Sin contexto, no hay dialogo – Without context, there is no dialogue (esp-ingl)

My politics on gender are often belittled by those that often prompt me to discuss them. I’m often characterized as being to stubborn, harsh, dramatic, and hard-lined. But I was recently thinking about how I myself have begun to get tired of the subject. It’s a juggling act between not wanting to fight anymore but being pushed to do so.

Mis políticas sobre género son seguidamente criticadas por aquellos quienes me impulsan a discutirlas. Seguido se me caracteriza como necia, densa, dramática, o dura. Pero recientemente estaba pensando sobre como yo misma me encuentro algo cansada del tema. Se ha convertido en un juego de malabares entre el no querer pelear más y el ser empujada a hacerlo. 

After a year and a half of moving back home, I’ve come to realize that the only reason I find myself feeling the need to defend my feminist stance so often is due to the very environment I find myself in. It hasn’t even been about discussing feminism at all actually, but rather having to fire back at comments and discussions that, at this point in time, shock and puzzle me.

A un año y medio de haber regresado a casa, me he dado cuenta que la única razón por la que me encuentro teniendo que defender mi postura feminista es por el mismo contexto en el que me encuentro. No ha ni tratado sobre feminismo como tal, si no sobre tener que responder a comentarios y discusiones que, a este punto en nuestra historia, me sacuden y confunden.

It was in New York where my politics were molded. The irony with that lies in the fact that rarely was gender ever a topic of discussion outside of my academic surroundings, the news, or the state of politics. Granted, New York is a liberal bubble. It’s vastly diverse population makes discriminating a moronic act itself. One would have to be an idiot to attack someone different from them as there is an army behind each and every one of its citizens. It is not to say that gender discrimination, or any kind of discrimination, doesn’t exist – that would be a gross mischaracterization. I was a participant in the 2016 Women’s March in NY. But in my 8 years living there, was it never as palpable as it is in my current life. It was rarely a topic of discussion in my social life except when we discussed the differences in our treatment between our lives there and the ones back home.

Fue en Nueva York donde mis políticas se moldearon. La ironía cae en el hecho de que con rareza fue el tema de género uno de discusión fuera de mi ambiente académico, las noticias, y el estado politico en el que nos encontrábamos. Seguro, Nueva York es una burbuja liberal. Su población extremadamente diversa hace que el acto de discriminar sea uno imbécil. Uno tendría que ser un idiota para atacar a alguien opuesto a el ya que en esta, Nueva York, cada uno de sus ciudadanos tendrá una armada que lo apoye. No es decir que la discriminación de género, o cualquier otra, no existe- sería una caracterización errónea. Yo misma fui participante en la Marcha de las Mujeres en el 2016 en NY. Pero en mis 8 años ahi, nunca fue tan palpitante como lo es ahora en mi vida. Rara vez fue tema de discusión en mi vida social salvo a cuando discutíamos las diferencias en nuestro trato entre Mexico y Nueva York. 

Now that I’ve settled back in Monterrey, I notice that the topic of women and men as different beings is too often brought up. Not as a back and forth discussion where different points of view are offered to further the gender equality discussion, but rather antiquated behaviours and attitudes socially attributed to either men and women are often brought up in random conversation.

Ahora que ya estoy en Monterrey, he notado que el tema de mujeres y hombres como seres distintos es común en conversación. No un viene y va sobre diferentes puntos de vista sobre como combatir la discriminación de genero, sino los comportamientos y actitudes anticuadas que se le atribuyen a los hombres y mujeres seguido son utilizadas aleatoriamente en conversaciones. 

In my hometown of San Pedro, the socially created dividing line between men and women is a constant living breathing aspect of life. In the past decade, never had I been reminded so often that I am a woman, and not in a good way. I am not here to say that no differences lie between men and women. But I find myself asking why it’s a punch line in every conversation that I seem to be involved in. This has become excruciatingly exhausting.

En mi ciudad natal, San Pedro, la socialmente creada linea divisoria entre hombres y mujeres es un aspecto viviente en la vida cotidiana. En la última década, jamás se me había recordado con tanta frecuencia que soy mujer, y no de una buena manera. No estoy aquí para decir que no existen diferencias entre hombres y mujeres. Pero seguido me encuentro preguntándome porque es que es un punto de argumento utilizado tan seguidamente dentro de las conversaciones en las que me encuentro participando. Esto se ha vuelto enloquecedoramente agotante. 

Behind every social act, there exists the background noise of gender differentiation. Every social gathering takes into account gender. Whether it’s game night, movie night, going out, or lounging around, who will be in attendance? Are girlfriends/wives invited? Boyfriends/Husbands? If so, is it then only couples night? Maybe only men so they can talk about the things women can’t be privy to. They aren’t always comfortable being themselves around women. Which pegs the question…

Detrás de cada acto social, existe el ruido de diferenciación de género. Cada reunión social toma en consideración género. Ya sea noche de juegos, de cine, de salir a la fiesta, or tirar flojera, se considera: ¿quién participara?¿Van novias/esposas?¿Novios/Esposos? Y si sí, ¿entonces es noche de parejas? Capaz y solo hombres para que puedan hablar de las cosas que no pueden decir enfrente de mujeres. No siempre están cómodos siendo ellos mismos frente a ellas. Cual hace uno cuestionar…

Parenting is a big one. It is one of the most common points of conversation in every social circle as it continues to be one of the main driving forces, if not the main one, of life in my hometown. Parenting: it’s for women and any man that does anything parent related is often mocked for being “whipped”. As a topic, I’m down. Even if I’m not a parent myself, I have no issue against discussing parenthood. But the issue lies in the details. How the role of either parent takes shape and what is socially accepted and expected from either of them.

El tema de crianza también es uno grande. Es una de las conversaciones más comunes dentro de los círculos sociales ya que continúa siendo uno de los aspectos, si no el más, importante de la vida en nuestra comunidad. La crianza: es para mujeres y cualquier hombre que hace cualquier cosa relacionado con eso, se ridiculiza por “dejarse”. Como tema, estoy puesta. Aun cuando no soy madre, no tengo ni un problema discutiendo el tema. Pero el problema cae en los detalles. Como los roles se forman y que es socialmente aceptado y esperado de cada uno de ellos. 

Another huge, fat, big one, is the conversation of personality. Yes, it is often that the misogynistic views of the hysterical, stubborn, bossy woman are brought up; also is it common that unflattering adjectives often attributed to women are used as a way of talking about them by men and women. Whatever conversation you may be having, you can always depend on that one person who will make the dividing statement about how women are one way and men are another way. As you read that, I’m sure you can think of a few examples yourself; it’s engrained in our social consciousness.

Otro enorme, gordo, grande tema es el de personalidad. Sí, seguido es que escucho la típica descripción machista de la mujer histérica, necia, mandona; también son comunes los adjetivos dañinos que se le atribuyen a la mujer como manera de tener un conversación sobre ellas por parte de los hombre y mujeres. Cual sea la conversación que estés teniendo, siempre se puede depender en esa persona que hará el comentario sobre como las mujeres son de una manera y los hombres de otra. Seguro se te ocurren algunos ejemplos al leer eso; esta grabado en nuestra conciencia social.

With this, one realizes that social life is then not about just people but rather always about roles. This has become an actual part of my life. Constantly listening to jokes about women, being spoken to or told to behave a certain way because I’m a woman, and walking around with the label of “woman” tattooed on my forehead while then being reprimanded for having anything to say about it. I have received props in the past for my opinions and articles on the subject, but it almost feels meaningless when in life, the fruits of my labor become null.

Con esto, uno se da cuenta que la vida social no trata sobre solo personas sino siempre sobre roles. Esto se ha convertido un aspecto real de mi vida. El tener que escuchar bromas sobre mujeres, el que se me dirijan o me digan que me debo comportar de cierta manera porque soy mujer, y el caminar con la etiqueta de “mujer” tatuado sobre mi frente y el ser hostigada por tener algo que decir de ello. Me han dado halagos en el pasado por mis opiniones y artículos sobre el tema, pero casi se siente insignificante cuando en vida, el fruto de mi labor se vuelve nulo. 

Those close to me, know my stance pretty well. They therefore know I’m an easy target for jokes and insults about women and they, mostly poking fun, take advantage of it. And while I can have a sense of humour about it, I’ve also reached a point where all I want to say is, “GET OVER IT!” If they are tired of hearing about feminism, then why make it an issue at all?

Quienes me conocen, conocen mi postura bien. Por ende saben que soy vulnerable a bromas e insultos sobre mujeres y ellos, casi siempre como broma, toman provecho de ello. Mientras puedo tener un sentido del humor, también he llegado a un punto donde solo quiero responder, “¡SUPÉRENLO!” ¿Si están cansados de escuchar sobre feminismo, entonces para que lo hacen tema?

I know that, even though part of myself is ready to give up, I will forever be ready to argue for the equal treatment of all. It’s wired into me. But I found it necessary to explain that it is the context in which I find myself the very thing which brings me to do so, not the other way around. It is not my intention to bring it up every chance I get. I wish I didn’t have to at all! However, it is my intention to make people check themselves when what they say, believe, or imply about gender differentiation is misguided, dangerous, and consequential to the very community they belong to.

Yo sé, aunque parte di mí ya se quiere dar por vencida, que siempre estaré armada con argumentos a favor del trato equitativo de todos. Corre por mi sangre. Pero sentí necesario explicar que es el mismo contexto en el que me encuentro el que me hace hacerlo, no al revés. No es mi intención sacar el tema cada vez que surja la oportunidad ¡Quisiera no tener que hacerlo! Sin embargo, sí es mi intención hacer que la gente se cuestione cuando dicen, piensan, o presuponen diferenciaciones de género que nacen de un lugar mal guiado, son peligrosas y consecuentes a la misma comunidad a la que pertenecen. 

 

El Aborto Es Planeación Familiar

Durante el fin de semana ante pasado casi un millón de simpatizantes del movimiento “Ola Celeste México” armada por Frente Nacional por la Familia (FNF) se reunieron a nivel nacional para protestar contra el aborto.

Se dice que hubo testimonios de toda clase. Pero aún cuando hayan tenido testimonios científicos, en un país donde 80% de sus habitantes se identifican como Católicos, no es sorprendente que tantos ciudadanos vayan en contra de la interrupción de embarazo. Es importante que como país entendamos de donde nacen nuestras motivaciones.

Los anti-aborto suelen utilizar retórica positiva cual crea lenguaje afirmativo. Frases como “Sí a la vida” hacen pensar que quienes estamos a favor del aborto decimos “Sí a la muerte”.  Esta falacia comparativa es peligrosa.

La FNF no está pensando en la familia como su nombre lo insinúa. En un país donde la prevención al embarazo es escasa, ocupamos el primer lugar en embarazos en adolescentes y 43.6% de nuestra gente vive en pobreza, el acceso al aborto es cuestión de responsabilidad a la salud de nuestro país. El acceso al aborto es pensar en la salud, no solo del país, pero de los núcleos familiares.

La planeación familiar es suprema para la salud económica y calidad de vida de cualquier sociedad. Cuando estamos hablando de México con su pobreza monetaria, educativa, y laboral, negar el acceso al aborto es atarse las manos frente a uno, hincarse y rezar por un milagro que no va a suceder.

Una de las opciones que ofrecen estos movimientos en contra de la planeación familiar es la adopción. De nuevo, con casi la mitad de nuestra sociedad mexicana en pobreza, la adopción es escasa; casi inexistente. Entre Enero y Junio del 2018, solo 5 niños fueron procesados exitosamente por el DIF.

Lo que resulta es una población de niños y adolescentes abandonada por sus padres que se sitúa en albergues de bajos recursos. Es una población en riesgo a la violencia que persiste en nuestras comunidades. Es una población de futuros adultos que tendrán que lidiar con el abandono de su sociedad.

Además, somos un país que aún sufre altos niveles de violencia contra la mujer y a menores. De acuerdo a la OCDE, México ocupa el primer lugar en abuso sexual y violencia a menores ¿Dónde está la planeación familiar?

La Frente Nacional por la Familia no dice “Sí a la vida”. Dice, “No a la planeación familiar”. Dice, “No a la responsabilidad económica”. Dice, “No a la educación sexual en la escuelas públicas y el hogar”. Dice, “No a la autonomía de la mujeres”. Solo dice “Sí” a aquellas niñas y mujeres que preguntan si deben de abandonar sus estudios para trabajar por un salario mínimo para apenas poder alimentar a ese bebé que no querían o podían tener.

Quienes estamos a favor del aborto decimos “Sí a tu autonomía”. Decimos, “Sí a que tomes control de tu futuro”. Decimos, “Sí a las segundas oportunidades”. Decimos, “Sí a la planeación familiar”. Decimos, “Sí a un país que asume responsabilidad por sus fallas”.

El tema del aborto va más allá del debate sobre dónde comienza “la vida”. Va más allá de la religión y el lenguaje emocional que somos propensos a utilizar cuando hablamos del aprecio que tenemos por vivir. Mientras haya aspectos de la vida que tengan una finta “milagrosa”, no significa que debamos abandonar el razonamiento a cada vuelta por llamar algo “un milagro”. 

El tema del aborto trata sobre ser una sociedad responsable, inteligente, y considerada. Debemos poner nuestros egos e ideologías a un lado y considerar que no siempre sabemos las cosas que nuestros amigos y vecinos viven. 

De nuevo, somos un país 80% Católico. Lo más probable es que todos conocemos a alguien que ha tenido que tomar esa decisión difícil a través de métodos ilegales, peligrosos o necesitando ir lejos para poder accesar el cuidado que requieren.  Pero dado a una ideología que busca crear miedo a través del prejuicio, vivirán con ese secreto por siempre. Esa no es la clase de sociedad dentro de la cual yo quiero pertenecer.

The Problem With WhatsApp: The fowarding world in México

Before moving back to México I used to only use WhatsApp to communicate with my family. Everyone in the US used iMessage and before I had left home, WhatsApp wasn’t around yet. But by the time I came back last year, I knew I would have to accept the world of WhatsApp groups and the fun meme forwarding culture that dominates Mexican everyday life.

While I have embraced this texting app, there is something that continues to bother me about how information is passed along within it. It is not news that the status of information and facts in the media is in jeopardy. We all know about fake news and how easily people are swayed by poorly edited videos with bad music and images designed to get you to swing one way or another in the political and social fabric.

But the thing is, when a society receives most of its information through a single channel that depends on your close social network, double checking stories and news becomes second hand to the infallible trust you have for the messenger.

It’s been a year since I’ve officially joined as an active participant in group chats that involve my friends and family members and I’ve learned a lot about how different topics and issues surrounding our lives are discussed.

On one hand, WhatsApp offers a quick and easy way of organizing. It allows large groups of people to receive need-to-know information about gatherings, meet-ups, parties and even protests that are happening within a community. This became very useful during the 2017 earthquake in central México where people organized to get help and update people as well as gather resources. Also for general social use, if it weren’t for these chat groups, my social life would basically be non-existent.

Meme sharing is also a predominant aspect of WhatsApp. It is through satire that Mexicans have always dealt with the anger and frustration that comes with having a corrupt government that both steals and kills it’s own citizens. We take pride in our ability to have a sense of humour for something that we often feel is out of our hands. If you can’t laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation, then what else is there?

WhatsApp is also how most conduct business. Emailing in no longer a viable way of getting things done as most don’t even check it. While most will tell you that they hate using it for their work, it is ultimately what happens because clients want easy access and the immediacy of personal service.

It also allows you to be updated in political ongoings. Inevitably, topics of politics, religion, and general world news often pop up. Everyone gives their own opinion; some share articles and links to back up what they say. Then someone decides that the conversation needs to come to a halt because they feel it’s either annoying, pointless, endless, or they have something more interesting or important to discuss.

This is where things get a little more complicated.

While WhatsApp is mostly used for social reasons, I have found that it is also where most get their news and/or is their source of information. I’ve often found myself double checking forwarded videos and chain messages that come with no source to realize that they’re mostly nonsensical and basically untrue. Many of these aren’t links or articles but typed up “news” stories that cross the line from news to propaganda.

For example, I recently received a chain message that asked Christians to pray for the execution of priests in Quaragosh, a city in Iraq, by the hands of Isis. Let me be frank; I’m usually biased against any praying chain messages that are forwarded to me. If a message adheres to a specific religion, I automatically take the information within the message to be untrue so I usually skip them. In this case, I took the time to read through it. As I noticed something wasn’t right considering Isis has lost most of its territory since 2016, and as a self proclaimed Googler of everything, I looked it up. And course, it was fake. Not only that, it was a chain message that had been going around for a couple of years. Once I’m aware of this I let the messenger know. I got no response and doubt that they let their messenger know.

Before moving to México, I received by direct message an eerie video about how Islam would be taking over the world in the upcoming years. The music had an ominous tone and the voiceover was speaking about how Christians must “stand strong against this trend”. I let the person that sent me the video know that, true or not if the religion is spreading, this was propaganda and to watch out for signs of this. All she responded was, “Well, I don’t know, but it’s scary.”

This year was the presidential election. Before AMLO won, videos were being forwarded around with what each candidate was saying at public forums. Dismayed and giddy, a family member showed me one she had received of our future president mumbling something to a crowd. After closer inspection I realized it had been altered. After pointing it out, she quickly moved past it and showed me another one.

There is something about how quick and easy these are passed along between group chats that all involve loved ones, that mostly no one bothers to close the app, open Google and do a quick little 2 min research. It’s easy to forward and receive messages that are designed to adhere to your sentimental side. All they need is the proper language and imagery.

How we respond to these is also problematic. Most read or watch the videos and, almost automatically, a biased conversation full of emojis and all caps ensues.

What I’m commenting is no different to what happens on Facebook and Twitter. But WhatsApp doesn’t have the heat on it that Facebook is getting even if does own it. It’s also meant for personal respondence so the idea of Mark Zuckerberg monitoring your messages is out of the question (although it probably happens). I’m also not one to decide who should think or believe what. I have my own biases like everyone else. But in México, WhatsApp is how we communicate for everything and this is problematic.

While the benefits are there, I’m often troubled about how opinions about important topics are being formed. While everyone’s opinions are (somewhat) valid, they are often based on falsely put together bits and pieces that come from ill informed, politically and religiously motivated sources that have been edited and watered down for easy forwarding. If we want to be an informed society that makes educated decisions which will impact our lives, we must all be aware of this and do our best to close the app, open google and do a little bit of research.

mi pérdida de fé

El tema de religión y la iglesia católica a resurgido por las notas que han sido publicadas sobre los abusos descubiertos en Pennsylvania en Estados Unidos. Por un lado estas noticias me causan enojo y malestar. Por otro, parte de mí espera que los seguidores de esta institución finalmente lleguen a ver lo que yo veo.

La perdida de fé es un proceso que toma tiempo. Como si fuese a salir del closet metafórico, es un camino que comienza con dudas, miedos, y reafirmaciones. No es una rebeldía contra la sociedad ni un querer causar malestar en otros.

Para mí, todo comenzó desde muy chica y el tener que ir a misa. Jamás lo disfruté. El ir a misa, clases de catecismo, y el rezar. Jamás lo entendí y se me hacia tedioso. El despertar un domingo para vestirte en tu mejor vestuario para ir a pararte en espacio claustrofóbico sin clima, no es la definición de diversión para ni un niño. Y el esperar que una niña pequeña ponga atención a algo que no entiende es mucho pedir.

Yo me la vivía analizando quienes estaban ahi sufriendo conmigo, cuestionando que exactamente era lo que pensaban. Los adultos se veían semi atentos y sus niños igual de distraídos que yo. Seguía sus movimientos- señal de la cruz, hincar, sentar, parar, sentarse de nuevo- pero no entendía ni para qué ni por qué.

Alrededor de mis 12 años paramos de ir a misa y fue la bendición más grande para mí. Me podía despertar un poco más tarde y esperar con anticipación a un almuerzo familiar en el restaurante al que recurríamos cada fin de semana. Pero aún así éramos creyentes. Mis padres simplemente ya no le vieron punto el atender a misa cuando nadie quería estar ahí. Claro, tuve amigas que me decían lo malo que era esto y que ellas me recogerían de mi casa por que tenía que ir.

Por otro lado, con mi inocencia de niña, tampoco entendía porqué mis deseos no se cumplían. Me pasaba las noches rezando y pidiendo. Rezaba por que este dios tan bondadoso me diera la orejita que se le olvido hacerme. Pero este ser tan poderoso parecía ignorarme y eso me molestaba. Me sentía rechazada y enojada que este dios no me ponía la atención que pensaba merecerme. Me despertaba cada mañana alzando la mano a mi cabeza solo para decepcionarme más con el.

Durante la adolescencia aprendí a ser más observante. Veía muchas incongruencias entre lo que la gente expresaba cuando hablaban de religión y su fé, pero su comportamiento dejaba saber que eso que proclamaban no se sostenían con el pasar del tiempo. Comencé a ver a la gente como personas individuales con sus fallas y menos como parte de un gran plan diseñado por un dios. Estas fallas también las vi en mi misma.

Comencé a aprender sobre el mundo y las cosas terribles que sucedían mientras mis amigas y familiares hablaban sobre las bendiciones de Dios y como hay que dar las gracias. Empece a cuestionar el por qué a mi me tocaba dar gracias por lo positivo de mi vida pero alguien más se veía sufrir cosas que estaban fuera de su control. Se hablaba de la pobreza de mi país mientras comíamos en un comedor elegante después de que yo regresaba de mi escuela privada dentro una de las comunidades más adineradas del país. El “gracias a Dios” perdió todo significado para mí.

A los 16 ya me identificaba como “Agnóstica”. Un paso natural para cualquier católico en cuestionamiento de su fé.  Ya hablaba un poco más abiertamente sobre el tema pero con miedo a ser criticada u hostigada por esta decisión. En aquel entonces ya había cruzado una linea que pocos cruzaban. El cuestionar.

Durante la carrera es cuando todo cambió. No solo perdí total fé en la iglesia, en Dios, o en un tipo de ser espiritual o metafísico, pero adquirí una actitud de desprecio por la religión como tal.

Al inicio esta actitud me comía viva y me hervía la sangre. Buscaba con quién pelear y debatir constantemente. En restaurantes, en bares, en juntadas entre amigas- donde fuese. De una manera u otra sacaba el tema, recitaba de los libros que leía y como si fuera guerrera en camino a batalla, mis manos bailaban y saltaban mientras daba mis argumentos que parecían derramarse de mi boca sin control. Claro, con poco resultado.

Había leído un libro que me afirmó y contesto todas las dudas y preguntas que tenía capturadas en mi mente. Reí y llore mientras que el texto causaba que mi corazón se acelerara de la emoción. Lo que sucedía era algo que no podía describir a otros. Una revoltura de éxtasis, felicidad y calma mental que buscaba desde pequeña.

Investigue al autor y aquellos que escribían con un pensar similar. Compre más libros y leí como solía hacerlo de chica. Pasaba noches enteras hasta que saliera el sol viendo debates sobre religión en YouTube. Tanta era mi emoción que no me importaba perder sueño con esto que había descubierto y morir de sueño en mis clases de la universidad.

Pero también fue durante este tiempo que aprendí hablando con los demás lo fácil que es para otros decir, “Es que tienes que respetar.” El decir esto siempre me dejaba confundida. Mi intención en sí no era faltarles el respeto pero tener una conversación o debate sobre un tema que tanta gente considera importante. Como un autor dice, si podemos debatir sobre todos los aspectos de la vida social, por que la religión se omite de esto? Por que esto es libre de crítica? Más aún cuando tantos lo consideran el motor de sus vidas diarias.

Cuando me decían que debía respetar, se referían a que la religión es una experiencia personal. Pero también era decir “Ya no hables de esto. Mejor no le muevas.” Esto se volvió inaceptable para mi. La palabra respetar me dejo cuestionando que exactamente implicaba.

Me encontraba en mi escuela de arte teniendo que hacer mi tesis. Limpié mi studio, puse papel café en la paredes y escribí la palabra “Respetar” en el centro y me senté frente a el a pensar. Escribí más palabras, ideas que se conectaban y entretejían. De ahi, desarrolle mi proyecto.

Son cinco años después y mi pensar no ha cambiado pero mi manera de lidiar con el sí. Después de la carrera hice maestría en Sociología para poder encontrar más respuestas a como lidiar con esto que me consumía tanto tiempo y energía. Quería poder hablar del tema de manera inteligente y calmada. No es decir que ahora lo tengo todo averiguado, pero como decido responder afecta a como los demás responden a mí. El “Tienes que respetar”, fue menos frecuente.

Las respuestas que ahora veo hacia el tema de los abusos me siguen sorprendiendo. “No hay que generalizar.” “No todos son así.” “Hay que ver lo bueno que se hace también.” “No tienes que alabar a los curas.” “No creo en la iglesia pero tengo mi fé.”

Por un lado tengo empatía hacia ellos. Yo me sentí liberada de esta religión y por ende ahora puedo ver la situación con ojos objetivos. Hasta perdón y lastima siento por la decepción que deben sentir los religiosos ante esta realidad de película de miedo. La película más terrible que uno se podría imaginar.

Por otro lado, no acepto el silencio por su parte. Son los religiosos quienes se quedan callados ante lo que sucede. Son quienes ofrecen excusas que no tienen ni pies ni cabeza. Si tan personal e importante es su fé para ellos, ¿por que no pelear por ella? Si fuese cualquier otra organización, religión, industria; la gente no tendría estas respuestas que repartir. Estarían listo para denunciarlos orgullosamente. Critican el Islam por sus problemas pero reparten excusas por el Catolicismo.

Lo que yo veo en el catolicismo, como en las demás religiones, es una organización creada por hombres. Una institución llena de corrupción con sangre y lagrimas derramadas.

Es escoger ignorar lo increíble que es el mundo natural y las ciencias, lo interesante que somos los humanos, y el rechazo de la verdad por una idea que no se a comprobado si es que resulta ser verídica. Mi pregunta a ellos es, ¿pues a costa de qué?

Es tomar la palabra de ese ser humano parado frente a ti como quien interpreta la voz y conocimiento de un dios al cual das toda razón y responsabilidad por tu existencia. Es aceptar que esa persona detrás del púlpito tiene una verdad que tu buscas mientras estas consciente que el sabe lo que sus compañeros hacen detrás de las cortinas y mantiene el silencio. Es escoger tus creencias sobre el bienestar de tus hermanos y hermanas.

Ahora cuando me hablan de lo personal que es la religión y la fé, siempre respondo con lo mismo. “Eres católica/o y crees en el dios católico por la mera coincidencia de que naciste en México, tus padres son católicos y 80% de los mexicanos son católicos. Eres católica/o porque hace una vez fuimos conquistados por los españoles y trajeron con ellos este dogma cual ahora llamas personal. Si fuese haber nacido en Irán, lo más probable es que serías musulmán.”

Entiendo el aspecto meditativo de la religión. A eso muchos le llaman espiritualidad. Es completamente humano buscar espacio donde poder contemplar y sentir una clase de paz mental. Pero dar excusas por los abusos y la corrupción de esta institución, por llamarlo una experiencia personal y espiritual es ignorar la realidad de tu parte en la composición de esta organización y la importancia de ellos en tu propia fé.

Y cuando me dicen que tengo que respetar, respondo “No tengo por que respetar las malas ideas… Más aún cuando buscas defender tu fé personal a costa de la violación de miles de niños.”

 

Recomendaciones:

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (documental, 2012) > sobre los abusos en una escuela de niños sordomudos. Es muy fuerte. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTlP2-G0ec8

The Keepers (serie documental, 2017) https://www.netflix.com/us-es/title/80122179 > sobre el asesinato de una monja quien sabia de los abusos en una escuela norteamericana

(No se asusten por los títulos llamativos…. Son autores extremádamente estudiados.)

“The God Delusion”, 2006, Richard Dawkins

“God is not Great: How religion poisons everything”, 2007, Christopher Hitchens

“The End of Faith”, 2004, Sam Harris

Videos de Christopher Hitchens en Youtube: Fue un hombre muy inteligente con una manera de hablar que no se iguala en nadie

The Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World, intelligence squared debates> debate cual cuestiona si la iglesia católica es buena para el mundo

 

 

 

“¡Busco muchacha de quedada!”

“¡Busco muchacha de quedada!”, “¡Necesito muchacha de entrada por salida!” son frases que leo constantemente en Facebook. En San Pedro Garza García, NL, con toda su riqueza, el intercambio de muchachas, o trabajadoras domésticas, funciona como un mercado de subasta. Se hace la recomendación en los comentarios, se describen sus habilidades (cocinar, limpiar, etc) y al siguiente hogar se manda.

En México, alrededor de 2.2 millones de personas ocupan el puesto de empleados domésticos. De esa cifra, de acuerdo al INEGI, 96 de 100 son mujeres. En Nuevo León, se cuenta con alrededor de 40 mil mujeres indígenas en el puesto.

Desafortunadamente, aún cuando algunas familias observan a estas mujeres como parte de su núcleo, las cifras publicadas por la INEGI también demuestran que solo 2 de 100 empleadas domésticas en México tiene acceso a seguro de salud como parte de sus derechos laborales.

Además de una falla en sus derechos laborales, trabajadoras de hogar expresan una falla en su trato como entidad humana. Se expresa una frecuencia alta de maltrato, humillación, y exceso de trabajo con poco pago. Es cierto que se les exime de la obligación a Vivienda y por ende se es visto su ingreso como voluntario. Pero su supervivencia no es solo responsabilidad del Estado, si no de nuestra sociedad.

Debemos ser precavidos al como nos expresamos cuando hablamos de los trabajadores de hogar. Cuando observo estos statuses en Facebook, veo lenguaje cual refleja uno de mercancía a la renta, o casi, a la venta. Como sociedad, tenemos una responsabilidad a todos quienes forman parte de nuestra economía, ya sea formal o informal. Una responsabilidad hacia respeto mútuo.

No se bien exactamente como me siento cuando leo statuses en Facebook a los cuales se refieren a “necesitar” un empleada de hogar. Es costumbre Mexicana “necesitar” ayuda. Pero también es costumbre Mexicana el necesitar ser apoyados por el sistema cual constantemente se aprovecha de nosotros. Un sistema que permite un alto nivel de pobreza sistemática.

Mi punto, no es sencillamente abarcar este tema en términos económicos, sino sociales y de lo semántico ¿Qué dice de nuestra sociedad cuando nos referimos a un sector de nuestra población necesitada como mercantil?

Este hábito de buscar empleados a través de las redes sociales no inusual. Es la manera más sencilla y existe el factor de necesitar confiar a quien entra a tu hogar. Por ende tiene mucho sentido buscar dentro de tu propia comunidad. Esta práctica también se repite en otros sectores laborales como el de freelancers: programadores, diseñadores gráficos, o otros múltiples tipos de trabajos.

No es decir que es una población que no viene con sus propios problemas. No es coincidencia que muchas se ven aprovechar de quienes las emplean. Son mujeres cuyo instinto de supervivencia está basado en condiciones muy distintas de quienes las emplean. Son dos culturas muy distintas viviendo bajo un mismo techo. Son dos statuses socio-económicos coexistiendo de la manera más armónicamente posible bajo la condición de que una parte tiene poder y la otra obedece. No son condiciones laborales como en cualquier otro sector donde uno puede decir, “No es parte de mi trabajo”. 

Pero este sector de la población, el de trabajadoras domésticas, es compuesta en gran parte por jóvenes de las edades de 15 a 19 años de edad con una escolaridad de primaria si es que alguna.

No es lo mismo la comercialización de un empleo que requiere alto nivel educativo a uno de una población indígena, joven, de bajos recursos, necesidades financieras y bajo nivel de educación. Muchas sufren abuso doméstico en sus propios hogares, son madres solteras, y son quienes mantienen a su propia familia.

Cabe mencionar que muchas de estas jóvenes habitan por gran parte de su semana laboral dentro del hogar de empleo, lejos de sus casas, lejos de sus familias y de sus comunidades.

Es así que propongo el cuestionar cómo es que hablamos sobre y tratamos a un sector de nuestra población con necesidades más graves que las de ellos quien las emplea. No concuerda el sentimiento de “confianza” que se expresa sobre ellas, la manera informal en la cual hablamos de ellas con los demás con el trato general que se les da dentro de nuestra sociedad. Es este trato cual termina definiendo su calidad de vida fuera del hogar donde trabajan.

Es con esta información que debemos cuestionar qué exactamente es la necesidad de tener muchacha. Mientras por un lado es un sector laboral legítimo y parte de la composición de nuestra sociedad; son mujeres que viajan de estado en estado buscando mejores oportunidades. Debemos comenzar a cuestionar cómo es que las podemos apoyar más allá de un salario mínimo establecido por un sistema que les niega gran parte de sus derechos como ciudadanas mexicanas.

Hablando de Apariencias

 

Este video lo grabe antes de mi último post. Quería explorar lo que sería hacer un vlog, pero al momento de prender la cámara me tuve que detener a mí misma. Cada vez que he tratado de hacer un proyecto donde me grabo a mí misma, no lo hago, termino en lágrimas. Se me olvida que no me veo como yo pienso que me veo y ese engaño puede ser doloroso. Es por eso que hice este video como manera de enfrentar ese miedo.

(Cabe decir hay muchísimos bloggeros famosos que te van a decir como deberías de sentirte o que hacer para vivir tu vida a como los demás esperan que lo hagas, no hagan caso. La vida es complicada, nadie saben que onda, y todos tratamos de hacer lo mejor que podemos)

The unveiling of a lie.

Americans had to ask themselves once more: Why? 

Immediately after the tragedy of Las Vegas, the debate over gun regulation was sparked once more. Survivors of Sandy Hook and other tragedies were yet again reminded of how their government continues to fail them and their lost children on a regular basis. Day in and day out they must stand and observe as others lose their lives for the same reasons their loved ones did too many years ago and too recently. No change.

My Mexican friends and I are quick to judge these senseless shootings. While we agree that weapons regulation must be strictly set in place, another topic of conversation occurs…. “There’s definitely something wrong with Americans.”

My mother has said and will always say, “They are just such a loner based society. No family values. Too lonely.”

Others will remark, “These gringos are crazy.”

While I do believe in stricter and comprehensive arms regulations and a better mental health care system for my American friends, I believe there is something much bigger and heavier going on.

I recently got back from living in the United States where I was for 8 years. During my time there I noticed something peculiar about what being an American means. It’s not necessarily a type of character but rather an inhaling in of an endowed role.

Being an American is often in tune with being reminded that you are American. You live your Americaness on a daily basis. You are told to think of yourself as part of an exceptional idea. A part of a country built on the exceptional.

You sing the national anthem at sporting events, you recite the pledge allegiance at school, you hang your flags on the lawn. You praise your country and president alongside your spiritual and religious leaders. Your are, in every sense of the word, intrinsically American.

The problem is, no country is exceptional. I believe Americans are heart-breakingly realizing that.

In the recent events following the tragic loss of life during the September 19 earthquake, here in my country, Mexicans saw themselves, almost to their pleased surprise, pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and support each other in a way that is not often seen in our country.

We are a people who cannot depend on anyone or anything for much, let alone survival. We are aware of what we lack and we understand the system in which we live in. Yes, we often protest and fight but it often leads nowhere and we collectively accept that. We are able to live relatively harmoniously because we have developed both the experience and good humour to do so.

It is that very same lack of faith in our governmental systems that gave us the strength to depend on, and lean on, no one but ourselves and each other. Expectations were not laid on an external system but on each and every one of us individually.

Our pride as Mexicans did not come out because we believe in Mexico. It came out because we believe in ourselves as a people. In observing our own acts, we became aware of our identity not as a nation but as a human collective.

Not only has this event caused an uptick in pride, Donald Trump’s attacks on our country since his candidacy unintentionally raised our self awareness and patriotism.

While the United States has undoubtedly been one great experiment with unparalleled achievements on the global stage, the increasingly self proclaimed exceptionalism became dangerous when the powers that be took it from the people and made it theirs. Politics and government became too intertwined with Capitalism and self interest. 

Being an American stopped being a concept of and for the people but a facade for the rich and powerful to hide behind. A veil through which to take advantage and rip away from those who have simply been told that they have been given the gift of being American.

That facade, that veil, is being removed.

Now, it would be facetious of me to not clarify something. This is about a very specific kind of American. It is the white, male, American. It is a white and male veil and it is a white and male exceptionalism which has held the facade in place. It is not to say that this exceptionalism hasn’t been fed to all. It has and is. It is the only non discriminatory thing about this country. But it is that same very veil that has Mr. Trump, the president, tweeting about football players rather than doing, literally, anything else.

I don’t know for a fact that this is directly correlated with the non stop shootings. But I do know that there is a sense of disappointment. This disappointment is no small thing. It is the breaking of an image and idea of who and what it means to be an American. Even in the worst of times, Americans have always believed in that exceptionalism. But that high expectation is a heavy boulder to carry.

I am sorry for my American friends. You are a great country and you are a great people. I was honored to have lived in your country and in, what I consider to be, one of the world’s most brilliant cities. I believe you have been cheated. Cheated from the opportunity of figuring out who you were before someone else decided for you.

Now, take your rage and burn that veil.

What was and what is.

I’ve gone awol for the past several months. I’ve updated the look of this blog. Give it a bit more personality. Try this again.

There’s something about change that makes me uneasy. It makes me stop myself from thinking about what is going on around me. It’s a self-defense mechanism, you see. If I stop to think about it, I may jump to conclusions about how I may or may not feel, allowing myself to indulge in passing emotions. I rather not.

I rather keep moving until the sequences of my day to day predetermine how I will be feeling. It helps me keep it together while I figure out what exactly I am doing. I also know that’s bullshit. I don’t know what it says about me but I also don’t really care, to be quite frank.

As long as the wheels keep turning and you continue to find the necessary amount of grease to keep them going. Blah, blah, blah.

I’ve changed homes, my living situation, the environment and the context I found myself in. It’s been okay so far. Some things I’m very excited about. Others, I just want to slap my forehead with my open palm and just close my eyes. It’s like I’ve come home and yet I don’t understand anything about this strange land I’ve arrived to.

I’m from this place I’ve returned to, yet I feel like a visitor. A foreigner that knows too much about the place they are visiting but not enough that they can pass for a local.

It’s not that I’m closed off to their ways, it’s that I just don’t understand them. You become so use to doing things a certain way, years of having adapted to one thing in one place, that realizing you have to rearrange all of that is no easy task. Not only that, you actually really liked the way things were.

Oh well. I’ll just have to remember to always make room for what was.

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 Inconsistency Between ‘Respect’ and Religion

It was the beginning of April in 2013, a month away from my graduation thesis show. I plopped on the floor of my small but recently cleared out art studio at school as I stared at the large Gordon Paper I had tacked onto one of the walls. I got up, took a pen, and wrote ‘Respect’ in the middle of the intimidating brown space. I stared at it, sat back down, and stared some more.

Earlier that year I had recently completed Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” and could not be stopped from bringing it up in mundane conversation. While I’m sure I annoyed many, religion became, and has been, paramount in my life. Not my adherence to a religion but my own removal from one.

It wasn’t that I had been taught something foreign to me and became fascinated. It was that every question and every doubt I had about the role of religion in my life and environment, became validated by a single piece of literature. I had to get it out.

In speaking of my newly found passion with friends and family, I came to realize that the conversation on religion always ended with one similar sentiment by those I spoke with: “You just need to respect others beliefs.”

But what was I saying that had anything to do with respect?

Frustrated by the way those conversations ended, I couldn’t stop wondering what people meant. Respect? Respect what exactly? What does that mean? Is it an action? An emotional stance?

While to many the answers to those questions may seem obvious,  I’d like to challenge that notion.

I couldn’t shake that word: Respect. I wanted a conversation about the role of religion in the social world, not advice on how I should personally deal with it.

Many of us, if not all, were taught that ‘respect’ is a sort of “live and let live” mantra which to live by. “You do you and I do me”. Therefore, on the superficial level, I was being told to “you need to……” What?!

I need to do what?! I need to hold esteem or regard for those beliefs? That is, after all, the definition of ‘respect’. To admire, hold regard, or esteem for someone or something. That’s when it hit me! Once you attempt to interchange the word ‘respect’ for one of its available synonyms, its imagined meaning completely changes. Here are some examples:

Therefore, when being told to ‘respect’ religious faiths, I was expected to have a sort of positive attitude towards those beliefs in spite of my own. And while I understand what is being said, it, in its entirety, dismisses and disregards what religion is.

I could go through the sociological approach towards outlining how, by its very premise, religion is not based on a “you and me” social relationship. Rather, it is an “us and them” situation. Religion, for much that one could look to argue for its spiritual value, is organized. There are places of worship, doctrines, hierarchies, and conflicting ideologies and interpretations. But there is enough literature out there by intellectuals to complete the task.

But because of horrific events occurring world wide with the rise of Islamic terrorism, I believe there is no better time to put into perspective what ‘respect’ means when we attempt to unwrap religion. Therefore, I will use Islam in my approach but will further expand with the Christian-Catholic faith.

The Orlando shooting last weekend, once more, stirred up the political conversation as to the role of Islam in the world. Whether or not it was the shooters motivator, it became part of the conversation.

On one side, there are the Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, and xenophobic. On the other, there are those that do not equate Islamic terrorism to Islam. Those that adhere to ISIS or Al Qaeda are a tiny, insignificant portion of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world.

Because the former attitude has gained mainstream status, the latter has come out in an attempt to point out that a small portion of something, does not make it everything. And while this is true, it does not make the latter all the better.

The liberal media and moderate Muslims in the West have come out in defense of their religion with fervor and passion. The phrase “It is a religion of peace” is often espoused by Muslims and liberals that speak out against those that look to demonize the religion. These are, more than not, Muslims that have become somewhat westernized and liberals who seem to want to pacify the debate on religion. And while they should do this, there is discrepancy between the used defense and the actual practice of Islam in Islamic based nations.

By basing the debate of the nature of Islam on terrorism, the conversation completely disregards the social and political practices of Islam. And while we should all be vocally against terrorism, we not need to agree with the religion itself in order to do so. As moderate Muslims put it, Islam is not about terrorism. But, I along with others say, Islam does not coincide with liberal, or even secular, thought either.

Now, this is not about demonizing Islam or feeding the Islamophobic, anti-immigration, xenophobic rhetoric. It is about accepting that there are absolute contradicting values between Islamic nations and their traditions, and the practice of separation of church and state in Europe and the United States, for example. The latter, isn’t even necessarily a liberal practice. It is a basic secular practice to ensure democracy within a State. A democratic principle that allows Muslims to practice their faith with the liberty to decide how to do so. A democratic principle which many Muslims around the world are afforded, BUT not most.

There are only a few outspoken Muslim activists who make this distinction, and even they suffer for it.

The problem with ‘democracy’ as understood by the West, is that it cannot be translated to many eastern countries. The world learned its lesson when the United States “wanted to bring democracy” to Afghanistan by the way of invasion only causing more social and political destabilization. When has imperialism ever brought about peace?

The Pew Research Center has found that most Muslims, in nations where Islam is the dominating religion, in fact want Sharia Law to be enacted. That means the law of the land should be based on the religious doctrine of Islam; the divine law within the Quran. That means that both private and public life should be guided and led by the faith.

Some of these nations and their support for sharia law are:  Afghanistan (99%), Iraq (91%), Niger (86%), Malaysia (86%), Pakistan (84%), Morocco (83%), Bangladesh (82%), Egypt (74%), Indonesia (72%), Jordan (71%), Uganda (66%), Ethiopia (65%), Mali (63%), Ghana (58%), and Tunisia (56%).

While the practice of Sharia law varies within each nation, most Muslim countries make use of it in one way or another and their people are in favour of it.

Afghanistan, for example, legally enacts capital punishment for apostasy, purdah (segregation) on women, and imprisonment for homosexuality.

What does this mean? That the Pew Research Center uncovered how most Muslims in these nations approve of the state of affairs within their own countries.

In circling back to my concern with ‘respect’ and religion, do I really have to ask?

When I’m told that I must respect ones faith, I am not being told to respect a type of spirituality. I am being told that I need to respect social values and practices that go along with it. That I should respect values and practices which go against those that have been afforded to me. That I should respect values and practices of which I am not just opposed to, but which I’ve been both socially and intellectually taught to view as negative. Values and practices which have been statistically and scientifically proven to be detrimental to society as a whole.

BUT because these are religiously based, I am not allowed to say so.

Which takes me to my general point: Because I can understand a religion, does not mean I have to respect it.

Just to emphasize that I am not being bias, I have the same problem with the religion I myself grew up with; the christian-catholic faith.

While it has been found that Mexican Catholics are in a high opposition with the church, they are still morally and socially molded by their interpretation of the faith. With 81% of Mexicans identifying as catholic, women’s sexual health, including abortion, remains a heated debate nation wide, very much like, if not more so, the United States.

Unfortunately, Mexico City is the only place which fully grants women the right to abortions (under 12 weeks only) without being subject to a penalty. All while, in another 18 states, they could be subject to penalization. In the worst of cases, up to 30 years of imprisonment.

With epidemic-like rates of teen pregnancy and domestic abuse in poverty stricken communities, along the incompetence to provide proper sexual education and resources by the public education system, I cannot respect the faith based belief that women should not have access to an abortion clinic. Let alone, be punished for it. The social and economic impact of high rates of teen pregnancy in poverty, when they have not even concluded their secondary level education, is not only detrimental to them, but society as a whole.

Not only are women affected by the Catholic faith, but homosexuals are still viewed as morally corrupt by 55% of Mexicans.

It is one thing to ‘respect’ or “let live” another’s beliefs when they do not infringe on the basic rights and freedoms of others. When they do not intend to endanger one specific demographic. When they do not look to put one citizen or believer above another based on their adherence to the doctrine. If as an adult you still believe in Santa, that’s your prerogative. I’ll think your nuts and won’t respect it but, unless you harm someone for it, I don’t see the problem. I haven’t even touched the miracle/mystical side of religion.

But it is another thing entirely to ask me to respect beliefs that do those things.

I cannot respect a faith which does not respect those that leave it, but rather kills them for it. I cannot respect a faith that does not respect a women’s body, but rather asks her to cover it as a sign of ‘modesty’. I cannot respect a faith which does not respect women’s ability to control their health and ability to choose their future, but rather forces them to a life defined by one sperm and one egg. I cannot respect a faith  which does not respect an entire community’s nature, but rather asks for the restriction of their civil rights. I cannot respect a faith that would limit my own ability to have control over the direction of my life.

 

“So with all due respect”, I cannot, nor will I, respect that as it is in my absolute freedom to do so.

 

*For those curious as to my resulting artwork: my endevour to challenge the word ‘respect’ resulted in an installation where I represented in list significant events from the 20th and 21st Centuries in where literature had been burned for ideological or political reasons. From Harry Potter to the Christian Bible, I documented the process in which I recreated the act, cataloged the book covers, and jarred and planted the ashes in potted Hydrangea.