Wonder: a movie critique

I knew I would eventually watch it but something told me from the start that I wouldn’t like it. Details like the name of the film, the trailers, and general tone of it, let me know that this was a movie I would struggle to watch and I would not be comfortable with how the material would be presented. And bingo, I was correct.

Originally a fictional novel (I haven’t read) by someone who doesn’t have direct experience with the topic, Wonder is a film about a boy born with Treacher Collin’s syndrome. It is a craniofacial deformity that affects the middle part of the facial bones, noticeably the eyes and cheek bones and/or more.  The author of the book met a boy with the syndrome and decided to write an inspirational teen novel.

Similarly, I was born with a deformity that is often compared to Treacher’s except it affects one side of the face causing a baby to be born with a lack skeletal structure on one side rather than the middle of the face, affecting the ear, cheek, and jaw of the side.

So, you can imagine that my watching this movie came with some personal baggage to deal with.

There’s no specific critique I have about it as a film. I actually found it quite boring and stale. It follows typical tropes of teen movies and has no surprising twists. It is your typical feel good inspirational movie. And that is the problem.

Activist Stella Young, who passed away in 2012, coined the term “Inspirational Porn”. After I watched the movie, I googled it and learned the term  immediately identifying what I felt having seen the movie.

The movie quickly describes what young Auggie, the main character, had to go through medically at that point of his life. He is going to school for the first time and will experience what confronting other kids feels like. It then goes into some back stories of some of the other characters. The sister’s role and her point of view made sense to me. It was the only honest part I found as she finds herself struggling to find her own place in the world while her brother has been generally the center of it. But the general gist of the movie is a small moment in the main character’s life in dealing with others as they perceive him.

For those of us that grew up with a deformity, or disability, the way we move about the world takes two forms. One, how you perceive yourself and second, how others treat you as they perceive you. But how we deal with how others perceive us is the important part. It is complex and difficult. One aspect of that is an uncomfortable reality that only the affected, and maybe some around them, understand.

When some of us talk about our struggles with having these deformities, our main goal is not to create sympathy around us, but rather to show that struggle and pain is real and faking otherwise is dishonest.

We did not choose to have these things happen to us. We did not choose to have to deal with surgery, bullying, name calling or the inevitable stares. We are not exceptional because biology has flaws. We, like everybody else, just want to be exceptional by who we are, not what we are.

At the end of the movie, Auggie receives an award for having affected other kids behaviour. Not necessarily for saying something or doing anything but simply for having a face that makes others question their own behaviour. It ends up being a reflection about how people without deformities should treat those with them.

This, to me and others, comes off as society’s own pat on the back for being able to be “good” people for treating those different from them with respect. It’s actually quite insulting. As Young put it, “I am not your inspiration, thank you very much.”

While I could easily say,  “It’s just a nice little story”, these depictions of what I’ve been through are not common in film. When the opportunity to tell a story that I actually can relate to is cut up and portrayed like a nice inspirational story for others, it’s difficult to not be offended when the reality of the situation is much more painful and complicated. It’s difficult to give society a pat on the back for it’s good behaviour when it is us that are left to deal with the struggle and built up baggage that comes with having our faces and bodies.

Young’s “Inspirational Porn” makes a point to say that putting these emotional responses upon those that are different from the norm sets a sort of standard to live up to. Standards I myself struggled with. It’s a nice story when your 9 and all you want is to be accepted. You’re given labels like “strong” and “special”. We’re given character traits which we didn’t work for but were bestowed upon us simply for having to deal with something others hadn’t to. But the things is, life doesn’t end at the end credits. It continues.

What happens after the movie is over? When you start dating, go to job interviews; have to deal with the normal stuff everyone else deals with on top of this other thing that doesn’t go away. I myself only began to seriously struggle with dealing with what I’d been through when I was starting college. And none of it is fit for a feel-good teen movie. That is the reality.

