A note on feminism

 I'd like to dedicate this section to talk a bit about the main feminist/egalitarian/female empowerment topics I'll be writing about in this blog, and to clarify some terms which I'll be addressing:

  Me gustaría dedicar esta sección para hablar brevemente acerca de los principales temas feministas/igualitarios/sobre el empoderamiento femenino sobre los que voy a escribir en mi blog, y para clarificar algunos términos a los que me referiré con frecuencia:
  • Feminism and equality/Feminismo e igualdad
    I identify as an intersectional feminist and an egalitarian. I wish women could some day be finally recognized as what they really are: human-beings, with a body and a mind of their own. As an egalitarian, I'm also against racism, classism, homophobia and anything that goes against equality and humanity. In short, I stand for human rights.

   Me identifico como feminista e igualitaria. Desearía que las mujeres pudieran ser reconocidas algún día por lo que realmente son: seres humanos, con una mente y un cuerpo propios. Como igualitaria en general, también estoy en contra del racismo, el clasismo, la homofobia, y contra cualquier cosa que vaya en contra de la igualdad y la humanidad de las personas. En pocas palabras, estoy a favor de los derechos humanos.

As a sort of clarifying disclaimer - not a justification, never a justification, because I'm tired of seeing how feminists are forced to somehow always justify themselves (for wanting human rights and the same treatment, my gods, just imagine!) while patriarchy-upholding people never seem to feel the need to justify themselves or say sorry for anything! - this is what feminism is not about:

Feminism - and it's called that, not 'feminazism' (an extremely rude and obnoxious word, because we're obviously Nazis if we want equal rights) - is not about 'man-hating'. Although it's pretty logical to harbour an amount of resentment after having been oppressed for centuries, let's be real here, feminists don't hate the whole male population just because they're males. I, for one, try to treat peple as human beings in general. There are also (wow, I know) male feminists who are interested in equal rights for men and women, because not only it is decent and human to be interested about this, disregardless of your biological sex, but there's also the fact that Patriarchal-based societies include a lot of constructs and stereotypes - reverse sexism, or Patriarchy backfiring on men, minus the oppression -  that actually harm men as well (fragile masculinity, anyone?). 

Feminism doesn't want women's superiority. Nor does it oppress, or try to oppress, men (MRAs -those laughable 'Men's Rights Activists' - feeling oppressed because women aren't, now that's another problem). That's called 'hembrismo' (something akin to a matriarchal society, only with the same level of oppression that a patriarchy generally has), and it has like null relevance and power in the world today (MRAs, please do your research and stop trying to deligimate feminism with your sexist nonsense). Like I said, there are male feminists. To me, being a true feminist is to wish for both men and women to enjoy the same rights and opportunities. That sounds so radically oppressive.

(By the way, 'radical feminism' is not the same as 'rampant feminist who wants to kill men'. Radical feminism is a feminist current that seeks to explain, understand and fight against sexism by analyzing Patriarchal constructs and the whole system from its roots - thus the name 'radical', from 'root')

And before I finish with this part,  let's talk about this gem of MRA logic: 'Feminism isn't about equality because feminists don't spend as much time dealing with 'men's problems' as they do for women's problems'

  It seems ironic that feminists be the ones actually dealing with said 'men's problems', while MRAs do nothing of the sort - Their activism is to derail feminist activism and use their limited IQ to bash anything that seeks the equality of the sexes and women's rights. That's it.  Apart from that important point, let me stress this: Feminism doesn't deal with 'men's problems' (look at that glorious male entitlement and ego: It's not all about you!!) as often because men are NOT freaking oppressed by the system. They are already born privileged in a patriarchal-based society. Yes, they suffer the "reverse-sexism" backfiring, and the masculinity construct is a tough burden to bear - there are female feminists who actually do activism about that! -, but that "reverse-sexism" does not oppress them. Men, you are not oppressed. And you're definitely not oppressed if you think that women gaining rights is being oppressed (MRAs, I'm looking at you). But women are oppressed. Women have way more on their plate to deal with than the problems of fragile masculinity. It's only freaking natural that feminism spends more time dealing with those issues, because they're way more numerous, and the actual oppression!! The fact that many men are offended because their problems aren't as relevant in a current that seeks to fight against women's oppression first and foremost is looking at the actual problem and the reason we need such a thing as feminism.

