Gloria Anzaldua was more than just an activist for feminism, she also spoke strongly about her feelings towards the connection between language and identity. In her essay "How to Tame a Wild Tongue" Anzaldua outlines her strong emotions towards the disposing of one's native tongue in order to conform to any given environment. The issue she addresses is the criticizing of one's accent and how that shapes an individual. Anzaldua spoke the 'improper' and 'poor' Chicano Spanish throughout her childhood however, she was constantly scolded and criticized by her mother as well as educators; according to Anzaldua this is where society is messed up. The way a person speaks also illustrates who they are and is intertwined with their identity. Ethnic identity is a twin to linguistic identity, therefore the critique of one's way of speaking also criticizes who the individual is. Not only does language shape individuals, it shapes all environments. Anzaldua calls this "Linguistic Terrorism" because it is an attack on individuals to shape what is acceptable and what is not, which also creates a hierarchy. Just because one form of Spanish is different from another does not mean that either is more or less authentic. Her main point is to support and further promote the acceptance of all languages and accents.
"To survive in the Borderlands you must live sin fronteras, be a crossroads."
-Gloria E. Anzaldua
In Relation to Foucault
According to Michel Foucault language controls because it has the ability to exclude. For instance, institutions control us by using language that not everyone can understand and interact with. Take legal jargon, unless the individual involved in a legal issue knows the diction he or she needs to hire someone to settle transactions. For Foucault this creates power structures, separating those that are in control and those that are not. Similar to Foucault's idea that society is controlled by language because it forms a barrier, Anzaldua agrees with her idea that language shapes all environments. These two rhetoricians maintain the idea that language creates a hierarchy system.