). In some instances, she also wore a military cap. El mono azul was quite significant, as it was a blue overall that was essentially a military uniform. It signified workersÂ’ pride and freedom, and linked them to Communist and An archist ideologies. In photographs, however, they were often misrepresented. For instance, they were photographed Â“wearing shirts, skirts a nd high heelsÂ” and shown without weapons (Lines 154). Even though they appeared to be in combat action, the truth was that they were only posing for the camera. Inte restingly enough, while these photographs emphasized their beauty and youth, these wome n were not necessarily glamourized since they were also shown performing domestic chores. Milicianas were also known as, republicanas, rojas, libertaria s, comunistas anarquistas (Republicans, Reds, Libertarians, Communists or Anarchists), depending on the organization they were affiliated with. They played an important role in Spanish history, a role that remained repressed for about forty years.
54 FrancoÂ’s death in 1975 presaged the end of his dict atorial regime, and presented an opportunity to break with its oppression. Re presentatives of the po litical spectrum of all sides, however, agreed that in order for th e country to have a future and to establish a true democracy, it was necessary to break co mpletely with the past. This meant a complete eradication of all ties with the past, and the agreement was to adhere to a pact of silence and forgetting. For this reason, collective efforts to co nfront this violent heritage were followed by the appearance in the mid-1980s of various novels and films that represented the Civil War. Fu rthermore, in the 1990Â’s, the increase in interest about the Civil War era and the fate of the Republican s also helped to create a Â“memory boom.Â” This Â“memory boomÂ” in Spain has resulted in the publication of a large number of testimonies and also led to the passage of the Law of Historical Memory in 2007 (Boyd 144). Consequently, depictions of milicianas made their late entrance in the 1990Â’s, in films like Libertarias also known as Juegos de Guerra ( Libertarians or War Games ; 1996), and in literary narratives such as the La voz dormida ( The Sleeping Voice ) by Dulce Chacn published in 2002, whose main func tion was to engage in the transmission of historical memory of wo men and milicianas. As the memory boom in Spain and the ongoing debate is relatively recent, it ha s mainly dealt with the vindication of Los vencidos (Â“The defeated RepublicansÂ”) and the vict ims of the Republican left in the Civil War. As of yet, it has been difficult for the miliciana to become a national symbol of Spanish women. This chapter will examine how and why the image of the miliciana has evolved in past and contemporary representations, and to explain why she was not able to fit specific political, governmental or other purposes in re cent years as did the so ldaderas in Mexico.
55 This chapter approaches her evolution a nd contributions mainly through her early appearance in the Spanish Civil War and social revolution in romanceros (a collection of Spanish poems also sang as ballads), photogr aphy, film, literature and, ultimately, the influence this image had on the formati on of the national identity in Spain. Milicianas in the Spanish Civil Wa r: Historical Background (1930 Â– 1936) In order to understand what brought the emergence of the iconic miliciana and her role during the bloody Spanish Civil War, one must have an understanding of the complex historical background that surrounde d her. In 1930, six years before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in Ju ly 1936, Spain had experienced tremendous political unrest. The overall climate for women was harsh, and Spain was considered Â“one of EuropeÂ’s most backwards so cieties and politiesÂ” (Graham 101). Only a small number of women were act ive in the workforce. According to Eduardo Palomar Bar in his article Â“Las milicianas en la Guerra Civil Espaola,Â” women who worked constituted only 24% of the total population, and 80% of them were single and widows (1). Women workerÂ’s rights were seemi ngly non-existent. Besides, womenÂ’s minimum salaries were well below menÂ’s. The climate they lived in prior to the arrival of the Second Republic was highly patriarchal. This is why women had no voice and often needed their husbandsÂ’ authoriz ation to work. In the case of the woman who worked, her husband was entitled to her pa rtial or complete paid salary, even when they were legally separated. Thus, wome n lived practically disenfranchised.
56 The Second Republic, Spanish Civil War and Social Revolution On February 1936 a progressive popular front government was elected. Later that month, the opposition planned a military coup dÂ’tat to overthrow the progressive government already elected. The Â“pronunciami ento,Â” FrancoÂ’s military coup as it is known in Spanish, came from the Unin Militar Espaola (Military Union of Spain, UMA). The coup dÂ’tat began in Morocco on July 17 of the same year and the next day in Spain. The planners of the well-coordinated Â“pronunciamientoÂ” expected it to be quick and successful. To their surprise, howev er, the people took arms up to defend their progressive Republican government. Because of their resistance, the Nationalists were not able to occupy Madrid and Barcelona. Since the Republican government controlled most of the navy forces, the best troops from North Africa were not ab le to be transported and reach Spanish soil. After the NationalistsÂ’ pleas for help, Adolf Hitler Â“sent twenty Junker Ju-52 planes to transport [Francisco] FrancoÂ’s troop s across the Straits of GibraltarÂ” (Jackson 50). After much blood spilled, in the end, the revolutionary Republican forces were defeated, and along with the demise of the Second Republic, all the political and social advancements that women were granted disappe ared. The defeat was due in part to the conflicting ideologies from the various left -wing Anarchist, Communist and Socialist organizations. What would follow after the de feat in 1939, were thir ty-six long years of brutal dictatorship; Francoist Spain forced women to return to the domestic sphere (Martn Moruno 6).
57 It is important to note however, that before the Civil War (1936-1939) and the planned military coup dÂ’tat to overthrow the progressive government, Spain experienced tremendous positive changes upon the arrival of the Second Republic in 1931. This progressive government granted far reachi ng rights to women via constitutional and legislative reform This was an ambitious call coming from the Republican ideology and the Spanish Socialist party, whose main objec tive was to modernize Spain as a whole, addressing political, economic, social, and cult ural issues all at on ce (Graham 100). This far-reaching platform served to spur the creation of an innovative Constitution (December 1931) which granted fundamental rights to women, such as the right to vote and hold public positions. In 1932, liberal legislat ion was passed pertaining to marriage and divorce laws, which constituted EuropeÂ’s most progressive la ws at the time. With this new legislation, mutual consent of both parties, men and wome n, was required for divorce to take place; moreover, women were granted sole parental custody of children (Palomar Bar 1). The right to abortion was granted four years la ter in 1936. Unimaginable changes were coming forward in a country that had lived under a clerical military dictatorship up until 1930 and where women were practically invisi ble in every single aspect. As Helen Graham points out, Â“in astonish ingly short time, in one of EuropeÂ’s most backwards societies and polities women became th e legal equals of menÂ” (101). The right to vote, in fact, boosted the c onfidence and increased the participation of the Spanish women in the political arena. WomenÂ’s affiliations prior to the Second Republic were limited to Catholic labor unions only (Palomar Bar 1); however, womenÂ’s division of labor unions were also cr eated which, by and large, held principles
58 of anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism (Lin es 39). These philosophies were deeply revolutionary and very much present in th e Republican zone in Spain. Among some of the organizations that women joined were Mujeres Libres (Free Women, ML), inspired by libertarian ideas but organizationally independent of the Confederacin Nacional del Trabajo (National WorkerÂ’s Confederacy, CNT), Partido Obrero de Unificacin Marxista (WorkerÂ’s Party of the Ma rxist Unification, POUM), Unin de Mujeres Antifascistas (Antifascist WomenÂ’s Union, UMA), which were against war and fascism, also known later as Pro Infancia Obrera or UMA Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas (United Socialist Youth, JSU), Partido Comunista de Espaa (Communist Party of Spain, PCE), Partido Socialista Obrero Espaol (Spanish Socialist WorkerÂ’s Party, PSOE), Crculo Socialista del Oeste (West Socialist Circle, CSO) and Unin General de Trabajadores (General WorkersÂ’ Union, UGT) (Pal omar Bar and Lines 2, 171-177). According to Lisa Lines on her book, Milicianas: Women in Combat in the Spanish Civil War, the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936 was the apex of many years of political turmoil and intolerable religious conformity in Spain. Besides, at the same time the Civil War was taking pl ace, a profound social revolution emerged within Â“the country side of Republican SpainÂ” (38). The abuse suffered at the hands of employees and the oppression of the Church we re no longer bearable (38). As a result, the oppressed took arms and revolted agains t the economic and social systems and demanded change. The revolt was extensive: Â“churches were burned and used for other purposes, people stopped wearing business shirts, hats, ties or any other forms of dress that were identified as bourge oisÂ” (Orwell 70). The social revolution that took place in Â“the Republican zone,Â” in c onjunction with the Spanish Ci vil War, created a favorable
59 situation for women that brought with it the em ergence of the iconic miliciana (39). The process of change was quite dynamic and allo wed women to develop the confidence and motivation to work and to join the militia forces, thus fitting into new roles that previously were inaccessi ble to them (Palomar Bar and Lines, 3, 42-43). Milicianas: Front Line Combatants and Non-Combatants As stated earlier, Â“ the combat role played by militia womenÂ” purported a shift in feminine gender roles that was transpiring in the Republican zone as a result of both the Spanish Civil War and the social re volution of 1936 (Lines, 168). During those years, Spain was divided roughl y in two, those who supported and wanted to restore or preserve the Second Republic (left wing), the Republicans, and those who favored fascism, nacionalistas ,Â‘the NationalistÂ’ (right wing). WomenÂ’s decisions to aid the war effort were mainly to defend the progressive political and social rights acquired during the Second Republic and to fight agains t fascism (Encarna11-14). Milicianas took roles as either Â“front linersÂ” or Â“rearguardersÂ” and were also referred to as republicanas, rojas or libertarias (Republicans, Reds or Libertarians). There are distinctions between the milicianas who fought on the front lines and the milicianas who were assigned to the rearguard. Lisa Lines, in her article Â“Female Combatants in the Spanish Civil War: Milicianas on the Front Lines and in the Rearguard,Â” provides a clear distinction: Front line milicianas were with few exceptions integrated into the Republican fighting force as member s of mixed-gender battalions. In contrast, the milicianas in the rearguard were largely organized into women-only battalions. A fu rther difference is that front line combatants
60 moved around Spain depending on the needs of the conflict, whereas milicianas of the rearguard remained living in their homes. WomenÂ’s battalions in the rearguard played a defensive role and participated in combat only when the battle came to thei r cities and towns. There is little evidence of movement of women betw een the front lines and rearguard. (168-69) One of the first waves of women who joined as combatants within the first days of the war was the Anarchists from the UGT and POUM (Palomar Bar 3). Many of these women simply saw taking up arms as an immediate response to fascist oppression, just as men did (Nash, Â“Women in WarÂ” 273) According to the following interview there was no division of labor. An interv iew with Anarchist miliciana Concha Prez Collado by Lisa Lines sheds light on this: Look, exactly what the men did, well th atÂ’s what we women did. At any rate, look, because we were women we always took on some extra work, like cleaning more or cooking some thing. But then we stood guard equally with the men. When there was th e attack at Belchite, we went into the attack equally with the men. We did what we humanly could; some of us [women] were stronger than ot hers, same as the men. (Marn 356) An article published in one of the P OUMÂ’s columns further reiterates Prez ColladoÂ’s testimony. According to the column based on an account of Captain Mika Etchebhre, there was no gender division of labor; that is, both men and women participated in combat equally (Lines 171) Captain Mika Etchebhre was another
61 miliciana, a young Argentinian married to Hippo lyte Etchebhre who died soon after taking charge of the militia troops. As a resu lt, brave and young Mika took charge of the militia troops and led them with certainty and determination. The following is a phrase that embodies the commitment she had towards her fellow male comrades as well as her astonishing war endurance: Â“L os protejo y me protegen. Son mis hijos y al mismo tiempo son mi padre. Les preocupa lo poco que como y lo poco que duermo y, a la vez, encuentran milagroso que resista tanto o m s que ellos los rigores de la guerraÂ” (Â“I protect them and they protect me. They are my children and at the same time they all are my father. They are worried for how little I eat or sleep, yet, at the same time they find miraculous the fact that I am able to resist the harshness of war as much or even more than they doÂ”; Portela). There were many other remarkable miliciana combatants like Mika Etchebhre, who also became famous and endured war side by side with their male comrades. Examples include Lina Odena, Rosario S nchez Mora, Dolores Ibrruri, the Basque Casilda Mndez, Mara Martnez Sorroche, Li bertad Rdenas, Julia Manzanal Prez, Comandante Chico Â‘Small CommanderÂ’ and Margarita Fuente (Palomar Bar 3). In figure 13 below, a photo from Etchebhre is pr ovided. The woman in the picture strikes a pose that is both serious and determined. Sh e stares directly into the camera and does not smile; her look is almost defiant. Her at tire is not particularly feminine, but is military. Though the belt is military, it emphasizes her small waist denoting her femininity. The pistol might s uggest that she is an officer. She clearly appears to be a young female, yet displays a t ough and masculine attitude.