Living with a deformity is not just one stage of life that you overcome and move on from. It is like living with a pebble in your shoe. You get used to it but it’s still poking at you. Sometimes great things happen and you forget it’s there and sometimes it’s all you think about. The pain, the struggle, and the knowing that the pebble is not coming out. We are not society’s token inspirational friend. We are not like this so society can decide to be good. We are not like this so society can take our stories, patch them up, and sell them as feel-good anecdotes for a rainy day. We simply are like this and all we ask for is that society not use us as a way of making itself feel better for accepting us. It comes off as, “I’m so lucky I’m not them but I’m so good for accepting them.” Again, “I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much.”

Admitamos Nuestras Fallas

Estoy segura que ya casi todos han participado en la conversación de una manera u otra. Sale hasta por las orejas. Ha sido el tema más discutido (que no sea Donald Trump)  desde que surgió lo de Harvey Weinstein en Octubre del 2017 cuando Ronan Farrow, hijo de Woody Allen y Mia Farrow, reportó sobre él a través de The New York Times con varios exposées detallando los múltiples incidentes donde actrices se vieron lidiando con una situación cual no debería de ser permitida en cualquier ámbito profesional, público, y/o privado. Pero la conversación no es sencilla; no es blanca y negra.

Desde que surgió el tema sobre el acoso y abuso sexual en Hollywood, han habido todo tipo de respuestas en las redes sociales, en las cenas familiares, en las fiestas entre amigos, y hasta en el trabajo. Es un tema que muchos traemos en la lengua y es uno que no tendrá resolución tan pronto como debería.

Por un lado está el movimiento #MeToo, similar al de #MiPrimerAcoso en México, que a través de las redes sociales se busca atraer atención a lo predominante y común que es el acoso sexual hacia la mujer. Trata sobre solidaridad y sobre hacer dar cuenta que a casi todas las mujeres, definitivamente a muchos hombres también, pero especialmente a las mujeres les ha sucedido algo en algún punto de sus vidas que se pueda sencillamente clasificar como “acoso” si es que no es “abuso”. Aquellas que dirán, “A mi no.” Si, es posible que a ti no. Pero no lo más probable y regresaré a este punto.

Esta aquellos que no entienden o rechazan la idea de que esas actrices que denunciaron a Weinstein puedan llamarlo acoso cuando ellas mismas entraron a la habitación de hotel de Weinstein sabiendo muy bien sobre su reputación ¿Por qué alguien aceptaría una junta en un hotel con la persona más poderosa de la industria en la cual buscan trabajar y quién probablemente decidirá si serán exitosas o no?

Esta el Weinstein effect que ha causado que más voces salgan de las oscuras y denuncien a ellos en poder que han abusado de su posición social, económica, y política con fin de aprovecharse de alguien por una sola noche.

Esta la voz de la actriz francesa Catherine Deneuve quien rechaza al movimiento como un puritanismo en el tema de sexo y una amenaza al romance cotidiano que observamos en las películas de cine, en nuestros sueños cuando esperamos que nuestra pareja nos sorprenda, o hasta en nuestros secretos cuando fantaseamos sobre el vecino, el compañero de trabajo o el chico sentado del otro lado de la barra. Hay que dejar algo claro, el acoso no es romance y el romance no es acoso. Es importante saber esa distinción. 

Están aquellos que dicen que el tema merece un cierto balance; como si decir que el tema de acoso y abuso sexual necesita un lado que defiende …. ¿al acosador?

Luego hay historias como la que acaba de surgir donde una joven fotógrafa reclamó ser víctima del comediante Aziz Ansari. Alguien famoso, recientemente ganador de un premio Golden Globe y al cual se le reconoce por sus opiniones progresistas y liberales. Ella describe lo que parece haber sido una situación donde el actor se aprovechó de ella y él respondió con lo que se ve ser una respuesta genuina y honesta. Conclusivamente parece más como un cita que sencillamente no fue buena. Un encuentro entre dos, donde la comunicación falló y la poca actividad sexual que ocurrió fue incómoda e innecesaria.