MRAs may do nothing with their life but be sexist trolls, but same as many people ask of women to both work and do all the housework and child-caring duties (because we're all Superwomen, aparently), they're also asking of us to deal with all the problems, both the whole load of women's oppression (and no feminist, no matter how enthusiastic can deal with everything), and the reverse-sexism that men also suffer. If we can't fight against all of that at the same time, if we have personal priorities or areas of interest, then we're not feminists. OK. How logically logical.

   Apart from the clasical "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people" quote, I find that Bell Hooks and Celia Amorós define pretty well what should be understood by "feminism":

   [TO BE UPDATED] Este blog no pretende de ninguna manera promover el odio a los hombres o la superioridad de la mujer, ya que ésos no son los objetivos del feminismo. El feminismo no lucha por la superioridad de las mujeres. Ni oprime ni intenta oprimir a los hombres. Existen hombres feministas. La sociedad patriarcal afecta y hace daño a los hombres también - el 'sexismo invertido' no es más que el patriarcado volviéndose contra los hombres, y eso es tan malo como el sexismo contra las mujeres. En mi opinión, ser un/a feminista de verdad significa ser igualitari@ y desear que tanto los hombres como las mujeres tengan los mismos derechos y oportunidades. 
   Aparte de la famosa cita "El feminismo es la noción radical de que las mujeres son personas", pienso que la cita de Bell Hooks (arriba:"Ser "feminista" en cualquier sentido auténtico de la palabra es querer que todas las personas, tanto mujeres como varones, estén liberadas de los roles de género sexistas, la dominación y la opresión.") y este vídeo de Celia Amorós explican bastante bien lo que debería entenderse por 'feminismo'.

Celia Amorós talking about Feminism:
Celia Amorós - "¿Qué es el feminismo?":

video

Pornography and objectification (not to be mistaken with natural nudity, healthy sexuality, and erotica! These do not view the human body as an object), harassment, rape culture and the war on women's reproductive rights are some of the issues I feel more strongly about, although every form of oppression is sure to touch a nerve.

 And yes, not only about gender inequality. As an intersectional feminist, I also like to discuss inequality issues such as racism, heterosexism, classism, transphobia, ableism, and the like.

   I am pro-choice, because people should be able to choose and to have freedom when it comes to their body. And pro-choice is not pro-abortion, it's pro-choice, as in this quote: 
                                             
                                               (typo in the quote: 'choose', not 'chose')

   Algunas de las cuestiones que me interesan y preocupan en mayor medida (aunque toda forma de opresión me afecta) son la pornografía y la objetificación (¡que no deben confundirse con la desnudez natural, la sexualidad y el erotismo! Todas estas no implican necesariamente opresión ni ven al cuerpo como un objeto), el acoso, la cultura de la violación ('rape culture') y la lucha contra los derechos reproductivos de las mujeres. 
   Soy pro-elección, porque pienso que las personas (en este caso, las mujeres) deberían tener el derecho y la libertad de tomar sus propias decisiones acerca de su cuerpo. Y pro-elección no es "pro-aborto", es pro-elección, como explica bastante bien la cita de arriba ("El que sea pro-elección no quiere decir que esté a favor del aborto. Quiere decir que entiendo que tu elección no es asunto mío, y que yo siempre lucharé por tu derecho a tomar tu propia decisión").

As for religion, I defend each's right to freedom in this respect, as in all others, but I am against fanatism and against any mysoginist/racist/classist content in any religion. Also, freedom of religion does not mean trying to impose one's religion on the rest of people, as some seem to think. And I don't think that religion should meddle with law, or go against human rights.

 Acerca de la religión: Defiendo el derecho de cada un@ a tener sus propias creencias, pero estoy en contra del fanatismo, de la imposición, y de contenidos sexistas/racistas/clasistas en cualquier religión. Además, la libertad de creencias no significa poder imponer una cierta religión al resto, como algunas personas parecen creer. Y pienso que la religión no debería meterse en asuntos legales, o ir en contra de los derechos humanos.