62 Figure 13 Captain Mika Etch ebhre (1935-1938). Fundacin Andreu Nin 2000; Web. 7 February 2014. Milicianas who were in the front line s also performed many auxiliary tasks, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, sanitary services, caring for the wounded and political work. In some cas es these tasks were carried out by both men and women equally, according to Concha Prez ColladoÂ’s tes timony. In other instances, however, women tended to do more in the domes tic role. Overall, women Â“suffered [a] double burdenÂ” as it was Â“expected from them to complete [domestic] chores as well as fulfilling the same combat duties as the menÂ” (Lines, Â“Female CombatantsÂ” 180). As a result, these women were constantly exhauste d as they were servi ng as combatants, on the one hand, and as auxiliary support forces on the other. To clearl y make a distinction and determine exactly which women were stri ctly combatants and which were strictly auxiliaries can be difficult. Gender prejudice was also prevalent for all milicianas involved, of course in some columns more than others For instance, in the Pasionaria Column, two milicianas complained that men wo uld restrain their combat appearances in
63 the battlefield by not providi ng them with guns be cause they were women and could aid with the domestic chores (181). Milicianas in the Rearguard, as Lines points out in her article, Â“were armed, trained and prepared for combat although not al l participated in some form of combat during the civil warÂ” (183). These mili cianas, and their contributions, are often overlooked in historiography. The women of the rearguard outnumbered those in the front lines. The milicianas in the rearguard we re stationed in their homes and cities and were expected to defend them when deemed necessary. For instance, the Â“Lina Odena Battalion in Madrid was formed soon after the war began, with the purpose of providing military training for women in the rearguardÂ” (184). Thus, it can be said that these milicianas in the rearguard demonstrated une quivocally that the participation of women in the military was not only openly accepted but also became part of the everyday life in the Republican zone (183). Even though, as Lines points out, women in the military became somewhat part of the everyday life in the Republi can zone, women were still s ubjected to the stigma of their gender. Despite the progr essive rhetoric used by left -wing organizations all along, women were still considered to be inferior be ings in contrast to men. In her article, Â“Un/contested Identities: Motherhood, Sex Reform and the Modernization of Gender Identity in Early Twentieth-Century Spain,Â” Mary Nash points out this aspect of domesticity in women. That is Â“the notion that women were inferior to men, [which by and large] tended to preva il in the collective mentalit y of this periodÂ” (27). El ngel del Hogar (Â“The Angel of the HouseÂ”) a familiar trope in Western culture, became the common representation of Spanish women (28). With this mentality still engrained in the
64 collective mind of men, it was not surprising to see coercive policies implemented to persuade milicianas to leave the front lines. Mary Na sh quotes Scanlon in her article, Â“Women in War: Milicianas and Armed Co mbat in Revolutionary Spain, 1936-1939Â” and gives credence on how Largo Caballero persuade d milicianas to leave the front lines: He, in fact, Â“ordered a military disposition or dering women to withdraw from the militiaÂ” (276). The Catalan Communist Party even us ed the slogan Â“Men to the War Fronts,Â” Â“Women to the Home Front;Â” a strong messa ge to encourage women to abandon the front lines because their skills, they said, would be more useful at home (277). Following is an excerpt from a speech made by a Communist spokesman that gives light to this gender discrimination: We must acknowledge the merit of those brave girls, who in the flower of youth offered their lives in defense of freedom; but we must not forget that in order to assist an operator who is trying to save life in serious danger, a certain degree of knowledge and preparation is necessary, which unfortunately, not all women possess. And that is the reason why, despite the enthusiasm these beautiful milicianas have, they are of little use on many occasions in the barracks or at the hospitals. (qtd. In Nash 277. Â“A les dones de Catalunya: Organitzem el s Groups de Reraguarda! Â” Treball, 12 Sept. 1936) As expected, various milicianas abandoned the front as instructed because they truly thought that their skills were going to be more useful at home; others continued to participate as rearguards and only provided domestic services to the Column, but others did not. To the contrary, some milicianas adam antly requested to stay in their role as
65 combatants. Milicianas Manuela and Nati can attest to this. In the following excerpt, Manuela asked the EtchehbereÂ’s column to acce pt them, as they were not satisfied with work in the unit they belonged to, the Pasionaria Â’s Column. Manuela started her speech by introducing herself and saying: Â“M y name is Manuela Â…IÂ’m from the Pasionaria Column, but I rather stay here with you all. Th ey never wanted to give guns to the girls. We were only good for washing dishes and clothe s. Our quarter is empty. Most of the militia fights elsewhere. The others are helping Martnez de Aragn to defend the cathedral, they say. The captain wants all the girls to leav e Sigenza.Â” To which, one of the EtchehbereÂ’s militia men responded: Â“Then why havenÂ’t you left?Â” Manuela responded: Â“Because we want to help.Â” Â“My friend whose name is Nati, also wants to stay with youÂ” (Etchehbere 73). However, initially, they were rejected on claims that they did not know how to use a gun. To this Nati responded: Â“Yes we do [know how to use a gun], we can even dismantle it, gr ease it, everything Â…We can also fill the cartridges with dynamiteÂ… but if you wonÂ’t give us a gun, let us at least stay to cook and clean; this floor is very dirt y.Â” After hearing this, Manuela interjected immediately and said: Â“That, we wonÂ’t do. I have he ard it said that in your column the milicianas have the same rights as the men, and they donÂ’t [jus t] wash clothes or dishes.Â” Manuela proceeded by saying: Â“I did not come to the front to die for the revolution with a dish cloth in my handÂ” (Etchehbere 74). The Etchehbere militia column applauded after hearing this and both women were allowed to join the column. Milicianas in the front lines and milicianas in the rearguard played a pivotal role in the revolution and the Civ il War as a whole. Their sole feminine presence in the barricades was already consider ed revolutionary. Most of these women joined to defend
66 political and social rights acquired during th e Second Republic, and to defeat fascism. The role played by miliciana combatants in the front lines has great significance as it purported a change in gender roles that occu rred in the Republican zone, and that had never been seen before. Both men and wome n were mingled to fight against fascism on equal terms and were armed, trained and prepar ed for combat even though not all of them participated as combatants (Lines 168, 183). They also became iconic visual symbols of heroines depicting strength and liberty, as the propaganda showed initially. Nevertheless, much propaganda was dedicated to deterr ing their acquired pr estige. They were humiliated by stating that they lacked the necessary preparation in the battlefield and, worst of all, they were linked to whores (Palomar Bar 5). Polarized images have some truth in them and, naturally, they can also be misleading. This was the case of the miliciana Â’s image as she struggl ed to fit into the contradictory versions of her own gender: on one side was tradition, and Â“a revolutionary new womanÂ” on the other (Lannon 218). The representation of the miliciana in photography and other propaganda venues is wo rth examining. Thus, the next section will address gender imagery and romanceros. Romanceros, Photography, and Poster Art: Representation of the Heroines of the Republican Left The appearance of milicianas in romanceros and photography wearing their emblematic mono azul uniform (blue overall) constitutes the first stage in the evolution of the milicianaÂ’s image as a Spanish icon. On e of the salient characteristics during the Second Republic was the intensity and urgent ca ll embedded in its political platform. In
67 the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the combination of new ideals along with the enormous emotional effect caused primarily by the Republican resist ance created Â“una atmsfera de exaltacin pica que tuvo, como era inevitable, su s reflejos sobre la poesaÂ” (Â“an elated epic climate that inevitably was reflected in poetryÂ”; Mayone Dias, 433). Artists would write poems on the trenches, duri ng combat recess, or even in cities that were bombarded on a regular basis. Poetry was created under great tension and pressure, whether on the front lines or in the reargua rd. In other words, these poems were considered works of the moment and thus began their publication in pamphlets which were later disseminated on the radio, in thea ter and film, and also sung by the blind on the streets and plazas of Ma drid (Mayone Dias 433-34). The wartime publications and ballads created in the spirit of the Republican resistance are known as romanceros. Romancero is a Spanish term that encompasses a collection of Spanish romances (poems) also sang as ballads that gave voice to the struggles presented in the Spanish Civil War. Various milicianas reached the status of heroines during the war; poems were writt en and ballads were sung on their behalf describing their bravery and sacrifice in the front lines, among them were: Rosario Snchez Mora, known as Â“Rosario DinamiteraÂ” (Â“Rosario DynamiterÂ”), who lost a limb in a training exercise and Lina Odena, who died in combat. Mara Teresa Len and the famous poet Rafael Alberti, created a wartime political publication targeting the popular miliciana combatants called El Mono Azul (The Blue Overall) (Len, Memoria 285-87). El Mono Azul was Â“a pamphlet that aim[ed] to bring to and from the front the clear and liv ely meaning of [the] antifascist struggleÂ” (Â“una hoja volandera que quiere llevar a los frent es y traer de ellos el sentido claro, vivaz
68 y fuerte de nuestra lucha an tifascistaÂ”; Linhard 77). El Mono Azul became one of the most famous publications and all Republican artists were encouraged to send their poems; nonetheless, most of the poems were signed by famous poets such as Miguel Hernndez, Lorenzo Varela, Ramos Gascn, Jos Pla y Bertrn, Eugenio Sastre and others lesser known poets who remained anonymous. The images of Rosario Snchez Mora and Lina Odena are vivid examples of milicianas as combatants in the front lines. Their representation in poetry addressed the myth and romance of their existence and subs equent heroic sacrific e. Rosario Snchez Mora was a young miliciana member of the JSU (United Socialist Youth, JSU), who decided to join the front lines. During a training exercise, she lost a limb. Miguel Hernndez met her and was inspired to write a poem in 1937 titled, Â“Rosario, DinamiteraÂ” (Â“Rosario, DynamiterÂ”). The poe m exalts the Spanish womenÂ’s bravery and sacrifice displayed in war and wa s subsequently published in the Romancero de la Resistencia espaola, a collection of poetry and ballads from the Spanish resistance: Rosario, dinamitera, sobre tu mano bonita celaba la dinamita sus atributos de fiera. Nadie al mirarla creyera que haba en su corazn una desesperacin, de cristales, de metralla
69 ansiosa de una batalla, sedienta de una explosin. Era tu mano derecha, capaz de fundir leones, la flor de las municiones y el anhelo de la mecha. Rosario, buena cosecha, alta como un campanario sembrabas al adversario de dinamita furiosa y era tu mano una rosa enfurecida, Rosario. Buitrago ha sido testigo de la condicin de rayo de las hazaas que callo y de la mano que digo. Â¡Bien conoci el enemigo la mano de esta doncella, que hoy no es mano porque de ella, que ni un solo dedo agita, se prend la dinamita
70 y la convirti en estrella! Rosario, dinamitera, puedes ser varn y eres la nata de las mujeres, la espuma de la trinchera. Digna como una bandera de triunfos y resplandores, dinamiteros pastores, vedla agitando su aliento y dad las bombas al viento del alma de los traido res. (Puccini 93-4). Rosario, dynamiter, above your beautiful hand dynamite was concealed and the furious attributes. No one by seeing her would have ever believed what remained in her heart a desperation, of crystals, grapeshot anxious of a battle, with thirst of an explosion.
71 It was your right hand side, capable of melt lions, the flower of the ammunitions and the yearning wick. Rosario, good harvest, tall as the bell tower strew the adversary of furious dynamite and was your hand a rose enraged, Rosario. Buitrago have been witness of the lightning condition of the great deed fallen and the hand I say. The enemy knew well the hand of this maiden, that is no longer a hand, because without moving a single finger, it ignited the dynamite and made her a star! Rosario, dynamiter,
72 you could be a man and you are the cream of women, the foam of the trench. Dignified as a flag of victory and radiance, dynamite shepherds, seeing her beating breath and give the bombs to the wind to the traitorsÂ’ souls. There are many recitals and ve rsions of songs based on th is poem. Some of them are songs by Jos Luis Garca, while anot her version is a song by Vicente Monera (Garca and Monera). The poems and songs pay homage to Republican women fighters and their sacrifice. Lina Odena, was yet another heroine celebrated in the romancero tradition Odena was a young Communist miliciana leader between nineteen and twenty years of age, who died on the battlefields of Granada. She took her own life with the last remaining bullet she had in her weapon to a void enemy capture. In the Â“Romance a Lina OdenaÂ” (Â“Ballad for Lina OdenaÂ”) Eugenio Sa stre wrote: "Ella misma se mat, / no consinti que salvajes, / mancharan su honor en vida, / y su cuerpo apualasen" (Â“She killed herself, / she did not allow the savage s to taint her honor while alive, / nor did she consent for her body to be stabbedÂ”; Fuentes 18). Furthermore, Eugenio Sastre also emphasizes OdenaÂ’s honor: Â“Una mujer de cora je, / que supo morir de honra, / antes que
73 vivir cobardeÂ” (Â“A courageous woman, / w ho knows how to die with honor, / before living like a cowardÂ”; Linhard 123). In the poem by Ramos Gascn, he emphasizes OdenaÂ’s feminine attributes but also her commanderÂ’s uniform: Ojos del viento te ven el correaje de ncar, tu traje de comandante y tu camisa bordada, y lgrimas de roco, refrescaban tu garg anta. (Fuentes 18) The eyes of the wind, straps of nacre, your commanderÂ’s uniform, your embroided shirt, and misty tears, streamed down your neck. In the romance written by Lorenzo Varela, Lina Odena becomes a protector of liberty, mothers, brides and a defender of the land: T caste, Lina Odena, pero no tus libertades. que de Mlaga a Granada, tierra, trigos y olivares,
74 y las novias y las madres no temen ya a criminales (123). You fell, Lina Odena, but not your liberties. from Mlaga to Granada, land, wheat and olive fields, and the brides and the mothers no longer fear the criminals (Linhard 123). Romanceros constituted a thriving popul ar culture that mirrored the political happenings in Spain. However, in addition to romanceros, the Spanish Civil War created a new discourse relating to women that Â“t ook a dramatic international character.Â” Consequently, this event was widely photogra phed by the internationa l and Spanish press (Lines, Milicianas 152). The milicianaÂ’s iconic role was a subject of discussion on the radio, newspapers and magazines, in meetings of political and womenÂ‘s groups and conferences (Lines 38). International newspapers like the French Regards and the British The Daily Herald took note of the milicianas provoking debates pertai ning their role during war time and their depictions (Martn Moruno 7). For instance, in ReynoldsÂ’ News on July 26, 1936, Spanish women were compared to the figure of the Â‘Amazn,Â’ as the title read: Â“The Spanish Amazons in the Thick of the Fight Â” (Brothers 83). The word Â‘Amazn,Â’ according to Douglas HarperÂ’s Online Etymological Dictionary, originates from the Greek term that signifies Â“one of a race of female warrior in Scythia.Â” The word derived