Aquí es donde surgen las miles de preguntas que se han hecho desde de Octubre para los que siguen las noticias y desde mucho más antes para quienes conocen el tema: ¿Que debe de suceder para que uno pueda clasificar algo como acoso? ¿Quién decide que es acoso y que no? ¿Como se debe de lidiar con las emociones y sentimientos con aquello que sucede físicamente y verbalmente? ¿Cuales son las rayas negras y cuales las grises? ¿Hay rayas grises? ¿Como lidiamos con las diferencias culturales, sociales, y emocionales que surgen cuando tratamos el tema de sexo? ¿Quien exagera y quien no? ¿Porque a ella/el se le cree y ella/el no? ¿Como se debe de discutir el tema en público? ¿Como de debe discutir en privado? ¿Cuales son y donde caen las responsabilidades de algo que sucede en la sociedad general?

La ley se impone con el fin de proteger a aquellos que se encuentran más vulnerables ante una amenaza. Mientras en teoría la ley debe de apoyar en solucionar esta clase amenaza social, la realidad es que apenas y funciona a su mínimo potencial. Por un lado, la mayoría de las mujeres no denuncian contra sus acosadores porque ellas mismas no creen que lo que les sucede es valido como acoso o abuso. Esto es por muchas razones que incluyen amenazas por el acosador, la mujer pensando que ese trato no vale como acoso, no vale ella lo suficiente para denunciar, que fue su culpa, o se ha normalizado tanto ese abuso que no hace diferencia denunciar o no.

Es importante reconocer que mucho de esta mentalidad se le enseña a la mujer sistemáticamente. De la misma manera en que cuando sí se logra hacer una denuncia, automáticamente suelen cuestionarle lo que traía puesto, con quién estaba, que tomó, y otras ene Miles de cosas que se tratan de verificar por su lado antes de imaginar que exista un acosador.

Y por otro lado, el sistema burocrático no es de gran apoyo a víctimas y también de manera sistemática, le falla a quienes más lo necesitan cuando no los protegen de quienes les causa daño. Esto se ve reflejado cuando en muchos de los casos, las mismas autoridades también buscan culpar a la víctima por aquello que le sucedió.

Entonces, si ya sabemos que la misma institución que debe de protegernos de estos incidentes falla tan catastróficamente, mi pregunta es ¿porque a la sociedad en general se le hace tan complicado o difícil de pensar que existe la posibilidad de que estas cosas suceden con tanta frecuencia y con tan poca atención? ¿Por qué se nos hace tan difícil pensar en la posibilidad de que exista esta falla dentro de nuestra vida cotidiana con todas las otras fallas que suceden al mismo tiempo y que reconocemos con facilidad? ¿Por qué esta falla social no tiene credibilidad y todas las otras sí? ¿Por qué la corrupción sí? ¿Por qué el robo, sí? ¿Por qué el homicidio, sí? ¿Por qué la necesidad de mentir, de juzgar, de hacer trampa, sí tienen lugar y valor sentimental, legal, y ético dentro de nuestra sociedad pero la falla en que tratamos a los sexos de manera distinta y de manera anticuada, abusiva, injusta, y efectivamente dañina, no? Con todas las tonteras que hacemos como humanos diariamente, ¿porque a esta falla no se le da credibilidad? 

No pretendo saber cuales son las respuestas para cada caso que se presenta en los medios ni el entendimiento a las muchas complejidades de lo que es ser un humano hoy en día. Lo que propongo es que tengamos como sociedad la humildad de no asumir saber exactamente cuales son las experiencias de otros porque nosotros creemos que nuestras propias experiencias son lo suficiente para determinar las de los demás. 

Si en cualquier momento has sentido que nadie te entiende, que estas solo en tu experiencia, que si fueras a murmurar tus pensamientos al mundo, ese se caería encima de ti; tu tarea es tratar de tener la mínima compasión y dar a los demás el mismo beneficio de duda que tu quieres que los demás tengan contigo.