  • Female warriors and women empowerment/ Mujeres guerreras y empoderamiento femenino
 Regarding the branchs of feminisn, I especially like Amazon feminist:

   "A branch of feminism that emphasizes female physical prowess (...) Adherents are dedicated to the images of the female heroine in fiction and in fact, as expressed in the physiques and feats of female athletes, martial artists and other powerfully built women in society, art and literature." [Wikipedia] 

 De las ramas del feminismo, me gusta especialmente el feminismo amazónico: "Una rama del feminismo que exalta las proezas físicas de las mujeres (...) Sus seguidores se dedican a estudiar la figura de la heroína en la ficción y la historia real, expresada por medio de los aspectos físicos y las proezas de atletas, guerreras y artistas marciales, y otras mujeres con físico y/o aspecto ofensivo poderosos en la sociedad, el arte y la literatura." [Wikipedia]

This is basically an empowering-women blog. A blog to talk about and celebrate empowered women (warriors, athletes, sages, scientists, priestesses/wisewomen, writers, artists...) in history and mythology, and a blog to promote the model of a strong empowered woman with iniciative, knowledge and skills. Because there have been too many toxic and demeaning models of womanhood thanks to patriarchal society and too many women that have been erased out of history books. Direct or indirect sexism has erased a lot of female role-models, and that saddens me. Because we need more empowerment. And we need to know that gender roles and stereotypes are unfair and wrong. Women are human-beings too, and they are entitled to anything a man can do. Yes, even physical prowess.

Este blog es básicamente un blog sobre el empoderamiento de las mujeres. Un blog para hablar sobre y celebrar mujeres empoderadas (guerreras, atletas, eruditas, científicas, sacerdotisas/mujeres sabias, escritoras, artistas,...) tanto en la historia como en la mitología y la ficción, y un blog para promover el modelo de una mujer fuerte y empoderada con iniciativa, conocimientos y habilidades. Porque ha habido demasiados modelos tóxicos y degradantes para la mujer gracias a las sociedades patriarcales, y demasiadas mujeres que han sido borradas de los libros de texto y los libros de historia. El sexismo, ya sea directo o indirecto, ha borrado a muchos modelos de conducta para mujeres, lo que me entristece. Porque necesitamos más empoderamiento. Y necesitamos saber que roles de género y estereotipos son injustos y erróneos. Las mujeres son seres humanos también y tienen derecho a hacer cualquier cosa que a un hombre se le deje hacer. Sí, incluso proezas físicas.

    No, warrior-women are not a myth. No, Marie Curie was not the first female scientist. And for the record, neither was Hypatia. Yes, there have been a lot of female writers, loremistresses and artists through the centuries. Yes, there have been priestesses in many polytheistic religions. And yes, male-dominated societies has endeavoured to stop women from doing all these things (some societies were more egalitarian and liberal in some aspects). Still, there are plenty of examples of women who have dared not to obey, repression and all. Which doubles the merit. That's the reason why occupations and trades aren't split in a 50% fashion. Not the 'fact', assumed by too many, that women are unable to do certain things. 

   No, las mujeres guerreras no son un mito. No, Marie Curie no fue la primera científica. E Hipatia tampoco, ya que estamos. Sí, ha habido muchas mujeres escritoras, eruditas y artistas a lo largo de los siglos. Sí, ha habido sacerdotisas en muchas religiones politeístas. Y sí, las sociedades dominadas por los varones han intentado detener a las mujeres para que dejaran de hacer todas estas cosas (algunas de estas sociedades eran más igualitarias y liberales en algunos aspectos). Incluso así, ha habido muchos ejemplos de mujeres que se han atrevido a no obedecer, represión y todo. Lo que hace que el mérito sea mayor. Los roles sesgados de género de las sociedades patriarcales - Ésa es la razón por la que no se encuentra un 50% de hombres y un 50% de mujeres en la mayoría de ocupaciones y actividades. No el 'hecho', asumido poe demasiados, de que las mujeres son incapaces de hacer ciertas cosas.

 I will probably focus on warrior-women. As a scientist, I have a soft spot for female scientists too, but I mostly identify with a warrior, and, apart from taking archery and sword-fighting classes when I have time, I spend a lot of time reading about and researching warrior-women in different times and cultures. 

Probablemente me centre en las mujeres guerreras. Como científica, también me suelen gustar mucho las científicas, pero sobre todo me identifico con una guerrera, y, aparte de tirar con arco cuando encuentro tiempo e ir a clases de esgrima, paso mucho tiempo leyendo e investigando sobre mujeres guerreras en diferentes épocas y culturas.

