I have always thought I was a person, even when small. Of a certain sex, of a certain shape and various colours, from a place, and of my circumstances. But always, above all, as a person.
In my family they also thought I was a person and as my surroundings and the times were not very restrictive, it took me a while to discover that to be a person of the type ‘girl’ had its limitations, External. Even so, I don’t remember having ever wanted to be a boy nor considering that being a girl was an internal obstacle or wrong.
Later, in adolescence, when trying to define myself as a person, I discovered two things about what it implies to be a woman socially. Firstly, that some men, and surprisingly some women, still think that women are incomplete men. That we are moved by the jealousy of this real or symbolic lack and that we are inferior to men. The second discovery was that it is not enough to be female to be feminine. That being feminine comes with an instruction manual and requires hard work. Sometimes the instructions are written down somewhere, but most of the time they just emanate. Not only that, but if the manual is studied carefully, one discovers that it is full of physical, intellectual and spiritual restrictions: the higher the heel and narrower the dress the more feminine; no original ideas nor thirst for knowledge are allowed (and if they cannot be avoided, it is better to conceal them) and careful with wanting to be free because you are going to be labeled ambitious, selfish or evil. In reality, even if the manual is disguised with ambiguity and manifests multiple faces, the instruction is just one: to repress everything that implies personal growth.
When I started to work I noticed that the merits of women and the merits of men were not measured equally, even when they were the same. Expectations varied too. Thus, the theoretical error of the supposed inferiority of women is still applied in practice, despite all the achievements of feminism.
Worse still, looking around it is impossible not to see that the contemporary medium par excellence, that of visual language, contributes greatly to the spread of the belief that women are less important than men. Isn’t that strange in a society that considers itself egalitarian?
xyx28: encrypted feminist magazine was the beginning of my exploration of alternatives.