The main idea of the story is how men mistreat woman and think of them as inferior human beings because of race issues. The difference between what men and woman can and cannot do because society looks at them in a certain way. In this story, we can see how life as a Mexican girl can be when you have close-minded parents that let themselves be part of what society dictates. We can also see how Mexican women are classified in American society as servants for their husbands. They are all under a stereotype that makes them less capable of doing things that men do. These women let men in their lives dominate absolutely everything they do.
Simple things such as studying, playing sports, becoming a professional, are almost impossible for Mexican women because the male figure, father, husband and even son, don't think it is necessary for them to learn anything but cooking, cleaning and having children. Women are considered slaves and servants whose only purpose is serve the three men in her life. For these men, as long as women have food ready, a cleaned house, and are willing to please them sexually whenever they want, she is a good wife. We can see this in the story in a couple of occasions. When Ricardo doesn't want her daughter to study because that's not what she went to America to do. She went to America to get married and serve her husband. We can also see this in the way José treats Marí when she doesn't have his food ready. .
When Marí is giving birth to her children, we can see that her husband, José, is indigenized because all Marí had were baby girls. When the nurse gives José his daughters, we can see his disrespect towards women because of the way he names them. All the names that he used were as if he was regretting having kids. Not because he didn't want any, but because all they had were girls and he wanted boys so that they could be someone in life.