What can I say?
Reality hurts. It hurts me that something that affects the vast majority of the female population in any and every country to a greater or lesser extent is ignored, minimized, or misinterpreted. It hurts me to be told that by sharing my experiences, which along with those of many others are common, painfully all too common, I am blaming all men. As a matter of fact, I am blaming all of society, including myself, for not being able to recognize that the limits of male chauvinism go beyond rape or physical or psychological abuse. It hurts me to have to confront a friend, a brother, a boyfriend, a father, a partner and say no, it is not okay to grope us or tell us to get you some water, clean the room, cook , or organize your life, it turns out that you hate men.
Let’s get one thing straight, it’s a social problem, created by capitalism to enslave us all, to punish us all through the punishment of female bodies. As we know, women are often the transmitters of tradition and the ones who advocate for fairness and justice in the first domain that most people experience: the family. Rabid capitalism needs to destroy any and all vestiges of empathy, compassion and a sense of communal belonging and bonding. According to anthropologist Rita Segato “… toxic, rabid capitalism, … depends on that pedagogy of cruelty to teach. It is, in that sense, that the exercise of cruelty over women’s bodies, but that also extends to homophobic or transgender crimes, all this violence, is nothing other than the discipline that patriarchal forces impose on all those of us…, against everything that destabilizes it . In these bodies is written the instructive message that this patriarchal capitalism of high intensity needs to impose (itself) on the whole (of) society.”
Rita Segato analises it further: ” Life has become immeasurably precarious, and man, who because of his mandate of masculinity, has the obligation to be strong, to be powerful, can not do any more and has many difficulties to be able to be a man. And those difficulties do not have to do, as they say, …with the empowerment of women, which is an argument that has been used a lot, that women have empowered themselves and that men have been weakened by it and therefore Both react like this … No. What weakens men, what destabilises them and transforms them into impotent subjects is the lack of employment, insecurity in employment when they have it, the precariousness of all ties, the uprooting in various ways , the uprooting of a community, family, local environment … in short, the world moves in a way that they can not control and leaves them in a situation of precariousness, … not as a consequence of the empowerment of women, but as a consequence of the precariousness of life, of the economy, of not being able to get more education, to read more, to have access to diverse forms of well-being.”
It amazes me that being the mother of two sons that are my life, having a partner that is truly my partner and with the trajectory that I have followed in my life, someone can tell me that explaining is complaining, that it is bitter and paranoid, that you have to go out and fight … but , of course, without shouting, without much fuss and without-God forbid-violence of any kind, including words that are not flattering or at least neutral enough so that the men who are listening do not feel personally offended.
It astonishes me that men feel offended by the fact that there are women who, when they see them on the street, shrink, move away, cross the street. It hurts me that the injustice of this perceived snub hurts more than the reasons that these women have to react like they do.
It offends me that although statistics and facts cry out, moan and shriek with the names of women, we feel the need to compare the men killed by their partners with the women murdered in the same circumstances. In many cases, these are other men or women who are so fed up with enduring mistreatment that ultimately decide to kill the one who had been killing them little by little. I do not justify it, violence is violence, but I can understand that after years of putting up with it, one day you put your world on its head and decide that if you are going to die, you will die fighting for your life.
It grates me to be silent and not pester so as not to offend when reality becomes too uncomfortable for some brains. It is well known that as a rule, he who is silent, concedes. And keeping quiet, not naming, is how we annul and make things that we do not like, that scare us or worry us disappear, as if repeating to ourselves ‘This isn’t real, it isn’t happening.’ will ultimately erase the pain, the bruises, the deaths.
It unsettles me that there are many women who support
me in private but do not dare to say anything in public because they would have to justify themselves to their husbands / boyfriends / parents / friends, etc.
‘How can you walk down the street with fear? But did someone ever really put a hand on you? Come on, actually take off your clothes or try to rape you or something? … Are stolen kisses and gropes harassment? How come you don’t say it? ‘
Well, that is precisely why we do not say it, because it is painful for others to hear it, they do not want to believe that this is true because of what it implies: that they have been looking the other way all along.
It bothers me that there are people who equate sharing your experiences and asking for collaboration to eliminate these attitudes, which are all too frequent and do not benefit anyone, with ‘behaving like a victim’ or ‘asking for privileges’.
It worries me that because of all this, the new generations have not evolved towards greater equality or greater respect. I know this through my sons, who see how their female friends are slut shamed if they have boyfriends while many boys still want to have as many girlfriends as possible.
What hurts even more is the evolution towards the paralysis and extermination of relations between men and women because we are not able to place responsibilities where they should be, because it is not comfortable for us to ask for what we need -not what society tells us that we want- or for men to not take it lightly or with disdain.
What hurts the most is suspecting that everything will remain the same because apathy is stronger than justice or even fear.
Until we are able to look reality in the face and not try to erase it, annul it or minimize it, there is nothing more to be said.