75 from Â“ a without + mazos breasts,Â” thus, Â‘AmazonÂ’ mean s Â“women without breasts,Â” a reference to women archers who would mutilate themselves to be better warriors. The milicianas or women in the military depicted as Â‘Amazons,Â’ carried a unisex symbol in the British opinion, which broke with Â“gender roles because they refused their role as mothers in order to fight against a male enemyÂ” (Martn Moruno 8). The Spanish press also took notice of th ese revolutionary women who enlisted in the front lines and Â“appeared as an image most commonly identified with the figure of the milicianaÂ” (Lines, Milicianas 152). Key newspapers from the left wing political and Independent press photographed them and were u tterly similar in terms of dress code and pose; however, some distinctions became pr evalent particularly in contrast to how milicianos (Â“male soldiersÂ”) were depicted or photographed. For instance, in some images, milicianas were photographed when they engaged in combat and were firing their weapon (Lines 152). In others, how ever, they are posing for the camera. The similarities were that most of them wore el mono azul (the blue overall, sometimes they wore overalls as in figure 14), a uniform that was essentially military (and which signified the workerÂ’s pride and freedom), and that they carried a rifle. In some instances, they also wore a military cap. Despite the fact that the blue overall was in some sense a masculine outfit, Patricia Greene and Mary Nash have argue d that these posters [and photographs] were, for the most part, presented to a male audience. For this reason, they had the tendency to highlight the milicianasÂ’ attractiveness (Linha rd 52) more than their skills. Figure 14 below shows a recruitment poster of a milicia na holding a rifle on her side wearing the blue overall. According to Linhard in her book Fearless Women in the Mexican
76 Revolution and the Spanish Civil War Â“this eroticized figure proc laims in Catalan: Â“Les milicies us necessitenÂ” (The militias need you), yet, the militias, pictured in the background of the poster, consist only of ma le soldiers, sternly marching into battleÂ” (52). Figure 14 Miliciana wearing the mono azul Lucha por la Memoria Histrica (documentales y fotografas) Milicianas 1935-1938; Web; 12 February, 2014. Images may be interpreted with various meanings and are able to tell powerful stories. The task of evaluating images or photographs, however, is challenging because it tends to be fairly subjective Author Lisa Lines engaged precisely with the task of evaluating the representation of milicianas in various newspapers, magazines and articles from the first twelve months of the Spanis h Civil War and did it with great detail and sophistication. In her book Milicianas: Women in Combat in the Spanish Civil War Lines examined the Communist, Anarchist, Socialis t and Independent press to evaluate the
77 biased gender role for women as represente d in photographs and pr opaganda of and about milicianas. After carefully observing, comp aring and contrasting all of the photographs, illustrations, posters and articles included in their respective newspapers and magazines from each press, Lines draws interesting conclusions regarding the overall representation of the milicianas during the first year of the Spanish Civil War. The Communist press for instance, feat ured twenty-eight photographs of milicianas in the daily newspaper Mundo Obrero It appears that the intention of some of these photographs was to show women engage d in a military training (154). She points out that when a group of male soldiers is undertaking military training, which includes instruction on how to use a weapon, the imag e of men training includes the appropriate attire: militia uniforms and boots, appropriate weapons, but also arms, rifles and/or muskets and some sort of sobriety. Noneth eless, with the depictions of women in training, Â“in five of the se ven photographs, these women ar e pictured wearing shirts, skirts and high heelsÂ” (154). Furthermore, in five other photographs the women are shown with no weapons. Is it possible to re ceive the appropriate training and learn how to use a weapon without having one? The answ er is obvious. Just as a piano student needs a piano to learn how to play it, a sold ier needs his weapon to learn how to use it at any given military training. Desp ite this fact, the intentions of the press might have been good in nature. One can only wonder what th e viewers thought about those miliciana photographs in skirts and high heels with captions next to them reading Â“milicianas undertaking military training.Â” According to Lines, Â“the emphasis of these photographs is clearly not on the battle-readiness of th ese women. Rather, the traditional appearance of the women is emphasized, and these photogr aphs represent women adhering to their
78 traditional gender roleÂ” (154). And, the traditi onal gender role in th is case is to overly stress their feminine features to the point of ridicule. An example of this is shown below in figure 15: a widely popular photo that displays a miliciana posing for the camera wearing high heels and an attire slightly different than the blue overall or military uniform, and she wears no cap. In contrast photographs of men aiming their guns during combat while wearing a suit and a tie as well as formal shoes are not shown in any of the aforementioned press (154). Figure 15 Miliciana posing for the camera. Lucha por la Memoria Histrica (documentales y fotografas) Milicianas 1935-1938; Web; 12 February, 2014. As shown in figure 15, another importan t feature found in these photographs is the posing. Pictures of Republican milicianas in Mundo Obrero Â“appeared to have been stagedÂ” (155), as such, they are standing s till and directly faci ng the camera and smiling widely, with most of them showing their teethÂ” (155) One photograph in figure 16
79 displays a miliciana smiling w ith an angelical look as if she is almost incapable of shooting the rifle that re sts on her left shoulder. Figure 16. Miliciana posing for the camera. Lucha por la Memoria Histrica (documentales y fotografas) Milician as, 1935-1938; Web; 12 February, 2014. Photographs of male soldiers in Mundo Obrero for example, emphasized their activity, and tended to picture them in action or combat, firing their weapons rather than standing still. And these often do not appear to have been staged like the milicianas (155). Moreover, there are no photographs of male soldiers cooking, doing laundry, or doing any of those auxiliary tasks that in many military columns both men and women did as described earlier in Concha Prez Co lladoÂ’s testimony. Inst ead, the independent Republican newspaper La Voz published a great number of photographs, for instance as the one shown in figure 17, Â“depicting milic ianas sewing, washing clothes and cooking (164) and never published a Â“single phot o of a woman aiming a gunÂ” (166).
80 Figure 17 Milicianas performing auxiliar y chores. Lucha por la Memoria Histrica (documentales y fotografas) Milicianas 1935-1938; Web; 12 February, 2014. Furthermore, the majority of the photos of milicianas appeared on their own without a supporting article. In the Communist press magazine Mujeres, the majority of the photographs of the milician as Â“are all posed and picture them marching, or standing and smiling, with their rifles and arms at their sideÂ” (157). Only two photographs displayed the milicianas pointing at their guns but, again, these are not photographs of actual combat. In Ahora however, milicianas were portrayed in a more positive light. In one of the photographs a miliciana is featured in combat as well as two milicianos or male soldiers Â“crouching behind a rock, and pointing their rifles at the unseen enemyÂ” (158). However, the language used in captions and articles to describe the milicianas was usually to accredit their Â“beauty, youth, enthus iasm and courage rather than any specific military actionsÂ” (158). Overall, the repres entations of miliciana s in the Communist press were gender biased.
81 In contrast to the Communist press, th e Anarchist press did not portray large numbers of milicianas during the war. According to LinesÂ’ analysis, the Anarchist press and propaganda did not publish any photographs of milicianas aiming or firing their weapons, or taking part in combat. Additiona lly, some representations in the Anarchist press seemed to struggle to find a common ground between fe mininity and belligerency. For instance, the newspaper Confederacin Nacional del Trabajo (WorkerÂ’s National Confederacy, CNT) showed an image of a miliciana, Rosita Snchez, with a pistol around her hip while at the same time hol ding a baby with affection (160). This miliciana was also photographed by the magazine Ahora on August 26, 1936, she was serving in the front lines in Extr emadura, Spain. In the picture she is smiling, overtly displaying her teeth while the baby seems happy to be with his mother as seen in figure 18 (Â“Imgenes de la Guerra Ci vilÂ”). Even though th ere are photographs of male soldiers holding babies, it appears that women were more likely to be expected to show their motherly side in these types of pictures. Furthermore, the Anarchist newspaper Tierra y Libertad included illustrations or posters of milicianas that were printed next to articles that in no way relate d to them. The absence of empty captions and the lack of detail when referring to the illustrations were prevalent.
82 Figure 18 Miliciana holding a baby. Lucha por la Memoria Histrica (documentales y fotografas) Milicianas 1935-1938; Web; 12 February, 2014. On the other hand, the Anarchist propaga nda posters did a fair job portraying women in combat and having a leading role. For example, according to Lines, the CNT created a poster presenting the slogan Â“Â¡No Pasarn!Â” (Â“They Shall Not Pass!Â”) that Â“clearly represents milicianas in a positive lightÂ” (160). The poster shows Â“an anarchist militia in battleÂ” and includes a miliciana firing at the enemy with her rifle. Furthermore, Â“the militiawoman is situated in a position higher than the militiamen who surround her, as she is standing with one knee up on the wa ll. The two men next to her are crouching and the rest of the militia are in the background, charging forward. A dead militiamen lies over the wall in the foregroundÂ” (160). C ontrary to Lines, historians like Kelly Phipps contend that milicianas were portrayed not as real women fighters as discussed in the poster above, but rather as fiction ---a mere symbolic role.
83 Another feature that was emphasized was of course the milicianaÂ’s beauty. In an article titled Â“Mujeres Herocas Â” (Â“Heroic WomenÂ”) printed in Tierra y Libertad the author writes the following: Â“her beauty and agility impress me, and I question her. Yes, I was not mistaken. She is a woman [a milicia na]. And she paces back and forth, with a rifle on her shoulder, and she carries herself upright and severely, w ith strict attention, eyes watching to prevent a possible enemy att ackÂ” (qtd. in Lines 160161). First, the authorÂ’s reaction was of appa rent surprise upon identifying the soldierÂ’s gender. The author expressed his surprise in writing and perhaps w ondered how it was possible to have a beautiful woman displaying such skillf ul masculine characteristics? Again, as Lines points out in her chapter, Â“the represen tations of milicianas in the Anarchist press highlight the dichotomy between femininity and militancyÂ” (160). The Socialist press and propaga nda in the daily newspaper Claridad the daily newspaper of the PSOE, in particular, presented even fewer photographs of the milicianas, and did not express clear support fo r the milicianas as is shown in the last published article where milicianas were portray ed in a very negative light (163). The independent Republican press and propaga nda reinforced the Â“traditional gender stereotypesÂ” of women. As such, attributes pertaining to their physical feminine appearance were taken into account and not their actual military abilities (163). It appears that the smaller inde pendent newspapers such as Crnica, Estampa and La Voz followed the same model as ABC and portrayed the traditiona l genderÂ’s role for women, while at the same time justifying their combat ant role in the battlefield. The Independent press used more words like Â“young,Â” Â“pretty Â” and Â“beautifulÂ” when referring to milicianasÂ’ qualities. In contrast, the word s Â“braveÂ” and Â“valiantÂ” were used less to
84 describe them. In accordance with Lines, there was a purpose behind this Â“constant referral to the youth, beauty and feminine qua lities of the milicianas,Â” and the purpose was to make Â“fighting feminineÂ” (166). In this regard, the m ilicianaÂ’s beauty and youthful qualities are emphasized in an atte mpt for women not to lose their womanhood despite their role as combatants, thus making it more acceptable for society. The portrayal of milicianas wearing their emblematic mono azul uniform in romanceros and photography constitutes the first stage in the evolution of the milicianaÂ’s image as a Spanish icon. In photography the miliciana has been portrayed as a young and beautiful heroine of the Republican left. The romanceros of the Spanish Civil War portrayed her as a heroic miliciana combatant, such as Rosario Snchez Mora and Lina Odena. Artists from all backgrounds and cal iber found a venue to express the Republican resistance in writing and songs. As such, ro manceros gave birth to a thriving but shortlived popular culture th at mirrored the political happeni ngs in Spain. Without a doubt, the Republican romanceros are an im portant element of the history of Los vencidos (Â“The defeated RepublicansÂ”) and of the milicianas in particular In the representation of milicianas in photography, overall, the Commun ist press showed more interest in representing milicianas than the standard Anarchist press. However, both presses failed to present milicianas in real combat, it appe ars that the Anarchist press accentuated more the milicianasÂ’ physical attributes than their be lligerent activities. The same can be said for the Independent Republican press where youth and beauty were emphasized; nonetheless, the writers of all these captions wanted to portray the milicianas in a positive light (167). As for the Socialist press, it di d support the milicianas initially, however, that changed overtime. In fact, th e last article published pertaini ng to the milicianas was a
85 direct attack against them. It accused them of being prostitutes and of conspiring with the Nationalist enemy (163). Film: Libertarias by Vicente Aranda: Rise a nd Defeat of the Milicianas The film Libertarias, also released as Juegos de Guerra (1996) by film director and screen writer Vicente Aranda, has become a Â“must seeÂ” classic in studies of the Iberian Peninsula. The inception of films like Libertarias constitutes a second stage form of reinforcement that contributed to the evolution of the miliciana, mainly because very little was known about the exact role play ed by miliciana combatants and rearguard milicianas prior to the release of this film. For instance, the general public was unaware of the work of the Anarchist womenÂ’s organization Mujeres Libres (Free Women) that had formed a few months prior to the Sp anish Civil War, in April 1936 (Fernndez Martnez 255). The f ilm clearly portrays Los vencidos (Â“The defeated RepublicansÂ”), that is, those who were in favor of liberty and who thought that utopia and revolution were possible. In other words, the film re presents the Republican side through the eyes of Anarchist female combatants. The film is based on the novel Libertarias (also known as La monja libertaria, The Anarchist Nun ; 1985, 1995) by Antonio Rabinad Muniesa. For some critics RabinadÂ’s novel was not a clear reflection of the historical occurrences in Anarchist Catalonia in comparison to the film Tierra y Libertad (Land and Freedom; 1995) by Ken Loach. Stephen Schwartz, however, contends that Tierra y Libertad, aggravates the Â“error of analyzing the war through foreign, rath er than Spanish eyesÂ” (503). This is especially critical with Rabi nadÂ’s novel because he was considered to be one of the Spanish authors who give the best portrayal of Barcelona during the post-war years.
