I am an ugly daughter. I am the one nobody comes for.
Nenny says she won’t wait her whole life for a husband to come and get her, that Minerva’s sister left her mother’s house by having a baby, but she doesn’t want to go that way either. She wants things all her own, to pick and choose. Nenny has pretty eyes and it’s easy to talk that way if you are pretty.
My mother says when I get older my dusty hair will settle and my blouse will learn to stay clean, but I have decided not to grow up tame like the others who lay their necks on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain.
In the movies there is always one with red red lips who is beautiful and cruel. She is the one who drives the men crazy and laughs them away. Her power is her own and she will not give it away.
I have begun my own quiet war. Simple. Sure. I am one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate.
— Sandra Cisneros “Beautiful and Cruel” from The House on Mango Street