Woman W is a citizen of the United States, but lived in Guatemala for many years before leaving the country and an abusive marriage several years ago. She was married to a prominent Guatemalan and appeared to have a fairy tale life built on privilege and prestige. She suffered the separation of her half Guatemalan children; and moreover, she was forced to flee Guatemala with 35 dollars in her pocket and the clothes on her back.
“Because men were dominated by the necessities of life, they could win their freedom only through the domination of those whom they subjected to necessity by force” (Ardent 84)
The loss of familial support and social capital for Latin American female emigrants can be devastating. The world in which these women navigate is centered on their positioning within the family structure and when broken it ruptures family dynamics that count those most vulnerable, women and children as its victims.
“Sex was the means to access both life of the body and life of the species” (Foucault 146)
Motherhood is considered one of the most sacred institutions in Latin American society, In patriarchal societies such as Guatemala, motherhood is equal to martyrdom and suffering. The more a woman suffers the more she is “comparable” to the symbols of female religious icons which represent suffering for millions of Guatemalans. We see how the patriarchal influence of religion dictates female sexuality and the performance of gender within the strict binary roles set by the church. This is done in order to stipulate the function of procreation which is pertinent in the perpetuation of nuclear families.