86 Rabinad was able to portray the Anar chist rebellious women in a crude, humiliating and positive light all at the same time, while keeping a Spanish perspective. Aranda took this material one step further to produce an epic story of six members of Mujeres Libres (Free Women, the Anarchist womenÂ’s organization), which gave light to the spirit of the revolutionary moveme nt. According to Schwartz, the film Libertarias Â“was also produced with the cooperation of the remaining CNT in Spain, and includes magnificent spectacle and crowd scenes in wh ich Aranda brought to life the newsreels and stock images that had elec trified the world in 1936Â” (504). Furthermore, the film is blunt, descriptive, and does not shy away fr om showing graphic ero tic scenes of women and milicianas being humiliated or prostituted or from showing the cruelties of war. In this way the movie clearly highlights what was perhaps the major obstacle faced by these Anarchist revolutionary women: while in combat they also had to fight male chauvinism. As mentioned previously, during the bloody Spanish Civil War, the general and dictator Francisco Franco ( 1892-1975) rose to power and ove rthrew the democratically elected Second Republic. He did this with the help of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Once Franco took complete power, he bega n to persecute his Republican political opponents, which are also known as Los vencidos. The Franco dictatorship also took other drastic measures: it repressed Â“the culture and language of SpainÂ’s Basque and Catalan regions, censured the media and othe rwise exerted absolute control over the countryÂ” (Solsten and Meditz). Conseque ntly, all the films pr esented to the public during his dictatorial regime were Â“imbued with highly cons ervative forms of Catholic ethics. Indeed, even during the Republic, th e authoritarian studioÂ’s first film was the religious narrative La hermana San Sulpicio Â” released in 1931 (Evans 215 ). This is just
87 one example of the many approaches that we re taken, all of them highlighting extremely conservative Catholic values. In 1975, Sp ain was able to transition to democracy beginning with the death of Francisco Franc o, which allowed for other forms of womenÂ’s cultural and political expression. In the film Libertarias the rise and defeat of the Republican revolution and war is represented with harsh scenes of the obvious consequences of battle. Nonetheless, the film offers uplifting speeches from fervent Anarchist milicianas, who with great valor and utopian idealism fight until they are brutally killed by the National army. Amongst these Anarchist milicianas, members of the Mujeres Libres (Free Women) were three sewers, a nun, a spiritualist a nd also prostitutes. Desp ite their determination and commitment to the cause, they faced many obstacles, among the hardest being women and, although not all of them, prostitutes. Wome n were blamed for the spread of venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancies, and subs equently, were ordered to leave the front lines and to return to where they belonged, according to the stereotype, to the home as Â“they were of little use on many occasions in the barracksÂ” (Nash, Â“Women in WarÂ” 277). However, they adamantly refused to do so. The following lines from PilarÂ’s speech in the film can attest to the high prin ciples shared among them: Â“We want to fight with bullets so that we can cl aim our part in the struggleÂ… It would be a mistake to keep us at home knitting! We want to die like me n, not like servants!Â” And so they did. They died tragically in their last battle ( Libertarias ). The film reflects the initial acknowledgment of the milicianas as combatants and to a lesser extent the milicianas in the re arguard. In the Independent and left wing political press was well publicized. Duri ng the war, the left wing press and the
88 Independent presses in the republic zone im mediately took notice of the presence of women in combat and the images of the milicianas, which conveyed a visual message that was politically militant. The images were eye catching and demonstrated strength, bravery and purposefulness (Lines, Milicianas 151). This also reflects the sexist depictions of the Civil War Republican press. As shown in the film Libertarias this representation, however, was shortlived as soon after milicianas in the front lines were discouraged from fighting at the front. Instea d, they were expected to fulfill the so called domestic womenÂ’s role which included what they were trained for: cooking, cleaning and nurturing (Palomar Bar 3). The filmÂ’s characters take on paradoxical roles as women. Their respective roles provide a rich view of how milicianas were a heterogeneous group just as male soldiers were. According to Mart Iba ez, three groups of women went to the front. He contends that the first group was formed by a very sma ll minority of genuine milicianas who in his view were true revolutionaries Following his differentiati on, the film portrays this accurate representation via PilarÂ’s role, pl ayed by actress Ana Beln. Pilar is an Anarchist leader who belongs to the Mujeres Libres (Free Women). She is a pure feminist warrior, passionate and furious. The second group, according to Ibaez, was formed by romantic and idealistic women, thos e Â“who on an impulse left for the front [to serve] as nursesÂ” and wore white and red uni forms (qtd. in Nash, Â“Women in WarÂ” 279). These women, according to Ibaez, were not real miliciana combatants, but rather a surreal heroic version of them. The film, however, does not show this characterization. The third group, he contends, were formed by prostitutes. The film portrays this characterization through Charo, a prostitute with a heart of gold, played by actress Loles
89 Len. Mary Nash, in her article, Â“Women in War: Milicianas and Armed Combat in Revolutionary Spain, 1936-1939Â” poses a very in tricate question regard ing their role: Is a prostitute always a prostitute? Can she not take a genuine revolutionary anti-Fascist stance? The case of Charo in the film is very relevant for it relates to Â“sexist and political implication in the misrepresentationÂ” of the presence of former prostitutes [now milicianas] at the front (Nash 279). One of the excuses, as portrayed in the film, was that many of them were not healthy for they ha d contracted venereal diseases and were carrying undesirable pregnancies. For this reason, according to the Communist and the Anarchist organizations, all women needed to be away from the front lines. In the film a scene reveals just this when Pilar, depicting the genuine revolutionary miliciana, shouts: Â“Not all of us are the same! We are healthy!Â” The former priest, played by Miguel Bos, is the one who informed the women that they will not be allowed to fight on the front lines. He says: Â“Great efforts are being made to coordinate the column. This is not eas y. [However] the presence of women makes it even harder. The association of Mujeres Libres has organized a laundry service in Sitamo. You could be of use there; you n eednÂ’t go back to Barcelona. But you must leave the front.Â” To this, Pilar responded: Â“See? The same old story. CanÂ’t men run the laundry?Â” ( Libertarias ). These lines are significant as they challenged th e role of women as auxiliaries or rearguards. Although not included in IbaezÂ’ categor ization of women, I may add, there was a fourth group formed by women who ended up in the front lines by mere extraneous circumstances, as in the case of nun Mara in the film. The young nun Mara, played by actress Ariadna Gil, is forced to flee her conve nt and finds refuge in a brothel. In the
90 brothel, a group of miliciana s led by the militant femini st Pilar began recruiting milicianas into the Anarchist militia. The young nun Mara was one of the recruited ones. Young and naive Mara is exposed to the brutalities of war and to the meaning behind the revolution. For this reason she st arted to question her former sheltered and highly Catholic religious life. It appears that in the end she not only understood but empathized with the revolutionary cause; howev er, as shown in the la st scene, it was too late for the Nationalist forces had defeated the Republicans. Mara was the only survivor left from the milicianas group. The representa tion of Mara is the complete opposite of Pilar the leader of Mujeres Libres Mara is feminine, fear ful, extremely devoted and claims to be married to God and, according to her description of herself, she is just Â“a servantÂ” (of God). The nunÂ’s role is very dis tinctive because in the eyes of the Anarchist group, she represents exactly what they ar e fighting against: The fascist-nationalist ideology, which goes hand in hand with the oppressive subordination of women in Spanish Catholicism. The film makes this apparent in the scene when Floren, the spiritualist, played by actress Victoria Abril as ks Pilar, what has ha ppened to her? In the scene Mara is crying profusely while Pilar is giving her a bat h. Pilar responds to Floren: Â“She saw the shooting of a bishop.Â” Floren re plies: Â“Since he was a bishop God must be resting his soul now. God is a fascistÂ” ( Libertarias ). All in all, the general representation of the miliciana can be categorized into two phases. The first was her mystification and he r concomitant prestige, in contrast to the second phase where she was portrayed with di sregard and humiliation. As for the film, Libertarias it appears that director Vicente Ar anda wished to convey a balanced portrayal of milicianas in his film. Perhaps this is the reason why his depictions of
91 milicianas were so diverse and provided the viewer with clear-cut distinctions amongst them: we have the strong feminist Anarchist miliciana leader; the prostitute, who reawakens after being liberated from a life of sexual slavery; the spiritualist, who bashes and trashes God and further accuses him of being a fascist; and the nun, who unequivocally represents the Catholic Church as an ideological force against the Republican state. These womenÂ’s roles also fit into the aforementioned distinctions of milicianas in combat versus milicianas in the rearguard. Pilar, Charo and Floren, for instance, fit into the representation of front lin e combatants, in contrast to Mara, who fits into the miliciana in the rearguard category, performing auxiliary-domestic tasks only. Literature and Narrative: Milicianas and Underground Republican Women during the Franco years. Carmen Laforet, Mar a Teresa Len, Josefina Aldecoa and Dulce Chacn The Second Republic was defeated in 1939, and Francisco Franco ruled as the dictator of Spain from 1939 until his deat h in 1975. FrancosÂ’ regime was not only dictatorial but very oppressive: people lived und er fear, particularly the defeated factions of Republicans and any other person who in a ny way or form aided or attempted to aid the republicanos (Republicans). The Franco regime, similar in ideology to Italian and German Fascism, also had the goal of e liminating womenÂ’s social independence. WomenÂ’s identity was to be solely based on the family principles dictated by FrancoÂ’s regime: she had to be passive, piou s and of pure demeanor (Graham 184). Under these circumstances, it was nearly impossible to fi nd publications of th e Republican cause or the Civil War with a Republican point of view, let alone publications representing women, as in the case of the milicianas. The fate of the milicianas was tragic: they died
92 in combat, ended up in prison, went into exile as was the case of the prolific writer Mara Teresa Len, or lived under the FrancoÂ’s brutal repression abiding by the Francoist Â“promoted ideal image of womanhoodÂ” (Evans 184; Linhard 190). Among the countries that admitted Republican exiles besides France, Russia, and South American nations was Mxico. It is estimated that over 37 million re fugees were taken in these countries (Pla Brugat 25). Despite the harsh oppression and censors hip during the post-war years, women intellectuals found ways to re sist, although in a very subtle and inadvertent manner. Women no longer carried their rifles to repres ent the Republican cause as the milicianas; instead they used their pen and intellectua l attributes and began to write novels. Women novelists wrote semi-autobiographical fictional na rratives that resisted the censorship of the Franco era and afterwards. Th is is the case for Carmen Laforet: Nada ( Nothing ; 1944); Mara Teresa Len who before and after her exile wrote: Crnica de la guerra civil ( Chronicle of the Civil War; 1937), You Will Dye Far Away (1942), Memoria de la melancola ( Melancholy of the Memory ; 1977); Josefina Aldecoa, whose novels are known as the Trilogy: Historia de una maestra ( Story of a Teacher ; 1990), Mujeres de negro ( Women in Black ; 1994), La fuerza del destino ( The Force of Destiny ; 1997); and Dulce Chacn: La voz dormida ( The Sleeping Voice ; 2002). Aldecoa and ChacnÂ’s writings highlight the transmission of memory and are considered to be part of the Â“memory boomÂ” in the post Franco era (I will di scuss this concept further in this chapter and in the conclusion). LaforetÂ’s Nada contributed to the subtle resistan ce against the Franco regime, and after his death was followed by the inspirati onal Trilogy of novels by Aldecoa. Even
93 though this Trilogy was written during the post-Franco era, the first two novelsÂ’ narratives take place in 1923-1939, that is duri ng the rise and fall of the of the Second Republic, followed by the third novel depicting the exile of the characte rs and their return to a semi-democratic Spain after the death of Franco in 1975. Finally, the novel by author Chacn published until 2002 was able to de pict, this time in detail, the powerful, yet tragic life stories of women, one of them a miliciana, serving death row sentences for their involvement with the Republicans. Thes e novels served as a counter-narrative to the official history of the Franco regime. The historiography promoted by FrancoÂ’s government affirmed Â“the regimeÂ’s morally correct role within Spanish historyÂ” (Herzberger, Â“Narrati ng the PastÂ” 35). To achieve this morally correct historical role, the Franco regime suppressed and censored all opposition, and produced the image of a past that a sserted Â“continuity between the glories of an imperial Catholic Spain and the illustrious present of [the] Franco eraÂ” (35). In regards to women, the regime Â“promoted an Â‘idealÂ’ image of womanhood as Â‘eternal,Â’ passive, pious, pure, submissive woman-as-m other for whom self-denial was the only road to real fulfillmentÂ” (Graham 184). These ideas were well ingrained in Catholicism and women needed to aspire to the clean a nd immaculate image of the Virgin as role model. Under the dictatorship the Sp anish people lived in utter terror caliente (extreme terror), especially during the first decade of the post-war period. Various mechanisms were in place to ensure the peopleÂ’s complia nce: Â“Los fusilamientos y las sacas fueron los mecanismos ms extendidos, para implantar el terror con el fin no solo de mantener el orden pblico sino tambin de evitar posibles reaccionesÂ” (Â“the executions and removal
94 of prisoners were the most frequent tact ics to instill terror with the purpose of maintaining public order and avoiding possible revoltsÂ”; Cenarro, Â“Muerte y subordinacinÂ” 14). Furthermore, Â“las brutal idades cometidas por algunos miembros de las milicias en las etapas del terror caliente,Â” quedaron impunes con algunas excepciones (Â“the brutalities, which were committed by militant groups during the periods of extreme terrorÂ” went, for the most part, unpunishe d; Cerrano, Â“Matar, vigilar y delatarÂ” 83). The novel Nada published by Carmen Laforet in 1944 at age twenty-three in spite of censorship, attests to this society terrorized and silenced by the regi mes vigilance and the use of informants as Â“las autoridades fra nquistas fomentaban de manera oficial la denuncia del vecino de izquierdasÂ” (Â“the Fran coist authorities offi cially encouraged people to inform on their left-wing neighborsÂ” ; Cenarro 82). This was a practice that created an atmosphere reminiscent of the Inquistition. There was no room for government criticism or even wors e, to be denounced as being a rojo (Red) by an informant led to deadly consequences. A lthough living in a highl y controlled society under censorship Laforet still manages brillian tly and subtly to expose these nuances of oppression, violence and misery. The novel follows, to an extent, an autobi ographical format whose main character is Andrea, a young woman who starts her studie s in Barcelona during the first academic year after the war in 1939. The novel give s reference to the effects inflicted upon Barcelona during the post-war era such as poverty, widespread hunger, and oppression. Andrea recalls not only the poverty and hunge r but also the sadness as she recalls, Â“aquella tristeza de recoser los guantes, de lava r mis blusas en el agua turbia y helada del lavadero con el mismo trozo de jabn que An tonia utilizaba para fr egar sus cacerolas y
95 que por las maanas raspaba mi cuerpo bajo la ducha fraÂ” (Â“the sadness of remending gloves, to washing my blouses with the dirty and freezing water in the sink with the same piece of soap that Antonia would use to wash the saucepans, and that I would also use to bathe myself in the morningsÂ”; Laforet 58). The novel subtly describes a number of feat ures of the oppression, such as the fact that it is prohibited to use the Catalan language outside the home because Catalunya lost its autonomous status (Ebels 620). Dictatorial Spain now cel ebrated Â“el triunfo de la ciudad de Dios y la resurreccin de EspaaÂ” (Â“ the triumph of the City of God and SpainÂ’s resurrectionÂ”; Casanova y Andrs 248). Th roughout the novel, th e characterÂ’s aunt Angustias serves as the epitome of morality and decency displayed in all forms of religious manipulation. In one of the dial ogues aunt Angustias le ctures Andrea: Â“La ciudad, hija ma, es un infierno. Y en toda Espaa no hay ciudad que se parezca ms al infierno que Barcelona Â… Estoy pr eocupada de que anoche vini eras sola de la estacin. Toda prudencia en la conducta es poca, pues el diablo reviste tentadoras formasÂ” (The city, my daughter, is hell. In all Spain, there is no other city as he llish as Barcelona Â… I am worried when at night you come back alone from the train station. Good judgment is not enough, for the devil is everywhere and assumes many shapes and formsÂ”; Laforet 25). LaforetÂ’s novel exalts the importance of historical memory and gives political glimpses and hints of what life was like in a period of extreme difficulty for those who lost the war. Laforet paves the way for ot her women intellectual writers to pursue the recovery and vindicatio n of memory from a womanÂ’s pe rspective during the post-Franco era.