   I'm convinced that there have been warrior-women in practically all times and cultures. Until now, my theory holds. Too many people nowadays think that warrior-women are more of a myth than reality, and it is true that in many cultures they were never more than a minority. But these people should also bear in mind that patriarchy has done a fine job erasing and trying to swipe out as many empowered female roles as it could. As I see it, in some cultures women-warriors were more or less openly accepted. In others they were still accepted but more of a minority/considered in more extreme situations. In other cases, some groups of women managed to achieve more freedom from the males and from society, and warriors were to be found among them. And even considering that in many patriarchal cultures women have been told to veer right out of the way of the warrior, there have always been some women who took up arms. Many never ended up too well for having defied the established rules of society, but I consider them very empowering courageous models for having chosen their path in a repressive society.  

 Estoy convencida de que ha habido mujeres guerreras en prácticamente todas las épocas y culturas. Hasta ahora, mi teoría se mantiene. Demasiadas personas en la actualidad piensan que las mujeres guerreras entran más dentro del mito que en la realidad, y eso puede ser cierto para aquellas culturas en las que las mujeres guerreras nunca fueron más que una minoría. Pero estas personas también deberían darse cuenta de que el patriarcado ha hecho un buen trabajo en lo que respecta a borrar y tratar de hacer desaparecer a tantas mujeres empoderadas como le sea posible. En algunas culturas las mujeres guerreras eran aceptadas socialmente. En otras, eran también aceptadas, pero más como una minoría que se tenía en cuenta sólo en situaciones críticas. En otros casos, algunos grupos de mujeres consiguieron liberarse de la sociedad patriarcal, y se pueden encontrar guerreras entre ellas. Y aun considerando que en muchas culturas patriarcales se ha dicho una y otra vez a las mujeres que se aparten por completo de la senda guerrera, siempre ha habido algunas mujeres que han tomado armas. Muchas no terminaron demasiado bien por haber desafiado las reglas establecidas de la sociedad, pero a pesar de ello, considero que son modelos muy empoderadores y valientes por haber escogido su camino en una sociedad represiva.

So I think we really need to unveil these warrior-women. Especially considering that the idea that many people of 'warrior-women' nowadays involves objectified women in unrealistic, uncomfortable attire, which is not how a real warrior-woman would look. Current 'warrior-women' and objectification is a topic about which I feel really strongly, and  which I'll be addressing often. Male warriors aren't nearly as objectified as female warriors are, and it's not OK. Of course, it's not OK to objectify male warriors either, and there are some examples of that, too. But in general, male warriors are allowed to look "sexy" "hot" and "smouldering" while being protected and empowered. They are allowed to wear realistic armour that  is actually useful in a fight. Male warriors don't need a come-hither gaze, a suggestive pose or a chainmail bikini, high-heeled boots or tight corset to be warriors in their own right.  Apparently, though, most female warriors, as seen today, do. Which is something that it's not OK.

Así que pienso que hace falta desvelar la existencia de estas guerreras. Sobre todo considerando que la idea que muchas personas tienen de la 'mujer guerrera' estos días incluye a mujeres objetificadas vestidas y armadas de forma muy poco práctica y realista, sin la apariencia que debería tener una guerrera.  Las 'mujeres guerreras' de la actualidad y su objetificación es un tema sobre el que tengo ideas muy firmes, y al que me estaré refiriendo con frecuencia. Los guerreros varones no están para nada tan objetificados como lo están las mujeres, y eso no está bien. Por supuesto que tampoco está bien que se objetifique a los guerreros varones, y ya empieza a haber ejemplos de eso, también. Pero en general, a los guerreros varones se les permite tener un aspecto "sexy" y estar"buenos" a la vez que están protegidos y empoderados. Se les permite llevar armaduras realistas y prácticas a la hora de luchar. Los guerreros varones no necesitan una mirada que diga "ven a mí", una pose sugerente o un bikini de cota de malla, botas de tacones altos o un corsé apretado para ser guerreros por derecho propio. Sin embargo, parece ser que la mayoría de las mujeres guerreras de ahora sí necesitan todo eso. Lo que no está bien.