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Why You Shouldn't Call Latinas Fiery

I'm Just a "Fiery, Spicy Latina"

The following post originally appeared on Medium.

This antibullying campaign at school was, um, misguided, but it did provide a great selfie op.

There are few things I love more than being called a fiery Latina when I have the gall to express myself without leading with "sorry" or any other kind of submissive comment when I've done nothing wrong. I love when my brownness combined with my opinion-having leads to non-Latinas describing me as spicy or fiery in a sweet combination of racism and sexism. These are some of the things I love slightly more than that:

  • stepping on dog sh*t
  • going to the DMV
  • pooping while wearing a tampon
  • getting out of bed after a night of drinking Franzia boxed wine
  • the economy
  • having someone call me "young lady" or "girl", especially when they want something from me
  • logging into my FedLoan servicing account and seeing my outstanding student loan balance
  • having a connecting flight delayed
  • people who call my parents "illegals"
  • when people assume that I don't have a college degree and are even more taken aback that it's a scientific one
  • being asked how many kids I have at 23 instead of if I have kids
  • when folks use "Mexicans" or "Chicanos" as a synonym for all Latinos/Hispanics
  • when people have to do at least three double-takes when they see that the Korean guy with me is in fact my boyfriend (apparently any interracial couple that is not white+something else is an anomaly)
  • that time that I was asked at a job interview what my father thought about my career and I explained that, lo and behold, my father actually lets me be my own person. I did not get a call back after that interview
  • receiving a patronizing "gracias" or "hola" from a non-Spanish speaker
  • being followed around in stores
  • when people discuss the male/female wage gap and completely skip over the racial breakdown of the gap (as in, white women make less than white men but more than both black and Hispanic men and women, and Hispanic women are at the very bottom with about 54 cents to the white man's dollar. Yay! And also our complete disregard for Asian and Native populations in this conversation)
  • clickbait
  • restaurants that don't bring you free bread and butter
  • high gas prices
  • pretty much anything

Personally, I consider myself sweet and tan like a plátano frito. But if you're a non-Latina who wants to call me a "fiery and/or spicy Latina," just go ahead and call me an "ethnic opinionated loud-mouth who's not afraid to say what others are thinking but I'm secretly afraid of because she's kind of a bitch", because I know that's what you mean.

Image Source: Courtesy of Ellie Guzman
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