The authors of this book are absolutely correct in their emphasis on the need to dispel certain stereotypes about Chicana (and other Hispanic) women prevalent in the popular as well as the social science literature. These stereotypes portray Chicana women as weak and passive, and, as the authors note, often serve to justify the very oppression of which these culture traits are a product.
The authors attempt to counter the passive image of the Chicana by concentrating primarily on the lives of illustrious Chicana, Mexican, or Aztec women like Dolores Huerta, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, or Malinche. Equally compelling data, however, can be drawn from the lives of ordinary Chicana and other Hispanic women, vivid portraits of whom have begun to appear in the new wave of Latin American feminist literature, which the authors here unfortunately ignore or of which they seem to be unaware. An analysis of this literature would have enhanced their argument greatly, and perhaps helped them avoid pitfalls like regarding machismo as an assertion of ethnic pride. Such theories only weaken the thrust of their book and tend to replace one stereotype with another.