No somos una sociedad ciega ni inútil.  Entendemos que el hombre y la mujer tienen pasados muy distintos en la historia que compartimos y entendemos que en el pasado los hombres y las mujeres han tenido distintos papeles dentro de la sociedad. Entendemos que ha la mujer se le otorgó el derecho a votar en México en solo 1953. Es decir, antes de ese año la mujer no tenía el derecho ni de expresar su opinión y decidir por sí misma que clase de vida privada y pública quería llevar acabo. Es decir, mi propia abuela todavía no tenía el derecho de votar el año que mi padre nació. Eso es un hecho.

Pero ese hecho no garantiza el trato equitativo dentro de la sociedad. No garantiza que el jefe vea a su compañera como su igual. No garantiza que un marido permita a su mujer o hija atender a la escuela. No garantiza que a tu secretaria no le vaya a pegar su esposo por llegar tarde del trabajo. No garantiza que a la jefa no la tomen en serio para asistir a juntas donde los hombres salen a comer y a beber juntos para hablar de cosas que “no son para mujeres”. No garantiza que le crean a tu amiga cuando platique que alguien se la violo mientras caminaba a su casa. No garantiza que tomen todo esto en serio porque hay ciertas cosas que definitivamente no han cambiado.

Existe una falla en nuestra sociedad cuando ahora que sale este tema al aire, uno que es serio y que refleja una crisis existencial sobre que clase de sociedad y humanos queremos ser, tan fácilmente se le cuestiona su credibilidad. Tan incomodo el tema y tan cómodos están ahora, que el pavor a la posibilidad de que las cosas cambien hace que prefieran hacerse los ciegos y los negados que enfrentar uno de los retos más importantes en nuestra historia: admitir la falla y permitir que la otra mitad de la población, es decir, la mujer, pueda tener la voz independiente que tanto se le dice haber otorgado hace ya tiempo. Pero basta del habla y permítanse escuchar.

Y a mis amigas que dirán, “a mi no.” Les diré, que bueno por ustedes. Y sí, les creo, esa es la diferencia.

New York, thank you.

About 5 years ago I was at a dive bar with a friend who has having some personal struggles. She was going through something that not only did I relate to; I’d been through the same more than once.  She vented with me about a city that offers every opportunity to make every life experience much harder than it needs to be. We fantasized about what it would have been like to have never left home. To stay where it was familiar. Where there was unconditional support and the future felt somewhat drafted. We were complaining about living in New York City.

“New York is a place that eats you up and spits you out, over and over and over again.” My friend said.

“Yes”, I agreed.

I took a moment from our conversation and stared at the bar.

“Think of it this way,” I said. “Some have the choice between a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of vodka. We have an entire bar. It’s better because there are more options. But it’s also worse because there’s more risk. You may get stuck with a bad cocktail”

As sophisticated and classy as my analogy was, it stuck with me. From then on, I would need to remember those words now and again. People always complain about how difficult it is to live in New York; but this was something else.

It will be 8 years this July since I first moved to NYC. July will also be the month I move back home.

When you’ve moved to NYC from elsewhere, people always want to put an expiration date on your stay. They want to decide if you were made to live in NY forever or if you’re a passing tourist who got distracted by something shiny for a year or two. I decided a long time ago I wasn’t going to establish a timeline. How could I?

I was 19 years old when I first arrived. I was shy, innocent, wide-eyed and delusional about what my experience in New York would be. I’m 27 years old now and my time in New York is not explained by school, a job, a person, an age, or a phase. But rather defined by an interlace of bits and pieces I now put together to form one non-linear experience.

People always ask me, “Are you excited to go home?”, “Are you sad to leave New York?” I never have a “yes” or “no” answer. It would be deceitful to pretend that I know what this new road entails. I would be lying to say that I don’t have doubts about leaving New York and fears about going home. Doubts about staying in New York versus trying something new.

That is what this is. I’m going home; but what home? I was 19 and I’m now 27. I’m not who I was nor is everyone else, who they were. This to me, is a new experience.

