We are still Shakespeare’s sisters
1 - It happened yesterday. I leave the airport. On a walk about ten meters, I only see men. Taxi drivers outside the car, talking. Employees with shirts "can I help?". A man wearing a suit and tie with his suitcase and cell phone in hand. Many men, scattered ten meters way. When walking these ten meters, I feel like a gazelle strolling among lions. I am checked for all. Measured. Analyzed. My body, my ass, my breasts, my hair, my shoes, my belly. They are all looking at me.
2 - It happened when I was thirteen. I practiced ballet almost every day. I came out of dance classes and walked about two blocks until home, at six o'clock. Walked down the sidewalk almost empty beside a barracks of soldiers. These walks, I remember the first moments of this memorable urban violence. Passing cars slow down on my side, and from inside, I just heard a male voice: "sexy". Men alone who crossed the sidewalk, looked back and sighed: "what a delight. I was thirteen. Wore long pants, tennis and t-shirt..
Now, multiply that by all the days of my life.
I know it is hard for men understand how this can be violence. Ourselves, women have become accustomed and let it go. We've gotten used, to be able to live day to day.
These days, I was sitting in the square watching the door of a shop, and from there came a girl. She passed by a guy who said something. She just moved away and came toward me. I said good night, she said that the night was beautiful, and we talked a bit. I asked if the guy had told her some bullshit. She said, "spoke, but we're so used, right? Begins to automatically ignore".
The privilege is invisible. For men, it is only possible to see the privilege if there is empathy. Try to imagine a world where, for five thousand years, all the men were enslaved, raped, murdered, pruned, controlled. Try to imagine a world where, for five thousand years, only women were scientists, physical, police chiefs, mathematics, astronauts, doctors, lawyers, actresses, generals. Try to imagine a world where, for five thousand years, no representative of its genus been featured in television, theater, film, the arts. In school, you learn about the history made by women, made by women to science, the world made by women.
In her text "A room of one’s own" Virginia Woolf describes why it would be impossible for a hypothetical sister of Shakespeare write so brilliant as him. Woolf says:
"When we read about a witch being burnt, a woman possessed by demons, a wise woman selling herbs ... This imaginary woman never writes a word and dies by her own hand, her genius unexpressed.”
Since the beginning of patriarchy, five thousand years ago, women did not have enough freedom to be scientists or artists. Woolf explains:
"Intellectual freedom depends on material things. And ... women have always been poor, not for two hundred years only, but since the beginning of time. "
This argument is not just for women: poor, black and other minorities could not be so brilliant poets, for it, is necessary material freedom.
Although the world is in the process of change, there are still fewer opportunities and recognition for women and minorities to exercise any intellectual occupation. Readers of a facebook page about science still assume that the author is male and television commentators do not consider cultural manifestations that come of the slum, as truth culture .
It's true: today, life is much better, especially for the western woman like me. But even being a free woman and successful living in a Western metropolis, the skin still feel the consequences of five thousand years of oppression. And if you want to see this oppression, no need to go into the history books. Just turn on the TV:
Rio de Janeiro, 2013. A couple is kidnapped in a van. The scavenging women put a strap-on dirty, stinky shit and mold, and raped the boy. All of them, one by one, poked one huge dick in the ass of the young man without a condom and without lubricant. The girlfriend, poor, tried to do something but was arrested and brought kicking and punching.
Seeing this news, you put yourself in the place of the victim (who suffered one of the worst physical and psychological violence existent) or in place of those who watched? Naturally switched genres: the real violence happened to a woman.
How much violence I suffer just for being female?
In childhood, I was prevented from being paratrooper because that was not girl thing. I Suffered preadolescence whole for not behaving like girl. For not have tits. For not have long hair. Since always, I had my sexuality repressed by family, society, the media. If I
stepped on the ball it would be reason to be called a slut. In one of the first jobs I heard that women do not work so well because they are very emotional and have PMT
I've worn a lot of makeup, just because the television and billboards shows only women wearing make-up, and therefore it is very common to feel ugly face clean. You, man, you know what is makeup? Have a product to leave skin homogeneous one to disguise dark circles, another to disguise blemishes, another to leave the flushed cheek, the other to highlight the brow, another to highlight the lashes, one for coloring the eyelids, one for coloring the lips. How many times have you spent so many products on your face just because your boss or your first meeting you will think ugly your face clean? When I'm on the subway I must find a safe corner to avoid someone gets up rubbing on me. You do this?
When I go to family gatherings, ask me why I'm so skinny, and what I did with the hair and who I'm dating. To my cousin, wonder what he is studying and what is working. On television, 90% of advertisements denigrate me. Almost any film represents me or passes the Bechdel test. All women are shown with sexy clothes, even the super heroines who should be using a comfortable outfit for battle. Magazines teach me that my goal is to please my man in bed. While you boy compare your cock with the little friends, I girl was taught that masturbation is very ugly and if I wear a short skirt I am not giving respect to myself.
How long it took me to get rid of sexual repression and turn a woman who loves sex? How long it took to release me on the bed and get to enjoy while many of my colleagues
are still worrying if your partner is seeing cellulite or waist folds and therefore cannot get to joy? How long it took to get to look at a cock and fuck with the lights on?
How many times have I heard, in traffic, one "had to be a woman"? How many times have you shut _ someone in traffic and you heard "had to be a man"? All this for later in the day, have dinner at the restaurant and did not get the bill when it was asked because five thousand years ago I'm considered incapable. And all this, to hear that I'm exaggerating and there is no more machismo.
This is a very small summary of what violence I suffer, or run the risk of every day. I, white female, straight, middle class. The black woman suffers more than me. The poor woman suffer more than me. The eastern woman suffers more than me. But we all suffer from the same problem: no country treats its women as well as their men. None. Neither Sweden nor the Netherlands, or Iceland! Throughout the "civilized" world we suffer violence, have less access to education, work or politics.
Around the world, we are still sisters of Shakespeare.
And you, reader man? When approached by a hostile stranger on the street, thinking "please do not take my phone" or "please do not rape me"?
Enviado por Michaela Iacoe em 20/05/2014
Alterado em 20/12/2017