Depiction of "adelitas", or soldaderas, of the Mexican Revolution.
"La Adelita" is one of the most famous corridos of the Mexican Revolution. Over the years, it had had many adaptations. This particular version of the ballad was inspired by a Durangan woman who joined the Maderista movement in the early stages of the Revolution who fell in love with Madero. Consequently, this popular icon became the source that documented the role of women in the Mexican Revolution, and gradually became synonymous with the term soldadera, or female soldier, who became a vital force in the revolutionary war efforts due to their participation in the battles against Mexican government forces.
Today, it is argued that Adelita came to be an archetype of a woman warrior in Mexico and a symbol of action and inspiration. Additionally, her name is used to refer to any woman who struggles and fights for her rights. However, the song, the portrait, and the role of its subject have been given different, often conflicting, interpretations. It has also been argued that "'La Adelita' expressed the sensitivity and vulnerability of [army] men, emphasizing the stoicism of the rebellious male soldier as he confront[ed] the prospect of death." Another interpretation of this icon by the feminist scholar María Herrara-Sobek) argue that "Adelita’s bravery and revolutionary spirit are lost to the fatalism and insecurities of male soldiers who […] focused on passion, love and desire as they face[d] combat.