The conflict between gender and race seems to center around the fact that misogyny is embedded in the machismo of Esperanza's Latino culture. In the third vignette, Esperanza discusses how she sees this gender inequality early in her life.
The boys and girls live in separate worlds. The boys in their universe and we in ours. My brothers for example. They've got plenty to say to me and Nenny inside the house. But outside they can't be seen talking to girls.
Not only do the girls see the difference at a young age, the boys are also aware of the unspoken rules in their culture regarding gender; girls are not spoken to in public.
Esperanza also faces racism because of the stereotypes that others have regarding Latinos—for example, that they are all in gangs and carry knives.
Those who don't know any better come into our neighborhood scared. They think we're dangerous. They think we will attack them with shiny knives. They are stupid people who are lost and got here by mistake.
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