96 Another author worth studying is Mara Te resa Len, who lived thirty-eight years of her life in exile, from 1939 to 1977. Len wa s a Spanish Â“writer, activist, cultural ambassador, director of the itinerant group cal led Guerrillas del Teatro, and a crucial member of the Committee for Protection and De fense of the National Artistic TreasureÂ” during the Civil War period (Linhard 190), and she was married to the famous poet Rafael Alberti. Despite her talent as a storyteller, she was overshadowed by her husbandÂ’s preeminent work. LenÂ’s work is not only extensive but also heterogeneous in scope; she addresses a number of subjects: the revolution, war, violence, the illiterate, the dispossessed and particularly women with no land, fortune or hope. Her subjects are presented in short stories such as, Tales from Contemporary Spain (1935) and You Will Dye Far Away (1942), and also in works of novels drama and fictionalized biography, which include the celebrated, Memoria de la melancola (Melancholy of the Memory) published in 1977, the year when her Alzh eimer disease became apparent (193). Upon her exile and departure in an airpla ne to Paris in 1939, shortly before the triumph of the Nationalist forces, Len al ong with her husband Alberti and other high ranking Republican officers made a stop at the military airport in Oran, Algeria, to refuel the airplane. Once in foreign territory, th ey were questioned and Len served as an interpreter. When she was introducing ev eryone, she identified herself as a plain Â“miliciana,Â” despite the fact that the image of the heroic miliciana had lost complete prestige at the time. Following is th e interpretation that took place in 1939: Vivir para la libertad significa para un espaol condenarse a la incomprensin y al exilio. Dicen que los romnticos espaoles tenan siempre preparada una pistola y una onza de oro. Nosotros llevbamos
97 solamente la pistola. Al aterrizar en el aerdromo militar de Orn, me sealaron la cintura: Â“Seora, su pi stola.Â” La entregu, con una pequea melancola, mordindome los labios. Serv de intrprete: Â“Ese seor es el general Antonio Cordn, ministro de la Guerra, y ese ot ro es el seor Nez Mazas, ministro del Aire. Aqul, un poeta, y yo Â… una miliciana. (Len, Memoria 364) For a Spaniard to live for liberty means to be condemned to live misunderstood and in perpetual exile. They say that romantic Spaniards always had a gun and an ounce of gold ready. We only had the gun. When we landed at the military airport in Oran, they pointed at my waist: Â“Madam, your gun.Â” I gave it to them with a little melancholy, biting my lips. I served as an interpreter: That man is General Antonio Cordn, secretary of war, and the other one is Nez Mazas, secretary of air. That one, a poet and me Â… a miliciana. Len chose to present herself just as a miliciana, Â“a woman who like so many others felt compelled to fight for what she believed was just a nd rightÂ” (Linhard 190). In her own way, however, Len vindicated not only the rights of the milicianas, but also presented their histories thr oughout her works and subsequent publications. Len did not exalt herself as a miliciana combatant. In excerpts from her volume Memoria de la melancola there are, nevertheless, many instances where she narrates her experiences at the front lines or in the rearguard but those not particularly emphasize her role in combat. In this regard, her battle becomes acutely po litical and ideological. This might be the reason why in 1939 at the military airport in Oran, Argelia, on her way to Paris she
98 identified herself as a miliciana, for she strongly believed that she had a crucial involvement in the Spanish Civil War, perhaps more politically than militarily. It did not matter that the term miliciana no longer en joyed a positive reputation, she embraced the term the same way she embraced her mother country Spain when, on a different occasion, she stated: Â“I am Spain.Â” She further attests to this ideological or intellectual war in Memoria de la melancola when Len writes that the intellectuals of the world were obliged to answer the aggressi ons of war with words (109). It appears that Len was not able to ever really overcome her years in ex ile. When she wrote her deepest memories in Memoria de la melancola in the final years of her life, she interrupted the narration on many occasions to encourage other exiles to te ll and recount their ow n stories and to not be ashamed of their experience. It is importa nt to note, however, that narratives depicting or discussing the Republican side were non-ex istent during the post-war years in Spanish territory. The main reason why Len was able to publish her Republican works was because she was no longer living in Spain. Another important work from Len depict ing a miliciana combatant is found in the Crnica general de la guerra civil (General Chronicle of the Civil War; 1937). The Crnica compiles a remarkable collection of select ed chronicles and journal articles from 1936 and 1937 that illustrate the Republican st ruggle with a military, political and social perspective. One of them is Â“La doncella guerrera,Â” in which Len alludes to female combatants in the front lines, those perf orming auxiliary roles as nurses and those awaiting in their homes as rearguards: Â“v aroniles doncellas guerreras, contenidas y valientes enfermeras en los hospitales, serena s y sencillas madres que aguardanÂ” (Â“virile maiden warriors, reserved and courageous nurses in the hospitals and calm and modest
99 mothers; Len 80Â”). Len also touches upon th e female combatantÂ’s plate armor that Â“La doncella guerreraÂ” wears while standing still on the trench where other male soldiers fight. Again, throughout her writings it is palp able that Len sees and positions herself as an intellectual warrior, or better said, as a miliciana on all fronts: on the trenches, on the rearguard, and as a miliciana Â“que tiene que terminar de escribir una pgina de nuestra Historia de EspaaÂ” (a miliciana Â“who has to finish writing a page in Spanish historyÂ”; Len, Crnica general 81). LaforetÂ’s Nada, and AldecoaÂ’s Trilogy are narra tives in the first person recounting fictionalized memori es of the Civil War and post-war eras. These first person narratives had been very common amongst ma ny European writers, and have offered a rich perspective that was directly influen ced by the personal, social and historical surroundings of the narrator (Herzberger, Â“A Life Worth LivingÂ” 135). Josefina AldecoaÂ’s Trilogy lays out the tw entieth century history of Sp ain filtered with memories from Gabriela Lpez Pardo, the primary narrator and main character of the first and third novels, while the second novel is narrated by her daughter Juana (Leggott 87-88). The Trilogy recounts GabrielaÂ’s life from her early years as a te acher in the 1920Â’s until her death in 1982. The three novels interconnect with one another and accumulate profound experiences and memories from the protagon istÂ’s difficult life. The novels trace the periods before and after the arrival of th e Second Republic, the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, her involuntary exile from Spai n to Mexico, and finally, her return to a democratic Spain. The first narrative, Historia de una maestra begins by introducing a passionate and committed young teacher, who thinks she co uld not have found a better profession Â–a
100 profession that was rare for a woman at the time. This novel starts in the year 1923. According to Mary Nash and her discussion of the divide between the public and the private domains, the consequences for any woman who transgressed the natural norms that surrounded her own gender were disastr ous (30). As expected, the public domain belonged to men, for a womanÂ’s natural place, genetically determined by her sex according to the sexist norms, was reduced to her domesticity (Nash, Â“UncontestedÂ” 30). In the case of Gabriela, however, she challe nges this naturalist id eology of domesticity indirectly via her profession as an elementary school teacher. She was deeply passionate about her profession and believed that sh e could bring about change. She was adventurous and wished to see the world with her own eyes and would say to herself: Â“no puede existir dedicaci n ms hermosa que estaÂ… compartir con los nios lo que yo sabaÂ…Â” (Â“there is no other mission as beau tiful than sharing my knowledge to the childrenÂ”; Aldecoa, Historia 40). On the other hand, she al so realized the higher purpose of the Second Republic linked to the tran sformation of Spain as a whole and the importance of democratic values: Â“the school was [the] ideological arm of the democratic revolution . carrying modern, civic values to the furthest corner of rura l SpainÂ” (Cobb 133). In GabrielaÂ’s eyes, pedagogy was Â“l a gran misin que sa lvar a Espaa del aislamiento de la ignoranciaÂ… [Por ello] nuest ra revolucin est en la escuelaÂ…t sabes muy bien [Ezequiel] que no se puede salvar a un pueblo ignorant eÂ” (Â“the great mission that will save Spain from isolation and ignor anceÂ…[this is why] our revolution is in the schools Â…you know well [Ezequiel], that one ca nnot save an ignorant nationÂ”; Aldecoa, Historia 136 y 229).
101 The arrival of the Second Republic brought about change and unimaginable rights for women like Gabriela. Unfortunately, the Civil War breaks out and her impetuous character and career take s a new route. As her beloved nation struggles to find peace, she herself is broken in spirit: Â“1935 fue un ao gris. De un gris pesado, cargado de amenazasÂ…fue un ao de tristeza y de miedoÂ” (Â“1935 was a grey year. A heavy gray year, filled with threatsÂ…it was a y ear of sadness and fearÂ”; Aldecoa, Historia 225). After learning that her husband Ezequiel was killed during the war, safety becomes an issue and she departs with young Juana and her new husband Octavio to Mexico. Once in Mexico, Gabriela tries to forget, in its entirety, her memori es of the past, and everything that relates to her acute suffe ring and truncated dreams, including cooking Spanish dishes as the cook tells Juana, Â“t u madre no quiere cocinar a la espaola porque no quiere recordarÂ” (Â“your mother does not wa nt to cook Spanish food style because she does not want to rememberÂ”; Aldecoa, Mujeres 116). On the other hand, Juana expresses Â“miedo de perder el pasadoÂ” (Â“fear of losing her pastÂ”; Aldecoa, Mujeres 80) and wishes to return to her idealized version of Spain. Consequently, Juana simply does not want to and cannot understand her mother. She has no empathy for her, and does not understand w hy she does not want to return. According to Nuala Kenny, Â“Josefina AldecoaÂ’s portrayal of exile reveals the positive and negative aspects of transcultural encountersÂ” (397). Th at is, GabrielaÂ’s process of assimilation is positive (if only at the beginning) because of safety reasons and the willingness to start a new life, nevertheless, it is also overwhelmingly negative because her past memories keep haunting her. Many of AldecoaÂ’s actu al friends suffered exile and were expelled and resettled as exiles in c ountries like Mexico and the Un ited Kingdom. Regarding this,
102 the author said in an interview: Â“Eso es m uy desgarrador, que a uno le echen de su propio pas, y me parece un fenmeno muy importante que hay que tratar, el del exilioÂ” (Â“This is heartbreaking, that one be expelled from her ow n country, and I believe that it is a very important subject to deal with, that is, the experience of exileÂ”; Leggott 94-5). In the third volume, La fuerza del destino the narrative discusses her painful return to Spain. After three long decades of living in exile, Gabriela arrives to Madrid upon FrancoÂ’s death in 1975. She returned mainly for her daughter Juana, who desperately misses what she in her head had created of Spain, an idealized nation. Once in Madrid, Gabriela experiences a new form of imprisonment, not physical but emotional. The Spain she left thirty years before is not the Spain she finds in the 1970s, and she feels like a complete outcast as she expresses, Â“ni una sola de las experien cias que viv tiene que ver con lo que ahora vivoÂ” (Â“None of th e experiences I lived [in Spain or Mexico] have anything to do with my actual lifeÂ”; Aldecoa, La Fuerza 113). Gabriela is confined to her own memories of the past, memories th at come all at once to the point that they become unbearable. Living in complete desola tion and depression, she dies in a hospital in Spain seven years after her arrival. AldecoaÂ’s Trilogy, as well as the earlier novel Nada by Carmen Laforet, provides a rich background where memory, past histor y and fiction melt together. The case of Gabriela is significant because she portrays a generation of Spanish women who lived the rise and the fall of the Second Republic, lived under the oppression of dictatorship, but who, in some instances, broke with the status quo of the role that women should follow, and, finally, left their country invo luntarily, as many others did in re al life to live in exile.
