FEMST 20 Critical Reading Paper - Ueberrhein 1 Christine...

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Ueberrhein 1 Christine Ueberrhein Chloe Diamond-Lenow Wednesday 9:00 a.m. Romantic and Sexual Relationships Sex, Love, and Everything in Between In Esmeralda Santiago's memoir, Almost a Woman, Santiago struggles with the pressure from all around her to act and behave in particular ways when it comes to her romantic and sexual relationships. This issue of having ones relationship controlled by others is not just a central issue in Santiago's life, but in the lives of girls all around the world. Society has created this “blue-print” of how an acceptable young woman should look and act, and should you not fall into the narrow guidelines they have established you are seen as an outsider – someone who should be looked down upon. In females' romantic and sexual relationships with others they are expected to suppress any desires they may have and often feel guilty or even scared for having or expressing them. Santiago feels the pressure from her mother to not become americanized but also feels the pressure to conform to American societies ideals for a young woman. Upon moving to America, Santiago's mother Mami gave her strict rules when it came to her relationships with others. This is reinforced by the social media view of minority families where “Parent-child relationships are portrayed as restrictive, tedious, and protective” (Martin and Kazyak, 159). Mami's rules were often hypocritical and contradictory which left Santiago confused on how to behave. From a young age she was taught that “men were not to be trusted” and yet “the only way you're leaving my house... is as a married woman” (Santiago, 14, 139.) Mami preached that she should not have sex with any man until she was married, and yet she has eleven children with three different fathers, all of whom she never married. Mami uses
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Ueberrhein 2 herself as an example of “what happened to a girl who let a man take place of an education” and urges her daughters to learn from her mistakes (Santiago 89). Esmeralda finds it difficult to
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