Today we decided we would all do a group blog on Chilean women. My post is below. Leave a comment when your post is ready so I can link to you and let the fun begin!
I feel strangely ambivalent towards Chilean women. I’m not angry that the majority of them don’t seem to want to be friends. This might be because they assume that as a Gringa I won’t be here long enough to get to know — I myself did that to a group of Gringas the other day. They walked up to pet my dog and started asking questions about my life here. I answered and was polite and friendly, but as soon as I heard they were exchange students I didn’t offer them my phone number or feel any real need to put an effort into a relationship that wouldn’t last beyond six months. So, assuming that’s part of the cause behind the lack of Chilena-Gringa friendships that I often hear about, I can relate to that.
But, I think it may go deeper than that. I don’t subscribe to the theory that Chilenas are jealous of Gringas. We’re not all blond and cute. There are plenty of ugly Gringas that come to Santiago too with whom Chilenas could make friends if they wanted, yet I don’t see that happening. I actually think it may just be the intimidation factor.
We’re foreign, we’re exotic to Chile even if we’re as typical in the U.S. as pumpkin pie and chicken soup. We tend to be loud and when on study abroad, way overexcited about things in this country.
Chilean women most likely look at us and think, “These girl seriously need to calm down. About everything.”
And of course, the fact of the matter is that this country has beauty standards that don’t match what the average Chilean person looks like — the ad spreads tell them they should be tall and blond. By nature of our gene pool some Gringas do look like that, thus fueling the Chilean man’s lust for foreign meat.
A friend said she thinks Chilena women are no less bitchy than women in the U.S. That may be so in some parts of the country, but not in all. For example on a bitchiness scale of 1-10, 10 being Shannen Doherty and 1 being Minnie Mouse, I would give Midwestern Gringas and Chilenas an 8, while Southern women would rate a 5 because of their impossible niceness. So it depends on the kind of interactions that you’re used to, as to how standoffish you’ll find them to be.
I think it may also depend on social class. In general lower socio-economic people seem to be kinder, nicer, more willing to open up their homes, etc. High socio-economic people in Chile, often referred to as “cuicos,” are snottier. They look down their noses and talking condescendingly to everyone in their paths. The women have a special way of doing this — they had the dimuitive form on the end of every other word. And as the cuicos popularize this form of speaking, it’s spreading and catching on like wildfire amongst all social classes. “Quieres tomar un cafecito en la tardecita? No? Ok, chaoito!”
I think that Gringas may sometimes mistake this condescion as being specifically targeted towards them because they’re Gringas, not realizing that a high class woman does this to everyone she meets simply because she’s cuica. When you live in a foreign country, it’s sometimes easy to blur the line of struggles that you specifically as a foreigner need to deal with because you’re a foreigner, and things that happen to all people that live in the country just because that’s the way the country is.
I don’t have a lot of Chilena friends. As I’ve said in previous posts on the subject, I don’t think it’s because they all hate Gringas. I think that the entire Chilean culture is an extremely closed one. It’s a culture made up of total distrust, and there are stats to back me up on that. Chileans, or Chilenas specifically don’t want to be friends with Gringas or anybody new, regardless of where that person comes from. Yes, I’ve had a few bad experiences with Chilenas — once a girl told me that now that I was marrying a Chilean man, all Chilena women were now obliged to hate me because I “stole one of the few attractive, educated Chilean men out there.” But, I’ve had some good experiences too — my one and only Chilena friend really helped me out with some family stuff and has been nothing short of awesome in the ways she’s been there for me.
So really, my generalization isn’t that all Chilean women are bitches, simply that they’re very hard to get to know.