The Gendering of Catholic Folk Magic

26 07 2009


To say that I have always been an odd duck is a bit of an understatement. Perhaps some can attribute it to the fact that growing up, I was a bit of a “mama’s boy”. [Mexican families have a horrible double standard where the boys (sometimes literally) get away with murder, while girls are watched as if any minute they were going off to become street walkers if not properly guarded.] Thus, a boy with a religious disposition was deemed to be a bit of an oddity, though a necessary oddity. Who else was going to fill the ranks of the clergy? Besides, I have a devout grandfather and some devout great-uncles, and men on that side of the family are for the most part church-going. But religion, as in the vast majority of Catholic cultures, was primarily a female affair; the religious secrets of the family were passed down mother to daughter, and mother to son, but the son for the most part preserved them as a vague memory of home and hearth, as a place of safety away from the violence and poverty that often were the burdens of daily life.
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