103 Even though Gabriela was not a miliciana in the front line or rearguard, she was considered a roja (Red) or a Republican Her fight is ideological and political and attempts to recover the memory of the past from a womanÂ’s perspective. According to Shirley Mangini in her book Memories of Resistance: Wo menÂ’s Voices in the Spanish Civil War Â“la mayora de las mujeres fueron encare ladas por su asociacin con otros, sobre todo con sus compaeros masculinos Â” (Â“The majority of the women were incarcerated mainly for the relationship they ha d with others, particularly with their male companionsÂ”; Mangini 111). If Gabriela would not have left Spain, she most likely would have faced incarceration for her relationship with her Republican husband Ezequiel. Some of the women being incarcer ated at the time were innocent as their crimes consisted of having removed the crucifix from their classrooms, as instructed to all teachers when the Second Republic took power. This was the case for Gabriela too, as she says: Â“al quitar el crucifijo de la pare d lo hice con sencillez, sin alarde alguno de solemnidad. Lo guard en el cajn de la me sa y empec las clases del daÂ” (Â“I took the crucifix from the wall without ceremony, without any solemnit y. I placed it in the table drawer and started my lecture of the dayÂ”; Aldecoa Historia 120). Gabriela takes the crucifix without solemnity because she agrees with the principle of separation of church and state held by the new progressive Republic. In the case of Nada the novel also gives glimpses of the role of informants during the post-war years via the character Romn, wh o Â“tena un cargo importante con los rojos y era un espa, una persona baja y ruin que venda a los que le favorecieronÂ” (Â“who had an important post with the reds, but who was an unscrupulous and despicable spy who would sell those who favored himÂ”; Laforet 47). When Nada was published in 1944, it
104 was by no means considered a threat to the dictatorial government of a country where censorship utterly reigned, and it even received the prestigious Premio Nadal (Nadal Award) the following year. LaforetÂ’s novel ha s prominent significance, for it was a novel published by a woman first and foremost, wa s published during the post-war era and at the time, it was even considered apolitical. After almost forty years of enforced silence imposed by FrancoÂ’s regime, however, around the mid-1980s, the Spanish people felt comfortable and confident enough to finally write and speak openly about life during and after th e war (Ebels 619). Thus, novels like the Trilogy from Josefi na Aldecoa were published delineating milestones of Spanish history as lived th rough her two characters Gabriela and her daughter Juana. In regards to Nada contrary to the perceptio n of the censors during the early Franco regime that it was a non-poli tical novel, politics permeates throughout the novel, according to contemporary critics. For example, in her article published in 2009, Fenny Ebels contends that Â“t here are hidden references to contemporary post-war political issues, manifesting themselves in the novel through its frameÂ” (619). There is no explicit mention of the word Â“milicianasÂ” in these texts by Laforet and AldecoaÂ’s Trilogy or other literary works fr om Spain during that time; it was not until after FrancoÂ’s death that the actual miliciana character started to emerge as an iconic symbol. For instance, with the film Libertarias in 1996, milicianas were clearly portrayed as fierce and committed combatants. In this regard, the works of women like Laforet and Aldecoa have helped to pave the way for the Spanish milicianas to become more visible in the years that followed. The novel La voz dormida by Dulce Chacn, for example, was published in 2002. The case of Dul ce Chacn is slightly different than that
105 of Mara Teresa Len, who had to flee for her li fe and lived in exile in different countries. Chacn was the daughter of a Nationalist winner of the Spanish Civil War, a man who at some point even served as the mayor of Zafra (De Pablos 103). Nonetheless, Chacn was equally affected by the hardships of the war. Her historical novel has been acclaimed internationally, because she wrote and compiled this narrative in a scrupulous manner while always trying to give faith of th at precise moment in history where the best citizens of Spain were absent: they had been killed, or had simply remained silent. The novelÂ’s polished dialogues are vivid and portray the characters with such vitality as to produce credibility for the reader. The novel, based on actual events during the post-war period, details the horrendous e xperiences of women incarcerated in MadridÂ’s Ventas prison whose only recourse to endure humiliation, torture and death was their courage. The character named Hortensia was a pregnant miliciana incarcerated in Ventas for her direct association with the gue rrilla armed forces. She wa s condemned to be executed, according to an official document provide d in the novel: Â“Debemos condenarÂ… a la procesada, como autora del delito de adhesi n a la rebelin Â… debie ndo ser ejecutada la procesada por fusilamientoÂ” (Â“We must condemn the defendant for the crime of supporting the rebellion [Republicans] Â… th e defendant must be executed by firing squadÂ”; Chacn 245). Hortensia was execute d on March 6, 1944, a month and a half after she gave birth to a baby girl. After much effort, her younger sister Pepita was finally able to recover the baby girl and rais ed her. Chacn interviewed and gathered an innumerable amount of first-hand testimonies including the powerful testimony of Pepita herself. Some were willing to tell their stories, others preferred to live in anonymityÂ—the pain was too great to remember. A film based on this novel with the same title was
106 directed by Benito Zambrano and released in 2011. Novels such as these highlight the significance of the transmission of memory, pa rticularly coming from the left and with respect to brave women fighters, the milicianas. Milicianas and Spanish Nation al Identity: The Memory Boom SpainÂ’s transition from Francoist dictatorsh ip to democracy has been considered a role model by many historians and political sc ientists in part because of its non-violent and consensual character. The expressions Nunca ms (Â“Never againÂ”) and Todos fuimos culpables (Â“We were all guiltyÂ”) were used to share equally the responsibilities among all Spaniards involved to guarantee a more pala table transition. Apparently, it seemed to work to a certain extent; as such, the Â“pact of silenceÂ” adopted during the transitional years and afterwards avoided confrontat ion with those who were linked to the dictatorship and denied pub lic recognition of its victims (Boyd 135-39). The main reason behind the wish to perpetuate these years of Â“Francoist peac e,Â” was fear of a recurrence of political violence (144), and it was more c onvenient to forget the past and continue on. Despite this mechanism of silence, the underc urrent of discontent from those who were direct or indirect victims of repression became evident as they demanded justice and public acknowledgement. In other words, ther e was a need for remembering; a need to recover the memories of the past. Between the 1980Â’s and 1990Â’s novelis ts produced subjective work from fragmented memories that originated fr om the Second Republic, the war and post-war eras, and from the stories of the experiences of exiled Republicans. Josefina Aldeoca, for instance, was one of them. She initiated he r writing career in the 1950Â’s and was part of
107 a generation that she called Los nios de la guerra ( The Children of the War ; 1983). She asserted in an interview the following: Â“my own life is not a matter of interest, but only the life that is interconnected to the lif e of an entire generationÂ… we are our own memory. The loss of our memory is the loss of our identity (Aldecoa, Los nios de la guerra 10; Dupla 125). Aldecoa felt, as did many other Spanish civilians who experienced war, that her own life was represen tative of a wide sector of a generation of Spanish women and, as a result, had the mora l responsibility to honor those memories as they became part of their identity. For more than thirty years Â“only the Francoist war dead had been publicly memorialized,Â” and nothing was done to honor the fallen Rep ublicans (Boyd 144). The need to officially vindicate the memories of the past, including denouncement of the dictatorship and to honor the fallen Republican victims resulted in an ongoing factional debate that culminated in the passage of Â“t he so-called Law of Historical Memory in October 2007,Â” which was based on a bill proposed by the Soci alist government of Prime Minister Jos Luis Rodrguez Zapa tero (133). Accord ing to Carolyn Boyd, Â“historical memory may legitimate or challenge the status quo, teach a lesson, validate a claim, consolidate an identity, or inspire actionÂ—that is, it typically has a social or political purposeÂ” (134). This is what the Law of Historical Memory attempted to do: to legitimize and consolidate a national identity and to validate a societal claim. It was certainly not easy to craft an ideal law, for many of the government factions involved had different expectations as such the debate of the bill itself was unsettling and disrupted the demo cratic coexistence between left and right because it was highly factional in nature. Nevertheless, The Historic al Memory Law principally
108 recognizes the victims on both sides of the Span ish Civil War. The bill is laid out with the process whereby indi viduals could seek: Declaration of reparations and personal recognition; pensions of survivors of Republican soldiers and Franquist political prisoners; it condemned the Franquist regime; it stipulated the removal of partisan commemorative symbols and prohibited political acts at El Valle de los Cados [The Valley of the Fallen, the Franquist monument to the regimeÂ’s war dead]; it guaranteed the right of each individual or group to remember the past in their own way, while asserting a gove rnmental role in the search for historical knowledge and the promotion of democratic memory. (146) This law was a direct consequence of the Â“memory boomÂ” and the efforts to vindicate the Republican past. In an attemp t to recover both indi vidual and collective memory, the so-called Â“memory boomÂ” in recent times, which started in the 1980Â’s in Spain, has spread in a number of ways. So me of these forms include: the publication of testimonies, historical investigations, grass roots public commemorations and the founding of associations concer ned with the recuperation of historical memory. The cultural sphere, nonetheless, also became inte rested, thus a significant portion of the literary works and films produced from the 1990s to the present day have reflected the expansion of public interest in historical memory by focusing on themes and events central to the Civil War first and to a lesser extent to the milicianas. The modern or upto-date depictions of miliciana s are found in films such as Libertarias or Juegos de guerra and distinctive novels like La voz dormida (2002) and the 2011 film based on this novel of the same title.
109 Even though milicianas are in many respects a force to be reckoned with that tie in directly with the historical identity of Spain, they have not yet reached national prominence. The tensions between democratic principles, the pact of silence, and most recently, the Law of Historical Memory, wh ich has opened past wounds, have created uncertainty with regards to the direction in which Spanish identity will develop. Despite the fact that there have been various grassroots commem orations and online organizations that honor the milicianas, their represention is limited to reproductions of old photographs that were taken during the Ci vil War, when they were still active and were serving on the battlefield and in the rearguard. Politicized imagery of milicianas used for specific national government affiliate d purposes, honoring their prestige, bravery and determination, are simply not found. Perh aps as a result of th e Law of Historical Memory, in the years to come the iconic miliciana will overcome the cloud of FrancoÂ’s legacy and become a sym bol of national identity.
110 CHAPTER IV CONCLUSION During the Mexican Revolution and the Sp anish Civil War, Mexican soldaderas and Spanish milicianas played a pivotal role in history and in the representation of women as a whole. Becoming a miliciana or soldadera allowed women to pursue a shift in feminine gender roles; revolution and civi l war provided a venue that allowed them to gain a more equitable role amongst men. As we have seen, it is not always clear what is meant by a soldadera or a miliciana. It can be challenging to make a clear distinction between soldaderas who engaged in combat and those who were camp followers. Though the view of milicianas usually leans more toward that of a female combatant, this faces similar challenges as the majority of the milicianas participated in the rearguard (Lines, Â“Female CombatantsÂ” 183). Their re spective images have evolved in ways shaped by gender prejudice, popul ar culture and crucial histor ical and political events. There are both parallels and contrasts in the depiction of these two iconic figures. Up to this point, the evolution and reinforcemen t of the image of the soldadera and the miliciana has been considered separately. I will now highlight the parallels and contrasting views in th e evolution of these na tional icons of women. In the case of the Mexican soldadera, the corridos and photography that constitute the first stage in her evolu tion allowed the image of the brave and strong soldadera who fought shoulder to shoulder with men for free dom and equality to evolve into a sensual and romanticized object of desire that is often referred to as Â“La Adelita.Â” Representations of the soldadera as Â“La AdelitaÂ” mainly emphasized feminine characteristics of beauty, softness, submission, self-sacr ifice and pronounced
111 objectification of desire as s hown in the popular calendars pr oduced annually in Mexico. Other portrayals of soldaderas include beautiful models wearing impeccable, highly feminine attire and high heels, as seen in figures 3 and 4. These paintings are highly influenced by popular culture, media and fash ion and provide a sharp contrast with the photographs from the Casasola Collection in figures 7 and 8. In these photographs, camp follower soldaderas are shown providing emo tional and physical support to their male soldiers, and do not display the characteristics of fashion and beauty that are present in figures 3 and 4: these are clearly women w ho have been on the campaign trail. An interesting contrast between the soldaderaÂ’s depiction in the Casaso la Collection and the miliciana photographs included in chapter three is the portrayal of the relationship between women and men. This romantic or love relationship is not present in the miliciana photographs: milicianas are gene rally photographed alone or with other milicianas, but never seen displaying emotional or physical support to their male soldiers. The implication is that the soldadera portrayed as Â“La AdelitaÂ” is most likely to fit the camp follower description of a strong and dependable suppor ter of their male soldiers. The miliciana, on the other hand, even in the posing photographs tend to fit more the combatant description. Another important aspect in the miliciana sÂ’ photographs is that they indeed look radiant, that is, by no means do they appear tired In most pictures, they knew they were being photographed, whereas in the case of La Adelita, for instance, the photograph of a woman standing on the stairs of the passenge r car wagon was taken spontaneously (figure 9). In the case of miliciana s, as portrayed in early pre ss photography during the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, her physical attrib utes tended to be accentuated more than her
112 belligerent activities. In contrast to Â“La Ad elita,Â” la miliciana was not sexualized and objectified to the extent of Â“La Adelita.Â” La AdelitaÂ’s image has been extensively reproduced in numerous placard s, t-shirts and calendars th at portray her graciously in scenes of war time love or in army camp images (Villalba 102-03) and continues to be reproduced today. The prolific dispersion of th e soldadera was also s een in paintings as early as 1913 and 1926 by acclaimed artists Jos Guadalupe Posada and Jos Clemente Orozco. Unlike the milicianas and their mono azul uniforms, (blue overalls), Â“La AdelitaÂ” wears a long skirt and an exposi ng blouse, and sometimes the traditional china poblana dress (country girl dress). As previously shown in figure 1, she is clearly posing for the camera and conveys a care free, sensua l smile. The Republican press also took notice of the milicianaÂ’s beauty and youth, ye t as they were generally photographed with the blue overall, signs of sensuality were not as apparent as in the image of Â“La Adelita.Â” The blue overall was in some sense a masc uline uniform exuding prestige, respect and leadership, as does the jacket Captain Mika Etchebhre wore in figure 13. Nonetheless, some of the posters and photographs presenti ng milicianas with the blue overall also targeted male audiences, and for this reason it could be said that milicianasÂ’ attractiveness was emphasized. The corridos of the Mexican Revolution we re an identical phenomenon to that of the romanceros of the Spanish Civil War (M ayone Dias 433). Both were popular genres that served political and revolutionary f unctions, and both derived from the heroic romantic and epic traditions. However, some distinctions are apparent when comparing the Adelita of corrido songs with Â“Rosario DinamiteraÂ” (Â“Rosario DynamiterÂ”) and Â“Romance a Lina OdenaÂ” (Â“Ballad for Lina Od enaÂ”) in the romanceros. In the corrido,
113 the Adelita is romantically portrayed as the sweetheart of the troops with a heart of gold. Most importantly, corridos highly emphasize the AdelitaÂ’s love relationship with her male soldier. The male soldier is deeply in love with his sold adera (Adelita) and will follow her wherever she goes, as she is the type of woman worth fighting for and worth following. In contrast, the Spanish roman ceros do not focus on her beauty or her romantic relationships to a man. Instead, the poem Â“Rosario DinamiteraÂ” centers on her valor and sacrifice. Similarly, the Â“Romance a Lina OdenaÂ” exalts her courage and sense of honor as well as her uniform, the symbolical blue overall. Films such as La Soldadera (1966) La Negra Angustias (1949) and Libertarias or Juegos de Guerra (1996) attempted to develop a more nua nced picture of the role played by these iconic women. The appearance of f ilms depicting the iconography of soldaderas and milicianas constitutes the second stage in their evolution. The characters depicted in the three films seem to represent the multiple roles of soldaderas and milicianas as brave combatants, or as camp followers in the re arguard, most generally performing auxiliary tasks. In the case of the film La Soldadera the main character Lzara is depicted as a camp follower. Similarly, the nun Mara in the film Libertarias depicts the rearguard miliciana (she travels with the troops wh ich contradicts LineÂ’s characterization). Although brave in her own right, she is incapable of engaging in combat due to her religious beliefs. La Negra Angustias on the other hand, depicts the soldadera as the epitome of strength and bravery. Young Angus tias climbs up the ranks to colonel and confronts gender prejudice and racial di scrimination along the way, thus truly personifying the soldadera combatant. The film Libertarias provides a heterogeneous representation of the miliciana s ranging from Anarchists women from the association
114 Mujeres Libres to former prostitutes and nuns The role of Angustias in La Negra Angustias is in many respects similar to the brav e and fierce Anarchist leader Pilar, who fits the miliciana combatant role. A remarkable distinction between the Mexican films La Negra Angustias and La Soldadera and the Spanish film Libertarias lies in the way these three film directors chose deliberately to cinematically portray soldaderas and milicianas. The Mexican films are conservati ve in the way they approach brutal war scenes, language, and even sexua l content. In contrast, the Spanish film is graphic, war scenes are brutal, the language is explicit, and the sexual assault scene is graphic and revealing in comparison to La Negra Angustias that does not show the actual sexual assault. Despite the fact that some soldad eras were considered to be prostitutes or promiscuous, this promiscuity is shown to a much lesser extent in the Mexican film La Soldadera where Lzara is taken by a rebel so ldier involuntarily, after her husband is killed. In other words, she was forced to be a concubine, but the film treats the character delicately and retains her sens e of innocence. The film Libertarias on the other hand, includes scenes that attempt to discredit th e milicianasÂ’ bravery and sacrifice by linking them to prostitution and by depicting them as carriers of venereal diseases. Another important distinction between them lies in the fact that soldaderas were for the most part abducted, as was the case of Lzara in La Soldadera rather than formally recruited as was generally the case with the milicianas. Th is in part explains the differences in the poster art: the milicianas are represented in recruitment posters, whereas the eroticized images of the soldaderas in the calendar art attempts to romanticize the soldadera, covering up the abduction and rape of these women.