New York is not where I attended college; grad school, took my first job, went through relationships, made friends, met mentors, lost my direction, learned to pay bills, learned to not want to pay bills, learned to play the guitar, encountered the drunk and the homeless, the funny and the hilarious. Put up with the disgusting smell of the subway, the heart-stopping cold when you need a cigarette, the dingy smell of the best bar you’ll ever go to. Saw the most beautiful humans to walk this earth, the ugliest, the nicest and the meanest. Got yelled at by strangers, was comforted by them when I couldn’t hide my tears. Where I learned to speak up and out and see what I’m capable of. Where I sat at restaurants, cafes, and bars alone; sat at restaurants, cafes and bars with friends. Learned the meaning of loneliness, learned the meaning of family.  Where I mastered the art of properly using my MTA pass without it saying “swipe again”. Found my love for art, found my love for social issues, found my love for truth, and found my love for knowledge. Quit smoking. Yelled at cab drivers and was yelled at by them. Where I dated up and dated down; smoked pot for the first and the last time. Where I found Seamless and quinoa, and my addiction to coffee. Where I realized I’ll always be the first to arrive for a restaurant reservation but will find someone to chat with, all while being relentlessly impatient with a beer in hand.

New York is the city I grew up in.

Those girls in the dive bar complaining about New York City, chose to live in New York City. That’s how it goes. While many choose to live here, New York feels more like its happening to you. You don’t do New York, it does you. It takes everything about you and augments every character flaw, strength and quirk you have. Everything about you is pushed to an extreme; tested to see what you are made of. New York can see every pretense and every lie. Every crack in every sentence. It’s the best place to play any role you want and the worst place to try to. It’s not about making it in New York. It’s about realizing what you are made of.

When I think about going home there’s a sort of numbness I feel. I’m not sad or panicked (at least not yet); I’m curious and interested. I want to see what me does somewhere else. I want to test what makes me me in a (relatively) new environment. I want to enjoy and have fun during my last couple of months and breath in the gross dirty smell of Manhattan, while I can. I’m excited to see old friends and indebted to my newer friends. I look forward to mountains but will miss walking anywhere I need to go. I’ll miss encountering every type of human and the diversity of this melting-pot. I’ll miss having my nerves shot because the train won’t move. I’ll miss meeting strangers everyday, because why not. I’ll miss wondering if my neighbors like me or hate me. I’ll miss speaking English and being Mexican among hundreds of nationalities. I’ll miss my routine and my space. I’ll miss my apartment and my bed. I’ll miss getting excited about fall, winter and summer. I’ll miss hating winter. I’ll miss how socially acceptable it is to have a drink past 12PM and I’ll miss having ten restaurants at a 2 min walking distance. I’ll miss having the deli open at 5AM in case I need to take a walk and a coffee shop literally downstairs from my home. Most of all, I’ll miss knowing that I am not the only one who feels this way. If anything, I’ll miss the collective that is New York City. A city that happens to us.

Thank you New York City, everyone and everything in it, for making me be me.

What The Hell Are We Fighting For?: Mexico and “the Family Unit”

I’m incredibly privileged and sometimes I forget.

I’m not sure whom I’m directing myself towards. To write this as an attempt to have it speak to the people of Mexico seems futile. To write this in English…well maybe it can be more widely read. After all, we are a country that sends its best.

I’ve been living in New York City for seven years. I went to a very liberal university for both undergraduate and graduate school. I have surrounded myself with inspiring hard working friends. I have insurmountable support from my family in Mexico and I want for nothing except what I, only, could get myself in the way of. But sometimes I forget.

Sometimes I forget the environment I stepped out of. One in where the social structures in place prevent others, different from me, from forgetting where they find themselves.

Yesterday, one of several marchas, or protests, nationwide, took place in Mexico calling for the “protection” of “the family unit”.  This was a large protest. A protest for the family unit based on one father, one mother, and however many children they may want to produce.

When I speak of forgetting, I’m referring to my position as a Mexican living in a highly democratic society in which most of the time, not always but most the time, the basic fundamentals of democracy do win.

The president of Mexico, the same guy that just offensively invited Donald Trump to our country, just signed an initiative to make same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Go figure he’d get something right. Unfortunately, this has caused an uproar.

