March 15, 2018
Susie S. Porter in “And That It Is Customs Makes It Law” highlights the class conflict and gender ideology during the 1880s and 1900s in Mexico. The laws denied females to take part in business thus restricting their roles to homes. The women during the period that tried to make living through their talents faced legal sections. Women struggled in the public space to receive the entitlement of working woman as it resulted in class conflict. Cultural understanding of woman during the period remained under constant flux. Practices of female seclusion remained visible during the period. However, the social relationships changed in upper and middle class as females represented them as working class. Society's rejection of working-class women was the result of customs, suggesting it as immoral.
A woman during the period finds themselves with the predicaments and limited opportunities for survival. Women who were concerned about helping their families in miserable situations faced limitations. On government’s act of removing cake selling business of a poor woman Trejo wrote, "I am obliged to plead to the father of us the poor, that he concedes what would be for me a fortune, that I be allowed to sell my cakes, and God will compensate you for this act of nobility" (Porter 112). History of Mexico reveals that woman like Trejo struggled over defining working place for them. gender ideology resulted in class conflict as the municipal regulations promoted the role of the concept of working woman. The society played a significant role in creating gender stereotypes and beliefs, "a gendered space approach argues that specific spaces have become associated with either masculine or feminine attributes" (Porter 113). Women were not allowed to take roles outside the traditional rules of feminism. The customs associated business with masculinity and eliminated the similar opportunities for women. The social relationship between men and women was also dependent on the perceived differences between sexes. The customs were more focused on assigning power to the males and creating them as dominant members.
Changing roles of women in public sphere was the result of conflicting relationships between vendors and upper class. Several attempts were made to remove the feminine entry from public spheres but their recognition as working class increased with time. The struggles of vendors focused on receiving their rights and more specifically working rights. Trejo and other women wanted to change their lives by contributing to the society. They believed that only through work they could provide relief to their families and support them against poverty. The state took strict actions to remove women from public spheres as the laws instructed inspectors to remove the vendors fried, grilled food, coffee, and sandwic...