The use of the feminine forms Latina and Chicana as nouns in referring to a woman or girl is perfectly proper in American English, and failure to do so (as in She is a Latino) may sometimes be resented. The use of these forms as modifiers, however, poses problems that English does not usually have to solve. Is it wrong to use a masculine form such as Chicano to modify woman? Is the phrase Chicana woman redundant? Should you say She is a Latino novelist, or is Latina novelist required? And is the novel that such a person writes a Latino or a Latina novel?    1
  There is no one answer to these questions, though a few guidelines can be offered. First, the rules of adjective-noun agreement required by Spanish grammar do not normally affect English usage; thus the choice between She is the city?s first Latino mayor and She is the city?s first Latina mayor does not depend on the gender of the Spanish word for mayor. Second, the use of the masculine form as a modifier with reference to a woman is common and unremarkable in English, as in ?Bush Appoints Latino Woman to U.S. Court? (headline in the Sacramento Bee) and ?Juror 1427, a Latino woman who works for the Los Angeles County assessor? (the Los Angeles Times). Third, the use of the feminine form to modify words like woman or girl is often, though not always, associated with a liberal feminist viewpoint, as in ?I came to know Chicana women living in a barrio who were organizing women?s health-care programs? (Ms. magazine). And finally, there are many cases in which the feminine modifier provides significant information that would be lost by using the masculine, as in ?Goldie Hawn plays a bleeding-heart liberal lawyer who rehabilitates the waifs and strays crossing her path [including] a pair of docile Chicana illegals? (the Village Voice).    2