I came across the article from the Daily Beast as it made it’s way across my twitter stream. The article, titled, Meet the Fútbol Moms, focuses on the launch of a new website targeting mamis, that is Latina moms. The website, Mamiverse, which I have yet to explore in depth, promises to give Latina mamis, a huge demographic, “the Oprah treatment”.
Who said we wanted that?
According to the article, what the Mamiverse wants to do is to prove that all Latina mothers are not undocumented anchor baby makers. Well those words weren’t used. These were:
In a period when American-born Latinas have been caught in the national freakout about “border security,” Mamiverse offers them a new spokeswoman. She’s a particular kind of Latina mom—an English-speaking, all-American gal. “The young, acculturated, affluent, online Latina is speaking English, and is imbibing media in English,” says Rene Alegria, the site’s 36-year-old founder and CEO.
In other word a Latina who is happy to pass? All- American meaning anything but Latin American. The website wants us all to be Gabriela Solis apparently. Oh and Rene Alegria – not a mami.
From the article:
He was born in Tucson, Ariz., in 1975. His family is a case study in the acculturation process he now trumpets. Alegria’s grandparents immigrated from Sonora, Mexico, in 1955 and still don’t speak English. By the time he was 19, Alegria was living in New York and working at the publisher Simon & Schuster…At 25, as a young editor at HarperCollins, Alegria founded Rayo, the first major Hispanic imprint in New York publishing. He insisted that most of Rayo’s books, from authors like Ray Suarez and Jorge Ramos, should be in English…The imprint began producing mostly Spanish-language books. “It ended up being the Telemundo of book publishing,” Alegria moans. He left in 2009.
According to the article, Alegria was “horrified” at the calls for a boycott when Arizona’s SB1070 passed. The Mamiverse – again not started by a mami – is based in Arizona.
The Mamiverse has started with a star lineup of mamis including Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, Maria Hinojosa, Daisy Fuentes. It has also started with one exclusive retailer ready to sell to the new demographic- Target.
The end of the article tries to make the Mamiverse political – saying that it is the mamis who will determine the 2012 election.
Alegria thinks Mom will be the one brokering the conversation. “The next César Chávez,” he says grandly, “is going to be a Latina mom.”
Because apparently Latina moms have never done anything politically before this moment.
Based solely on the article (again I have not really analyzed the actual site) it seems the success of the Mamiverse is based on the notion of erasing the idea of otherness which means that any mami who does not fit into this upwardly mobile, English speaking, non-pork eating mold gets further pushed into the shadows.
Pass me the pernil because I am not sitting at that table.
Have you checked out the Mamiverse? Does it represent your mami’hood?