115 As presented in both the soldadera and the miliciana chapters, there are important distinctions in the two countri esÂ’ historical and political backgrounds that affected the evolution of the soldadera and the miliciana icons. The Mexican Revolution attempted to end with the oppression and unbearable long-term dictatorial regime of Porfirio Daz. In the end, the liberal revolutiona ries were victorious and therefore pursued a democratic type of government where freedom of expres sion was protected. C onsequently, Mexican writers such as Nelly Campobello were able to write wit hout facing government censorship, although in general the machista culture did not allow for women writers to thrive. Other women critics, such as Elena Garro in Los recuerdos del porvenir ( Recollections of Things to Come 1969) and Rosario Castellanos in Baln Cann ( Balun Canan 1957) were also able to publish literary works about the Mexican Revolution. In Spain, on the other hand, FrancoÂ’s military coup against the newly proclaimed Second Republic was successful. As a result, th e Spanish Republican government based on democratic principles vanished. Instead an oppressive government was put in place, and a thirty-six year-long dictatorship vigorously forbade any sort of publication coming from the defeated Republican side, let alone work s depicting milicianas or rojas. As pointed out before, in the aftermath of FrancoÂ’s death in Spain a pact of silence was followed in an attempt to promote democratic coexistence between left and right so that the country coul d move forward. Thus, the poli tical tactic was to heal by forgetting the past. In th e period immediately after Fr ancoÂ’s death in 1975, Spain continued to live a lugubrious and hermetic life. Attempts to deal with the brutal historical legacy of the Fran co era, nonetheless, began to appear mainly in the mid-1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. As a re sult, a number of novels such as, Historia de una
116 maestra (1990) Mujeres de negro (1994), La fuerza del destino (1997), and La voz dormida (2002) and films such as Libertarias or Juegos de Guerra (1996) representing in one way or another the Spanish Civil War created Â“a memory boomÂ” in an effort to recuperate the past. Despite the fact that representations of milicianas during the Franco dictatorship were practically non-existen t due to the oppression and high censorship, some women intellectuals found ways to re sist by writing novels. A tw enty-three-year-old, Carmen Laforet, wrote a powerful and polished in its style novel that was published in 1944 despite strict censorship. Lafo retÂ’s semiautobiographical novel, Nada, offers the perspective of an isolated female amongst the vast plethora of male novelists at the time and within the isolation of FrancoÂ’s Spai n, a country obsessed by death and religious sufferance. LaforetÂ’s narrative paints th e life of an orphane d young woman, Andrea, who leaves her small town to attend university in war-ravaged Barcelona, giving subtle and indirect glimpses of how poverty, widespread hunger, a nd oppression were part of everyday life. LaforetÂ’s work is remarkab le as it paves the way for other women intellectuals to pursue memory rec overy during the post-Franco years. Mara Teresa Len used her undesired exile experience in Paris and in Buenos Aires to her advantage to re sist and criticize her country and to avoid the Francoist censorship. However, during the war year s, she managed to publish various works depicting the Civil War era and the struggle of the miliciana combatants, (she was one of them) such as the Crnica general de la guerra civil Â“La doncella guerreraÂ” and the famous political and high ly ideological pamphlet, El Mono Azul. During her stay in Spain, her narratives included stories of illi terate working class women who lived in
117 acute poverty along with their children and who were involuntarily Â“dragged along the revolutionary struggleÂ” (Linhard 186). She also published Tales from Contemporary Spain (1935). Once in exile she wrote various novels, among them You Will Die Far Away (1942) and Memoria de la melancola (1977). As talented as Len was, she was overshadowed by her famous husband, the poet Raf ael Alberti. As a result, her work did not reach the recognition her husbandÂ’s work did. It is interesting to note that Nelly Campobello, the Mexican author who also published a collection of tales based on childhood memories of pure violence and brutality in 1931, faced similar challenges as Len did. The works of both authors contende d with Â“the slow vanishing Â… in their respective canonsÂ” as well as the lack of acknowledgement due to being undervalued mainly by a canon dominated by patriarchal valu es (Linhard 188). Both women also died alone under deplorable conditions and their wo rk largely forgotten, and only vindicated postmortem. Both authors have been associated, in one way or another, with the soldaderas and milicianas. In Cartucho, Campobello narrates the story of a true and courageous soldadera called Nacha Ceniceros ; nonetheless, historical events are mythologized and distorted by Campobello, who witnessed these horrendous war events at age four, thus affirming a subjective oral tradition. In 1939, as we have seen, Len identifies herself as a miliciana when stopped in Algeria. Cons equently, in this simple anecdote, Len identifies herself as a miliciana, a woman that fought to Â“defend the heroism of the milicianasÂ” (Linhard 190). In Hasta no verte Jess mo, a novel published in 1969, we find yet another example of a Mexican soldader a such as CampobelloÂ’s Nacha Ceniceros. The novel recounts the real life and histori cal events lived by Jessa Palancares, an
118 Indian born in Oaxaca who lived an unbearab le childhood. Elena Poniatowska based her novel on extensive interviews with this ex-s oldadera, who recounts her struggles as an abducted camp follower and then as a combatan t. She also recount s a lifetime of poverty and misery in the Mexican post-revolutionary war period. In terms of international in fluence, la soldadera was introduced to United States audiences as early as 1914 in John ReedÂ’s Insurgent Mexico and in the form of corridos named Â“La Adelita Â” in 1919 recorded by Tro Gonzlez, and Â“Marijuana, La SoldaderaÂ” in 1929 by Hermanos Bauelos in Los Angeles. Her influence furt her expanded in 1936 in the theatrical performance, Soldadera: A Play of the Mexican Revolution directed by Josephina Niggli, which was Â“the first theatr ical representation, north or south of the border, of the participation of female soldiers, soldaderas, in the Mexican RevolutionÂ” (Arrizn 98). The theatrical play further pr ovided a contextual and political frame that contributed to the construction of Mexican-A merican identity in the 1930Â’s and 40Â’s. Cultural political identity is not a simple con cept and Josefina NiggliÂ’s theatrical folklore and plays broke, to an extent, with the existing barriers of xenophobia and MexicanAmerican segregation by exposing AngloAmerican audiences to her picturesque Mexican plays at a time when Mexican-Am ericans were segregated and denied fundamental rights. She was more intereste d, in fact, in exposing the United States to other forms of art different than the usual, well accepted European works (Arrizn 100). As early as 1929, The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) was founded, which made it the oldest Hispanic ci vil rights organization in the United States. This organization was founded at a time wh en Mexican-Americans were denied basic civil and human rights. "No Mexicans Allowe d" signs were everywhere in the United
119 States, creating extreme prejudice against Mexican-Americans. In an attempt to overcome with the obstacles to social and economic mobility, they strived for assimilation or Americanization (Bernal a nd Martinelli 50-51). Americanization or assimilation was sought upon by the new l eadership through LULAC to break down discrimination and segregation amongst Latinos after the Mexican War, when many Mexicans became citizens of the United States but still acute prejudice was prevalent. In terms of cinematography, even though La Adelita was represented as an object of sexual desire, at the same time she wa s sometimes represented as a strong fighter during Mexican cinemaÂ’s golden age (1930Â’s-19 50s). In the 1960s, around the time of the birth of the Chicano movement, political leader and activist Cesar Estrada Chvez became a political force in the United Stat es who fought for Mexican-American civil rights. He carefully studied and followed th e tactics used by distinguished leaders who practiced the power of non-vi olence action, such as Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi (152-167). But it is perhaps Dolore s Huerta, the co-founder of the United Farm WorkersÂ’ Union and by extension the Chi cano movement, who most represents a descendent of the soldadera and of the militancy among Mexican women of the revolutionary and post-revolutionary era. As a civil rights activist she has endured multiple beatings, arrests, repression, but she never allowed herself to be deterred from her militancy and dedication to Mexican-Ame rican and workerÂ’s rights. She never backed down. With the birth of the Chicano movement in the 1960s, it appears that La AdelitaÂ’s image played a multifaceted role. In other words, La Adelita was not forced to fit the overtly sexual and objectified role ex clusively, but rather her image evolved to
120 represent the more historica lly accurate soldadera, as brave combatant and support (Fernndez 62). The proliferation of the so ldadera figure through the songs and imagery of La Adelita has received considerable attention in recent times in Mexico, with more emphasis in her portrayal as a strong combatant. For instance, the image of the soldadera was used for the protection of indigenous rights in 1993 by the EZLN; furthermore, her image was also utilized to represent the 2007 oil protest by the left-wing party PRD, and in a parade commemorating the Bicentennial of MexicoÂ’s independence organized by the government in 2010. This evolution and vindi cation, however, is not parallel with the case of the milicianas. The third stage of the evolution of the iconic soldaderas and milicianas provides perhaps the most crucial dis tinction between them, which lie s in how Mexico and Spain treated their historical memo ries or historical past. The Mexican Revolution followed an immediate extensive dissemination and commerc ialization of the revolutionary events in the aftermath of the revolution. Furthermor e, according to Carlos Monsivis, no other revolution has been as ferociously commercia lized as the Mexican Revolution (Â“NotasÂ” 1510), and that includes the propa ganda that uses the image of the soldadera, also known as La Adelita. The miliciana heroines fr om the Second Republic, on the other hand, did not enjoy such commercialization and it took much time and effort for all the Republicans to be publicly and officially acknowledged by the post-Franco era Spanish governments.
121 As mentioned earlier, the memory boom in Spain culminated in the passage of the Law of Historical Memory in 2007 to legitimat ize and consolidate national identity and to validate the societal clai ms from all those who have not yet been vindicated (Boyd 144). The passage of the Law of Historical Memory, however, is relatively recent and has endured acute debate. Thus, representati ons of the milicianas have not yet reached the status of national symbols of idealized femininity in political propaganda and popular culture, as have the Adelitas of the Me xican Revolution. The recent 2007 Law of Historical Memory opens up the possibility th at the miliciana might become a symbol of national identity in Spain simila r to La Adelita in Mexico.
122 WORKS CITED Aldecoa, Josefina. Historia de una maestra Barcelona: Compactos Anagrama, 1990. Print. ---. Mujeres de negro Barcelona: Compactos Anagrama, 1994. Print. ---. La fuerza del destino Barcelona: Compactos Anagrama, 1997. Print. ---. Los nios de la guerra Madrid: Anaya, 1983. Print. Arrizn, Alicia. "Soldaderas and the Staging of the Mexican Revolution." The Drama Review 42.1 (1998): 90-112. JSTOR Web. 20 Sept. 2013. Ball, Terence, and Richard Dagger. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal New York: Pearson, 2006. Print. Ben-Ami, Shlomo. "The Dictatorship of Pr imo de Rivera: A Political Reassessment" Sage Publications 12 (1977): 65-84. JSTOR Web. 9 Apr. 2014. Bernal, Martha E., and Phy lis Cancilla. Martinelli. Mexican American Identity Encino, CA: Floricanto, 2005. Print. Boyd, C. P. "The Politics of History and Memory in Democratic Spain." The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 617.1 (2008): 133-48. JSTOR Web. 20 Feb. 2014. Brothers, Caroline. War and Photography:A Cultural History London: Routledge, 1997. Print. Campobello, Nellie. Cartucho and My MotherÂ’s Hands Trans. Doris Matthews and Irene Matthews. Austin: U of Texas P, 1988. Print. Casanova, Julin y Carlos Gil Andrs ed. Historia de Espaa en el siglo XX Barcelona: Editorial Ariel, 2009. 231-56. Print.