What I forget is that Mexico is still a very confused country. As a developing nation that suffers from a corrupt government, corrupt policing, a corrupt economy, a corrupt public education system, and bases its aspirations mostly on ideology rather than fact; manipulation seems to be the only way to mobilize its people.

We are a people that either extort or are victims of extortion. We allow the powers that be to stand on our shoulders as long as we can go through the day without being bothered. We have, to a large degree, become an apathetic people who, instead of fighting for what we deserve, rather accept and wish for the best.

And then yesterday happened.

I sometimes forget that my country does have a fire in it. A powerful passion that is rarely used. One that is incomparable to that of the country I find myself in. We are a country of happiness. A country that has offered the world Nobel Prize winners. A country that has offered medical, scientific, and manufacturing advancements that compete at a global level. Not to mention, a country that has given you the best food, beer, and tequila you’ll ever have.

We are a people that want to sit down with you, have a beer, and have a good laugh. But we are also a people that sends its best because our own country fails us often.

But what the hell are we fighting for now?

As a progressive feminist Mexican in NY, I am comfortable where I am. If I speak, I speak to the choir. I may have a debate, but its a healthy one. No one leaves offended and its all fair game. This is not the case in Mexico. That is what I forget and that is a privilege.

When I speak of an equalitarian society in Mexico, I’m often welcomed with a rolling of the eyes, a pat on the back, and a dismissive “oh well” attitude. If it doesn’t affect them, its not an issue. This is an example of the general attitude I receive when visiting the country I call home.

But if I scroll on Facebook to posts about women or the LGBT community in Mexico, the comment section is dominated by replies that refer to christian traditional values. I go through them and in a seconds time become flustered with confusion, anger, and a feeling of powerlessness. The only thought that goes through my mind is: How?

How are we the country that looks to feel accepted out of it and yet can’t even accept our own within it?

With all of our problems, yesterday, the people of Mexico stood up for an imaginary problem. Imaginary because the wood and smoke used to ignite that fire was based on nothing more than old age tradition. A tradition which is looked to be imposed over actual democracy.

Yesterday, we were not our best. We were our petty, scared, and self-manipulated selves. The ones that fear to be told our truths rather than face our own reality. The ones that stick our heads in the ground rather than stick it above the water and fight for ourselves. The ones that shiver at the thought of change. Change that may allow us to be that which we aspire. Change that may allow us to move into the future and let go of the past. Very unfortunate aspects of who we are. Aspects that we take for granted at times but get in the way of our own success as a country.

I love my country; but I often feel ashamed of it.

We laugh at our neighboring country, the one I currently live in. But it is a country where mistakes are observed and fixed, not regurgitated and repeated.

After the Orlando shooting happened, an incident where many of the queer community died, I posed the question: What kind of country does America want to be? Now, I ask my home, my country, my people: What kind of country does Mexico want to be?

The Four Horsemen In Conversation: on philosophy, discourse, and the seeming infallibility of religion

This is a great video of great minds in discussion. In an in depth conversation of religion, philosophy, and the struggle for their cause; Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and the late Christopher Hitchens open up earnestly about their work, their critics, and how they understand each other. It’s quite long and no action, so I suggest it as a podcast while you work, clean, cook, or do whatever you do.

I grew up in a spiritually Catholic environment and stopped practicing in my early teens. Before that, I already had begun to question my faith which caused me much trouble. When I moved to New York, I picked up Dawkins’ The God Delusion and every doubt I had was confirmed and reaffirmed. I never looked back. From there I began my research and since then, have engulfed myself in religious debate. This video is different in mood and context of which these men are known to present themselves. They are having an earnest and challenging conversation with each other. Often established as offensive and arrogant by pundits, this video honestly demonstrates the men behind the headlines.

I’ve been a long time fan of these men. Not because I hold similar ideas and convictions, I’ve become admirable to their intellectual tenacity and fearlessness towards being debated. Even if you are a believer of a specific organized religion or hold yourself to be an agnostic, I suggest you look at their work for the mere concept of being emotionally and intellectually stimulated in one capacity or another.

