Do You Find "Chingona" Offensive?

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Our Dimelo columnist, Pauline Campos, stirred up a bit of controversy herself when she wrote a blog last year proclaiming she was raising her daughter to be a chingona. 

"Maybe my family is weird, but my grandfather called us his chingonas the same way most people call their kids sweetheart," she wrote. "It's a controversial Mexican slang term that means badass chick, but can have more negative connotations. I look at it from the standpoint of the word bitch: you either are offended to be called one or strive to be one," she wrote.

Sandra Cisneros, the award-winning author of The House on Mango Street, also made a case for the word. "This is my path," she said. "And I'm going to follow it regardless of what culture says. I don't think the church likes chingonas. I don't think the state like chingonas. Fathers definitely don't like chingonas. Boyfriends don't like chingonas. But, you know, I'm being optimistic. I'll find a man who likes chingonas."

Some Latinas have embraced the word as a way to say they're badasses -- women who don't take anything from anyone. Those who march to the beat of their own drum; who don't blindly follow what culture and tradition tells them to. They're las chingonas -- the independent bitches who make moves and get what they want. 

So, let's open this up for discussion. What are you thoughts on the word chingona? Is it vulgar? Does it just mean 'badass' or 'cool'? Or is it a word that can be reclaimed in a respectful way? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

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Cristina Arreola, Associate Editor

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