Alma Zaragoza-PettyNov 2, 2022
Owning Your Inner Badass for Healing and Justice
Broadleaf Books 2022
In Chingona: Owning Your Inner Badass for Healing and Justice (Broadleaf Books, 2022), Mexican American activist, scholar, and podcast host Alma Zaragoza-Petty helps us claim our inner chingona, a Spanish term for badass woman. For all the brown women the world has tried to conquer, badassery can be an asset, especially when we face personal and collective trauma. Working for change while preserving her spirit, a chingona repurposes her pain for the good of the world. She may even learn that she belongs to a long line of chingonas who came before her--unruly women who used their persevering energy to survive and thrive.
As a first-generation Mexican American, Zaragoza-Petty narrates in riveting terms her own childhood, split between the rain-soaked beauty of her grandparents' home in Acapulco and a harsh new life as an immigrant family in Los Angeles. She describes the chingona spirit she began to claim within herself and leads us toward the courage required to speak up and speak out against oppressive systems. As we begin to own who we are as chingonas, we go back to where our memories lead, insist on telling our own stories, and see our scars as proof of healing.
Liberating ourselves from the bondage of the patriarchy, white supremacy, and colonization that exists in our own bodies, we begin to see our way toward a more joyful future. This work won't be easy, Zaragoza-Petty reminds us. Imagining a just and healed world from the inside out will take dialing in to our chingona spirit. But by unleashing our inner badass, we join the righteous fight for dignity and justice for all.
Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland.