(Or when I had the first feminist epiphany)
Machismo does not exist. You are white, middle class, and live in a comfort bubble. You don’t see anything wrong with society. When you notice that you have less freedom than a boy, still you feel protected by machismo. It’s all for your weelbeing and it’s fine as it is. Mysoginy does not bother you because it diminishes or sexualises the other, the whore, the tramp, but not you, the good well behaved one.
There are girls who will not drive because they believe that all women are bad drivers, there are those who won’t drink because they perceive a woman who drinks as vugar, and those that thinks absurd that a woman breastfeeds in public and so forth. There are those that imply that some women are ‘out of their minds’ just because they are going through their PMS, among other nonsense socially created to deminish us. Which of us never behaved like this, since we were all programmed in this way? I was once like that myself and I keep on having eternal arguments with women that judge other women without realising that when they point a finger towards another woman they are just reproducing and perpetuating what society has been doing to our gender since the beginning of time. Socially speaking it’s ok to self-deprecate women. To be sure about that is not.
That is how it works and you carry on calling your female feminist friends crazy, paranoid and a bore.
Until, one day, that first epiphany light glimmers. It happens to all, sooner or later. And when it comes, you feel all the weight of the ‘huMANity’ on your back. Because one day, woman, you may get pregnant and perhaps you do not want to have the child and society will give you shit, it will judge you and call you a whore if you decide to have an abortion. And if the child’s father does not recognize the child as his, you will be humiliated if you try to prove otherwise, you will be insulted, called a whore and will end up as a single parent and still be judged by society.
One day you may be sacked from a job because you’re a woman, or may have to swallow without complain a rude joke, an agressive chat-up line or even some physical agression. From then on, you possibily realise that you live in fear, for the simple fact that- mind you- you do not have a penis. The more you pay attention, the more you will feel indignant. Marriage and motherhood are ideal test trial on how much social judgements on what and how to do things a woman can take. These are for the brave. I do not recommend it.
My first epiphany light flared when I was 24. I was at a MST settlement researching for my masters degree on liberating ways of production. I still see geniality and consider the movement very legitimate, but never will I forget the way that the movement leaders treated their wives. They were all much younger and they hardly ever opened their mouths. They looked like scared hunted animals. I was with a geologist in the field and they all cooperated a lot with us. In no momend did I feel any discrimination for the fact that I was a woman, my epiphany, curiously, was brought about with the pain of the other, those young and servile women that could not express themselves. From there on my life has changed a lot. I got married, had daughters, moved town and changed jobs a few times. But, more than that, I started seeing machismo all over the place and I am never silent about it. That light is like the windshield of a car on a rainy day, it changes completely the way that we see the world.
And what abou you? Have you hade your yet? Tell us how it was.
*story originally written for casadamaejoanna.com