Born to be a feminist
Updated: Jul 23
Been raised in a Puerto Rican home with primos playing together everywhere was my actual first tragic experience of the battle of the sexes.
"You have to stay in the house". My parents will say when my brother- two years younger- was allowed to go play outside with the neighbors. -"But why can he, and I cannot? I'm older." I remember my irritation when I dared to confront my parents with the truth. "Yes, but he's a man. And you're not."
Stupid as it might seem, this same thing lasted for centuries and centuries in my childhood home. My brother could have a TV and video games in his own room. He even had his own room. I always had to share it with my five year younger sister. By that time, five years were a world. An abyss of age that kept my teenager years in a twisted knot with her childhood. Don't get me wrong, I love my sister. I feel sad for her and for me as well. Neither of us had the space to enjoy solitude when needed. The bedroom is one of the things you prefer not to share with a sibling, or anybody. Unless is a slumber party. Which you're guessing right, I wasn't allowed to participate because I'm a girl.
The most rebellious act I remember my mom having was when she taught me how to drive when I was only 15. Slopes and curves in the road, that was my first experience driving. I always thought mom took that courageous step during a heated discussion with my dad. A rebellious step in a moon.
In my pre-teen years, my body took a drastic change. From the little cylindrical girl, to big boobs and beautiful curvy hips. A full grown woman's body by the age of 12. Noticing the body I had, I started noting the difference of how I dressed (my mother picked my clothes yet), to how other girls my age dressed. One day I went to a store very close to school. Having saved the dollar my father gave me to buy some empanadilla or freeze, I was determined to buy something more according to my newly found body.
A beautiful green dress was in the mannequin in the store showcase. It was so beautiful and I started thinking how grown up and stylish I would look wearing it the upcoming Christmas. Back home that day, I couldn't control my excitement and decided to show my purchase to my mom. I thought she would be happy to see me growing, developing into a healthy and happy young lady, but as I put the dress on she scolded me. When my father came back from work, she made me try it on again for my father to give his opinion. Their opinions resulted in a trip to the store to change it for a black dress that could at least cover, conceal or hide my fat ass. "That's not how a decent lady should dress."
Since the age of 6, I began to write poetry. On high school, my language arts teacher always grumbled at my pen name by the time: "La poetisa del Amor" = "The poetess of Love". She was constantly arguing with me that to be successful you cannot identify your gender and I disagree with her. Why been a woman and write poems cannot be a great thing? Why? Does writing was a thing exclusively reserved for men? Happily I noticed nobody cared that I was a girl, because after all nobody cared for poetry anyways.
Little by little, I discovered how macho oriented was our actual society. When I got divorced, my parents told me I was the one to blame if the kids were affected for the separation. During the whole process, they stood against me and in my ex's side. Because I'm a strong-willed woman, that's enough cause to make me the offender. It just ended with years of family distancing.
Women are the one who are supposed to wake up in the middle of the night when the baby wakes up crying, she's the one to be days and night at the hospital when the baby is sick. Was she the only one awake when the baby was being made?
The woman can work 8 to 10 hours outside the house and still she must get home to prepare dinner, do laundry and fix tomorrow's preps. Men work 8-10 hours and come back home dying of tiredness. Takes a bath to relax, sit at the dinner table awaiting for the dinner and nicely go to the living room to play video games.
Women are asked to make homemade goodies everywhere, schools, fundraising events, bbq in friends house, parties at work... Men are invited and welcomed and they look even better if they gift the house with a bottle of nice wine of a beer box.
Women need permission to take decisions over their bodies. Women need their parent's signatures to get married. Women get paid less that the average man, without considering that she has superior education.
If a man triumphs is because he's organized and clever and knows how to manage his resources. If he fails, the woman behind him is weak and stalled him in life.
Child support agencies do little if not nothing to protect the well-been of the kids. On the contrary, they are vowed to put cases on hold, cancel debts and never go after the men who owes their kids. With this, even the government agencies put all the weight and responsibility of the kids solely on the mother, leaving them unprotected even when the law was created for it.
After my divorce, I decided to re-do my life, and give a chance to a nice guy I had met. Decent women doesn't remarry. Ladies must dedicate the rest of their lives to take care of their children. Then what? Just wait patiently to die.
Some members of my boyfriend's family attacked me constantly behind my back, because they hated me talking the truth. They couldn't withstand that I made my own money, had my own stuff, and didn't have to be asking anyone permission. They hated I was divorced and very happy about it. They hated that I was open-minded and used every single thing I wrote to say I was those things. Back then, I had published a book about a witch, thus I was a witch. How could I possibly know so much about witchcraft, if I wasn't one? I think that is called imagination. That's what writers do.
Life has given me enough experience to understand I would never fit in a society bent to protect solely men. We women are to blame for it, for teaching our kids that they aren't equal. Favoring males, giving them freedom and power that their sisters cannot have. Feeding the male superiority by sending them to play while the girls have to clean.
What happens when a boy is sent as a third wheel for his sister's date? He's given the power to watch over her, not to protect her. Has a girl ever sent as a third wheel for her brother's date? Then, we will be talking equality.
This society focus their energy so much into making girl ballerinas and boys doctors, that forgot to teach how alike we are, how free we all deserve to be, how equally responsible we are for our decisions, how valuable we are to each other.
Lets put our energy into been a modern feminist and support our girls and boys equally, with honor, love and respect. Lets stop thinking that feminism is just a protest against bras, or that we are evil castrators who hate men. May we work together to a better world!