The “martazos” that forced us to rethink the dirty word “feminist”
A few days ago visited Chiapas, the teacher of many feminists in Mexico and perhaps elsewhere, Marta Lamas. She came invited by the Autonomous University of Chiapas and other civil institutions. Not a few were to listen with high expectations to learn something new or maybe just to see live the one both have read and maybe even seen on television. Great was the surprise to hear a warm Marta came to be confused with her comments and strengthen the strong patriarchal culture that prevails in Chiapas, manifested even among those who in one way or another sponsored her presence in this entity.
The first “martazo” was when she justified the fact that an official from the University called “Little Women” to the assistants, one of these immediately asked that they be call “Women” and not little women, what Marta out of step said that we should distinguish between a compliment and an harassment or act that were aimed at showing or naming us as being less than. It has been hard to argue as a “compliment” is on the thin line of harassment and contempt.
The nickname is used as derogatory and when worn for women, it is obvious that this is not an innocent remark, that the official in question in a mostly male audience would have not had referred to his audience as “little men”.
The second “martazo” was when she said “Feminism has become a dirty word. Young people need to find a new word for which there is still inequality. They could be called egalitarian or young for equity, I do not know, but the label of feminist understanding inequality should not be. Will Marta has never wondered why feminism has become a dirty word? She does not know how over the years a number of noble knights have been determined to make that term a bad word, so that women do not want to be related to her? If we say that feminism is a bad word, then we are legitimizing which also results in a bad cause? Not surprisingly, feminism has been associated with evil, to the socially unappetizing, to the politically incorrect, a bad-humored women, who can not find their place in the world, women who fall ill with your thoughts and questions to Women who do not accept the hetero norm. It is no secret that there are serious tensions within the women’s movement and the feminists themselves, which Maria Antonia Garcia de Leon calls “the dark side of the moon”, rivalries, lack of solidarity and sisterhood between companions fight financings, for resources, for status, even the appointment of the spaces are won.
The suspicions veiled criticism of partnerships, including a zeal and surveillance from which they derive their livelihood, which is more legitimate livelihood, but have also fallen into unfortunate challenge to see who is the most feminist, the most consistent, the most career, have fallen into absurdity in believing ourselves with the moral quality of authenticity and credentials to this, as a feminist, unfortunately I have not been employed. And I want to share that with people that I qualified low to high and vice versa, I have learned to lead a process where the contradictions are not foreign, and as I repeated insistently, to be a feminist is no vaccine against the patriarchal system, which a single dose were cured, feminism is more like high performance sport, where every day we must train for visible shapes, and through our speeches and practices reproduce that system, we long to eradicate. Perhaps that what she meant when Marta said it was a bad word; as to the tensions created and because then feminists, not all clear, see below the shoulder to which they are not, as if the fact of naming us and transform our practice and because sometimes fall into practices like strip of the word to the oppressed women; feminist naming us as if we did not have a subordinate role in this system.
The point here is that Marta forces us to rethink, why are we feminists and why we like to call so perhaps this has been her greatest contribution: It is regrettable that the drafts males of these parts misunderstood the lesson to reading them was “parochial here came the great feminist Marta Lamas to say that feminism is a bad word and underlying form accordingly feminism is a bad fight; return home to wash and iron and fight for egalitarianism”.
Cold, shock and fear gave those coquettish poses Marta Lamas with male attendants, a sort of them also have reason; We listen and from the privileged position of try to understand. And feminism has an explanation of how patriarchy affects the subordinate masculinity, but hegemonic masculinities are as oppressive as centuries ago. It is obvious that feminism is not a fight against men; but if it is a struggle against sexism people; Men, women and other gender identities; It is difficult to try to explain what feminism is to the lazy ones that do not even want to read in wikipedia what is feminism or feminisms.
Feminism, accounting has helped many women to give us the right, to love, to face this world of patriarchal domination does not mean as a dirty word. So far this thriving new generation of feminist Chiapas vindicate us to commemorate the struggle of our ancestors; we are proud to say call us that as well; from the site of struggle and contradictions to let others know that we are also human beings.
Patricia Chandomí is a journalist, activist, defender of human rights of women. Dr. Of Social Science in Gender, Culture and Identity at the University of Science and Arts of Chiapas. Twitter: @patriachandomi