 

 

 

Feminism: Mexico’s Dirty Word

Actress Emma Watson sat down to interview Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai, about her recent documentary, “He Named Me Malala”. During the interview, both women, activists for equal rights of women, discussed the misrepresentations often placed on the word feminism. Malala explained to Watson how she initially was uneasy about adopting the label of ‘feminist’ due to the negative connotations that often trail it’s meaning. As they discussed the term, Watson was moved to learn that it was her speech at the United Nations about her work with HeforShe which made Malala reconsider her association to the word. Watson was the reason as to why Malala now refers to herself as a feminist. But the activist’s uneasiness towards the term ‘feminist’ is not out of the ordinary.

Mexicans know the term machismo well. Recently, in conversation with friends, it was expressed that they view both labels as extremists. But that, there, is the problem. It is a misunderstanding to pit both words, machismo and feminism, against each other. It is important to not confuse these terms as antonyms. Machismo has as a definition: the flaunting of what is masculine and domination over women. The term reflects a patriarchal history where women have suffered second class citizenship. It reflects statistics that demonstrate inequalities with employment, homemaking decisions, income, sexual and emotional abuse. It is a term which describes an ingrained character within our culture based on antiquated and tired social rules. Feminism is not its opposite but its end.

Feminism is not the domination of man, but its equalizer. Feminism is not a dirty word, but an eraser of a past in which women has systematically feared making choices for themselves. Choices which encompass her home life, her finances, her opinions, and her body. Simply put: feminism is the advocacy for women’s equal rights to man on the political, the financial, and social.

The importance of making clear what this term, feminism, means, is a responsibility towards the wellbeing of our communities. As women we must not fear the term itself, but our uneasy attitude towards its misinterpretations. Being a feminist is not going against man, but along with him. Being a feminist is not shutting up man, but communicating with him. Being a feminist is not raising arms and entering a war of the sexes. Being a feminist is the belief that as human, you deserve the same rights that are given to man.

The Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), published statistics in 2008, which demonstrate the gender disparities in the various public and private sectors of the state of Nuevo Leon. In their publication, they express:

“El desarrollo humano de un país no puede alcanzarse si no se tiene en cuenta a la mitad de la población, es decir, a las mujeres.”

A country’s human development cannot unfold itself you do not take half of the population insto account. That’s to say, women.

“La discriminación, la violencia y la amenaza de la violencia que padecen las mujeres por el hecho de serlo, en prácticamente todos los ámbitos de sus vidas, las frenan en el desarrollo de sus capacidades, inhiben el ejercicio de sus libertades y, en consecuencia, se violentan sus derechos fundamentales. Atender la discriminación y la violencia en la entidad es un imperativo urgente si se quieren alcanzar mejores niveles de desarrollo que abarquen el ejercicio de la ciudadanía plena de las mujeres.”
The discrimination, the violence, and the threat of violence which women suffer for being women, in practically in every aspect of their lives, stops in its tracks their development of their capacities. They hold back the practice of their liberties and, consequently, violate their fundamental rights. Attending to the discrimination and violation is an urgent imperative if we want to reach the best levels of development of women’s full practice of citizenship.

Personally, I have women in my life whom have succeeded in an incomparable way to our predecessors. I am a feminist because my mother has, for 35 years, owned her own business. I am a feminist because I have a sister who is an architect and another one who is a fashion designer. I am a feminist because my father recognizes my place, my voice, and my vote. I’m a feminist because I observe women around me, continually break down barriers which continue to limit our advancement. More importantly, I am a feminist because there are women who live in silence. Women who fear having a voice. Women who continuously feel defeated out of fear of their own survival. Feminism isn’t a dirty word as is machismo. Feminism is our rights.


