Wise Latinas Embrace Their New Label

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2009 1:51 PM CDT
Sonia Sotomayor.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – GOP senators may have pooh-poohed Sonia Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” comment, but wise Latinas everywhere are wearing the phrase like a badge of honor, the New York Times reports. From t-shirts to blogs, women of Hispanic heritage have warmed to the phrase much like other minority groups appropriate slurs, a linguist says. “‘Wise Latina’ is not just sticking your chin up. It’s a fist in the air.”

A Mexican-American state senator from Texas who had t-shirts made up reading “Another wise Latina woman” says the phrase is empowering, and reminds her of nurturing female elders and “our matriarchal culture.” A younger supporter finds a lesson for today: “You have to be really wise to wake up in the morning and go to school and work and come home and not get involved in the negative things."