123 Castellanos, Rosario. Baln Cann Mxico City: Fondo de Cultura Econmica, 1957. Print. Cenarro, ngela. "Matar, vigilar y delatar: la quiebra de la sociedad civil durante la guerra y la posguerra en Espaa (1936-1948)." Historia Social 44 (2002): 65-86. 2002. JSTOR Web. 18 Feb. 2014. ---. "Muerte y subordinacin en la Espaa fran quista: el imperio de la violencia como base del nuevo estado" Historia Social 30 (1998): 5-22. 1998. JSTOR Web. 18 Feb. 2014. Chacn, Dulce. La voz dormida Madrid: Punto de le ctura, 2002. Print. Cobb, Christopher. "The Republican State a nd Mass-Educational-Cultural Initiatives 1931-1936." Ed. Helen Graham and Jo Labanyi. Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction:The Struggle for Modernity Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. 133-38. Print. Dahl, Robert A. Democracy and Its Critics New Haven: Yale UP, 1989. Print. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex Trans. H.M. Parshley. Ed. H.M. Parshley. New York: Vintage, 1989. Print. De Pablos, Mercedes. "Review: Las verdader as libertarias: La voz dormida by Dulce Chacn." Renacimiento No. 37/38 (2002): 103-04. JSTOR Web. 12 Apr. 2014. Dupla, Christina. "La voz de Josefina Al decoa, pedagoga y escritora. Lo que ms me interesa es el ser humano: Una familia de maestras. Entrevista realizada por Christina Dupla." Duoda 15 (1998): 113-28. Print. Ebels, Fenny. "Reading the Frame: Signalling Politics in Nada." Neophilologus 93 (2009): 619-32. Print.
124 Encarna Nicols, Mara. "Franco y su Dictadura." Breve Historia de la Espaa de Franco Madrid: Los Libros de la Catarata, 2011. 11-49. Print. Esquivel, Laura. Como agua para chocolate: Laura Esquivel New York: Doubleday, 1989. Print. ---. Like Water for Chocolate: Laura Esquivel New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1994. Print. Evans, Peter "Cultural Nationalism." Ed. Helen Graham and Jo Labanyi. Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction: The Struggle for Modernity Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. 215-28. Print. Fernndez, Delia. "From Soldadera to Adelit a: The Depiction of Women in the Mexican Revolution." TRiO Ronald E. McNair 13.1 (2009): 53-62. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. < ScholarWorks@GVSU> Fernndez Martnez, Mara Luisa. "The Heroic Figure of the Anarchist Miliciana in the Spanish Civil War: Vicente ArandaÂ’s Libertarias." The Image of the Hero II in Literature, Media, and Society: Proceedings 2010 Conference Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery Ed. Will Wright and Steven Kaplan. Pueblo, CO: Society, 2010. 255-58. Print. Fornet, Jorge. Reescrituras de la memoria: Novela femenina y revolucin en Mxico Havana: Letras Cubanas, 1994. Print. Fuentes, Vctor. Â“La mujer, autora y protagon ista, en el romancero de la guerra civil.Â” Letras Femeninas 12-1.2 (1986):16-23. JSTOR Web. 26 Mar. 2014. Garca, Jos Luis. "Rosario Di namitera (Miguel Hernndez)." YouTube Web. 26 Mar. 2014. < https://www .youtube.com/watch?v=G2_5kSssNpI>.
125 Garro, Elena. Recollections of Things to Come Austin: U of Texas, 1969. Print. Gonzlez A. Alpuche, Juan. "La Revolucin." Artes de Mxico 14 (1967): 65. Print. Graham, Helen. "Sexual Politics." Ed Helen Graham and Jo Labanyi. Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction: The Struggle for Modernity Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. 99-115. Print. ---. "Gender and the State: Women in the 1940s Initiatives 1931-1936." Ed. Helen Graham and Jo Labanyi. Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction: The Struggle for Modernity Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. 182-95. Print. Guerrero, Julio. La gnesis del crimen en Mxico : estudio de psiquiatra social Mxico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1996. Print. Harper, Douglas. "Amazon." Online Etymological Dictionary Web. 11 Feb. 2014. Hermanos Bauelos. "Marijuana, La Soldadera." Rec. 23 January 1929. The Mexican Revolution: Local Revolutionary Figures. Arhoolie, 1996. CD. Herzberger, David K. "A Life Worth Living: Narrating Self and Identity in Josefina Aldecoa's Trilogy." Ed. Kathleen Mcleen and Kathleen NcNerney. Foro hispnico: revista hispnica de Flandes y Holanda 31 (2008): 135-46. Print. ---."Narrating the Past: History and the Novel of Memory in Postwar Spain." Modern Language Association 106.1 (1991): 34-45. JSTOR Web. 15 Feb. 2014. "Imgenes de la Guerra Civil Espaola." Memoria Republicana II Repblica Sociedad Benfica de Historiadores Aficionados y Creadores, May 2000. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. . Ishay, Micheline. The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era Berkeley: U of California P, 2004. Print.
126 Jackson, Gabriel. A Concise History of the Spanish Civil War London: Thames and Hudson, 1974. Print. Juegos de Guerra Dir. Vicente Aranda. Perf. Miguel Bos, Antonio Dechent, Ana Beln, Ariadna Gil, Loles Len, and Victoria Abril. Venevision International, 1996. DVD. Kelley, Jane Holden. Yaqui Women: Contemporary Life Histories Lincoln: U of Nebraska P. 1978. Print. Kenny, Nuala. "Exile and the Mother-Daught er Relationship in Josefina Aldecoa's Mujeres de negro and La fuerza del destino." Transcultural Encounters amongst Women; Redrawing Boundaries in Hispani c and Lusophone Art, Literature and Film (2010): 93-104. Print. King, Rosa E. Tempest over Mexico : a personal chronicle Boston: Little Brown, 1935. Print. "La Adelita." (n.d.): n. pag. Wikipedia Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. "La Adelita, han identificado quin tom la fotografa." El Positivo: Peridico Cultural y de cosas buenas Aguascalientes, Mxi co, n.d. Web. 6 Nov. 2013. . Labanyi, Jo. "Memory and Modernity in Democra tic Spain: The Difficulty of Coming to Terms with the Spanish Civil War." Poetics Today 28.1 (2007): 89-116. JSTOR Web. 14 Jan. 2012. Laforet, Carmen. Nada. New York: Oxford UP, 1958. Print.
127 La Negra Angustias. Dir. Mara Elena Marqus, Agustn Isunza, Eudardo Arozamena, Gilberto Gonzlez and Fanny Schiller Madera Cinevideo, 1987. Film. Lannon, Frances. "Women and Images of Women in the Spanish Civil War." Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 1 (1991): 213. Print. Â“Las fotos del Bicentenario de The Big Picture.Â” The Lobby Conspiracy. Las Conspiraciones en el Lobby 19 Sept. 2010. Web. 6 Nov. 2013. La Soldadera. Dir. Jos A. Bolaos. Perf. Silvia Pinal, Jaime Fernndez, Narciso Busquets, Sonia Infante, Pedro Armend riz Jr., and Vctor Manuel Mendoza. Producciones Marte, 1966. Film. La voz dormida Dir. Benito Zambrano. Perf. Inma Cuesta, Mara Len, Marc Clotet, Daniel Holgun, Ana Wagener, and Susi Snchez. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2011. DVD. Leggott, Sarah. "La voz testimonial de Josefina R. Aldecoa." JILAS Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies 5.1 (1999): 89-98. Print. Len, Mara Teresa. Memoria de la melancola Madrid: Editorial Castalia, 1998. Print. ---. Crnica general de la guerra civil Sevilla: Editorial Re nacimiento, 2007. Print. Libertarias. Dir. Vicente Aranda. Perf. Miguel Bo s, Antonio Dechent, Ana Beln, Ariadna Gil, Loles Len, and Victoria Abril. Venevision International, 1996. DVD. Lines, Lisa Margaret. Milicianas: Women in Combat in the Spanish Civil War Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2012. Print.
128 ---. "Female Combatants in the Spanish Civil War: Milicianas on the Front Lines and in the Rearguard." Journal of Internat ional Women's Studies 10.4 (2009): 168-87. Web. 2 Feb. 2014. . Linhard, Tabea Alexa. Fearless Women in the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War Columbia, MO: U of Missouri P. 2005. Print. Macias, Anna. "Women and the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920." The Americas 37.1 (1980): 53-82. JSTOR Web. 25 Feb. 2014. ---. Against All Odds: The Feminist Movement in Mexico to 1940 Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1982. Print. Mangini, Shirley. Memories of Resistance: Women's Voices from the Spanish Civil War New Haven: Yale UP, 1995. Print. ---. Recuerdos de la resistencia: la voz de las mujeres de la guerra civil espaola. Trans. Teresa Kennedy. Barcelona: U of Yale P, 1995. 111-20. Print. "Marianne." Wikipedia Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Ma r. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. . Marn, Dolors. "Las Libertar ias." Ed. Ingrid Strubl. Partisanas: la mujer en la resistencia armada contra el fascismo y la ocupacin alemana (1936-45) Barcelona: La Llevir-Virus, 1996. 356-358. Print. Mart Ibez, Felix. Tres mensajes a la mujer: Photocopy Barcelona: Ediciones y Reportajes, 1937. Print. Martn Moruno, Dolores. "Becoming visibl e and real: Images of Republican Women during the Spanish Civil War." Visual Culture & Gender 5 (2010): 5-15. Academia.edu Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
129 Mika, Mi Guerra de Espaa Dir. Fito Pochat and Javier Olivera. Perf. Cristina Banegas and Arnold Etchebhre. Alikornio, 2003. Film. Monera, Vicente. "Rosario Dinamitera Bing Videos." Bing Videos N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014. . Monsivis, Carlos. Â“Notas sobre la cultura Mexicana en el siglo XX.Â” Historia general de Mxico Coord. Centro de Estudios Histric os. Vol. 2 Mxico: El Colegio de Mxico, 1996. 1375-1548. Print. Nash, Mary. "Un/Contested Id entities: Motherhood, Sex Refo rm and the Modernization of Gender Identity in Earl y Twentieth-Century Spain." Constructing Spanish Womanhood: Female Identity in Modern Spain New York: SUNY P, 1999. 2549. Print. ---. "Women in War: Milicianas and Ar med Combat in Revolutionary Spain, 19361939." The International History Review Taylor & Francis, May 1993. Web. 7 Feb. 2014. Niggli, Josephina. The Plays of Josefina Niggli: Recovered Landmarks of Latino Literature Ed. William Orchard and Josephina Niggli. Madison: U of Wisconsin P. 2007. Print. Orwell, George. Homage to Catalonia London: Secker & Warburg, 1954. Print. Palomar Bar, Eduardo. "La mujer republican a: las milicianas en la guerra civil espaola." Tribuna de la historia Web. 2 Feb. 2014. . Patterson, Thomas E. We the People: A Concise Introduction to American Politics Eighth ed. New York: McGraw-H ill Higher Education, 2009. Print.
130 Pla Burgat, Dolores. "El exilio republicano espaol." Historia Social 13 (2004): 14-34. JSTOR Web. 26 Sept. 2012. Portela, Luis. "Heroca y Desconocida Co mbatiente de Nuestra Guerra Civil." Sociedad Benfica de Historiadores Aficionados y Creadores N.p., May 2000. Web. 7 Feb. 2014. Poniatowska, Elena. Las Soldaderas: Women of the Mexican Revolution. Trans. David Dorado Romo. El Paso: Cinco Puntos, 1999. Print. ---. Here's To You Jesusa! Trans. Deanna Heikkinen. Ne w York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001. Print. ---. Hasta no verte Jess mo Mxico City: Ediciones Era, 1969. Print. Puccini, Dario. Romancero de la resistencia espaola Trad. Jos A Goytisolo y colaboradores. Mexico City: Era, 1967. 93-4. Rabinad, Antonio. "Libertarias." El Ciervo 96 S.A. 45 (1996): 546-547. JSTOR Web. 11 Apr. 2014. ---. Libertarias Barcelona: Planeta Bolsillo, 1997. Print. Reed, John. Insurgent Mexico: With Pancho V illa in the Mexican Revolution St. Petersburg, FL: Red and Black, 2009. Print. Resndez, Andrs Fuentes. "Battleground Women: Soldaderas and Female Soldiers in the Mexican Revolution." The Americas 51.4 (1995): 525-53. JSTOR Web. 20 Sept. 2013. "Revolt of the Rural Poor." Economic and Political Weekly 29.3 (1994): 69-70. JSTOR Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
131 Rojas Gonzlez, Francisco. La negra angustias Mxico City: Fondo de Cultura Econmica, 1999. Print. Ross, John. "Mexico: Oil Privatisation Halted Due to Mass Protests." Global Research, 23 May 2008. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. . Salas, Elizabeth. Soldaderas in the Mexican Military: Myth and History Austin: U of Texas P, 1990. Print. Schuessler, Michael K. Elena Poniatowska: An Intimate Biography Foreword by Carlos Fuentes. Tucson: U. of Arizona P. 2007. Print. Schwartz, Stephen. Â“The Paradoxes of Film and the Recovery of Historical Memory: Vicente Aranda's Works on the Spanish Civil War.Â” Film History 20.4 (2008): 501-507. JSTOR Web. 11 Apr. 2014. Solsten, Eric, and Sandra W. Meditz eds. "Spain: A Country Study." U.S. Library of Congress Washington: GPO for the Librar y of Congress, 1988. Web. 14 Feb. 2014. Soto, Shirlene Ann. Emergence of the Modern Mexic an Woman: Her Participation in Revolution and Struggle for Equality, 1910-1940 Denver, CO: Arden, 1990. Print. Thord-Gray, Ivor. Gringo Rebel: Mexico 1913-1914 Coral Gables. Fla.: U of Miami P. 1960. Print. Tro Gonzlez. Â“La Adelita.Â” Rec. 22 December 1919. The Mexican Revolution: The Francisco Villa Cycle. Arhoolie, 1996. CD. Villalba, ngela. Mexican Calendar Girls. Golden Age of Calendar Art: 1930-1960/ Chicas de calendarios mexicanos. La poca de oro del arte de los calendarios:
132 1930-1960 Foreword by Carlos Monsivis. Bilingual Ed. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2006. Print.