The Feminist Movement of Mexico: A Fight for Women’s Rights
¡Viva La Mujer!
Why this matters to me, and why it should matter to you.
Since I was a child, the Latino values and culture have been embedded in my roots and are an important part of who I am as half Latina. My mother was born and raised in a small little farm town of Puebla, Mexico and moved to the United States when she married my father, a gringo from Long Beach. She would tell me stories of her daily life commuting to and from Mexico city, and it seemed to be that sexual harassment and assault was a normal part of her everyday routine that she had to deal with. My aunt constantly told me of how being aggressively groped and touched was a common reality women had to face. It sparked rage in me, why are our mothers, daughters, and sisters being so disrespected and violated, why aren’t they being protected but instead silenced? This is when my interest in women’s rights in Mexico first sparked, when I first heard these honestly outrageous stories that both my mother and family told me. It happened so often It’s almost as if they were desensitized to it. So I wanted to dig deeper into uncovering more information about women’s rights in Mexico. Including the current feminist issues Latina’s face, more specifically police brutality and sex work in hopes that I could uncover some answers and bring awareness to the issues as I feel it is not discussed enough.
What is going on today for women in Mexico?
Today, Mexico needs feminism still more than ever. As the Mexican government still after years, unsurprisingly, proceeds to be violently sexist and problematic, making it a relevant and interesting current topic as change needs to be made because Latina women need their voices heard.
One of many current events regarding Chicana feminism, is the police brutality against women. In Mexico City, 10 women were associated with a social protest movement and as a result, these women were all violently sexually abused, tortured, and jailed after a police crackdown on a protest. It was later proven by the Supreme Court, that the violence that occurred was actually encouraged and permitted by the chain of command. These women are then left to deal with the scars of trauma that this event has left on them, one of the women not even able to have children due to the fear that her children will have to go through the same horrible experience she did, . According to the article by Paulina Villegas, her experience as she said, “I felt dirty, humiliated, and worthless,” this shows the price these women had to pay for speaking up against authority in Mexico and the everlasting scars that will leave on them.
Another issue is sex work in Mexico not being accepted at ALL, and the women in the profession are always subject to violent sexual abuse and harassment from society. In the article, “Retired From the Brutal Streets of Mexico” written by Adriana Zehbrauskas, she discusses sex work, and how it has a much more conservative and hateful/negative stigma in Mexico compared to America. Women who decide to take on this profession are often abandoned and shunned by their own family leaving them to fend and defend for themselves. She focuses on the trauma and loss, these women have felt and how they deserve decency, adding to the long list of more women needing representation in Mexico’s strong rooted machismo society
So, why should I care?
Mexico has toxic masculinity and sexism so deeply rooted into the culture but it has made some progress. As more and more women are joining politics and being in positions of power more representation is being made but much hasn’t changed. Women who speak up on issues, if they get enough commotion/attention they are quickly dismissed and silenced by the government or men in power. These women need their voice heard. Intersectional feminism is believing in equality for all, not just women in America, making all women's/fem voices heard. Regardless if you like it or not, these women are vital to America, and according to the U.S. Department of Labor, “In 2016, there were 11.4 million Hispanic women in the civilian labor force. That’s 1 in 7 women, and 7.2 percent of the total labor force.” Meaning, Latino women contribute a lot to our economy, and also society, culture, and their influence will continue to grow and be apart of the new American identity as more and more come to America, making it a necessity to protect our Latina sisters.To help, try sparking an important conversation or discussion on women’s rights Mexico to help boost awareness in order to try to make change happen.
Sanchez , Tracie. “By the Numbers: Hispanic Women in the Workforce.” By the Numbers: Hispanic Women in the Workforce | U.S. Department of Labor Blog, U.S. Department of Labor Blog, 13 Oct. 2017, blog.dol.gov/2017/10/13/numbers-hispanic-women-workforce.
Villegas, Paulina. “Mexican Women Brutalized by Police Hope Day of Reckoning Is Near.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 Dec. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/12/19/world/americas/mexico-police-torture-abuse.html?mtrref=medium.com.
Zehbrauskas, Adriana. “Retired From the Brutal Streets of Mexico, Sex Workers Find a Haven.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 9 Jan. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/world/americas/mexico-prostitutes-shelter.html?mtrref=medium.com&gwh=675E41DF7A057B3A03856BF62DD2C384&gwt=pay.