Watch Emma Watson and Malala’s great interview here

Feminismo: La Palabra Sucia de México

El 4 de noviembre, la actriz Emma Watson se sentó en Londres a entrevistar a la activista Pakistani, Malala Yousafzai, sobre su reciente documental “Él Me Llamó Malala”. Durante la entrevista, ambas mujeres, luchadoras por la igualdad de la mujer, discutieron la confusión sobre el significado de la palabra feminismo. Malala expresó que cuando escucho la palabra por primera vez, sintió una inquietud por adoptar la etiqueta dado a las connotaciones negativas y malas interpretaciones que tienden a perseguir su significado. Durante su conversación, Watson se conmovió al aprender que fue su discurso a las Naciones Unidas cual causó que Malala reconsiderara su asociación a la palabra. Fue el discurso de Watson la razón por la cual Malala ahora se refiere a si misma como feminista. Esa inquietud hacia el término feminismo que sintió la mujer que se desvive por los derechos a la educación de niñas, no es fuera de serie.

El mexicano conoce bien el término machismo. Recientemente, en discusión con amigos, se expresó que observan ambas etiquetas como extremistas. Pero he ahí el problema. Es un mal entendimiento observar ambas palabras, machismo y feminismo, a la par. Es importante no confundir estas palabras como antónimas. El machismo tiene como definición el alardear lo masculino y la dominación total de la mujer. El término refleja una historia patriarcal en cual la mujer a sufrido un posición de ciudadanía de segunda clase. Refleja las cifras de desigualdad en empleo, toma de decisiones en el hogar, ganancias laborales, y abuso sexual y emocional hacia la mujer. Es un término que describe un character empedernido en nuestra cultura basada en reglas sociales antiguas y agotadas. El feminismo, no es su contrario pero su enfreno.

El feminismo no es la dominación del hombre, pero su equilibrador. El feminismo no es una palabra sucia. Es un borrador del pasado en el cual la mujer sistemáticamente a temido tomar decisiones por sí misma. Decisiones cuales abarcan su núcleo hogareño, sus finanzas, sus opiniones, y su cuerpo. Sencillamente, el feminismo es la defensa por la igualdad de la mujer al hombre en términos políticos, financieros, y sociales.

La relevancia de aclarar la realidad del término ‘feminismo’ es una responsabilidad hacia el bien de nuestras comunidades. Como mujeres tenemos que no temerle al término mismo, si no a nuestra inquietud a su malinterpretación. Ser feminista no es ir contra el hombre, si no a la par de él. Ser feminista no es callar al hombre, si no poderse comunicar con el. Ser feminista no es agarrar armas y entrar en una guerra de los sexos. Ser feminista es creer que mereces los mismos derechos que se le ceden al hombre como entidad humana.

El Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), publicó cifras en el 2008 que muestran los diferentes sectores públicos y privados en los cuales reflejan la disparidad entre géneros en el estado de Nuevo León. Expresan en su publicación:

“El desarrollo humano de un país no puede alcanzarse si no se tiene en cuenta a la mitad de la población, es decir, a las mujeres.”

“La discriminación, la violencia y la amenaza de la violencia que padecen las mujeres por el hecho de serlo, en prácticamente todos los ámbitos de sus vidas, las frenan en el desarrollo de sus capacidades, inhiben el ejercicio de sus libertades y, en consecuencia, se violentan sus derechos fundamentales. Atender la discriminación y la violencia en la entidad es un imperativo urgente si se quieren alcanzar mejores niveles de desarrollo que abarquen el ejercicio de la ciudadanía plena de las mujeres.”

Personalmente, tengo mujeres en mi vida que han logrado un éxito incomparable a nuestras predecesoras. Soy feminista porque mi madre lleva 35 años trabajando dentro de su propia empresa. Soy feminista porque una de mis hermanas es arquitecta y la otra diseñadora de modas. Soy feminista porque mi padre me da mi lugar, mi voz, y mi voto. Soy feminista porque observó a mujeres de mi alrededor romper con las estructuras previas que continúan a limitar nuestro avance. Mas importante, soy feminista porque dentro de mi pais hay mujeres que viven en silencio. Mujeres con miedo de tener su propia voz. Mujeres continuamente derrotadas por el miedo a su propia supervivencia. Feminismo no es una palabra sucia a la par del machismo. Feminismo es nuestros derechos.


Vean la increíble entrevista de Watson y Malala aquí