Nowadays, the topic of feminism has become widely discussed as well as debated among women and men in America. In fact, feminism can be found all over the world. Feminism, defined by Merriam Webster, is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” Some of the feminists to watch these days are people like Elizabeth Warren, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Malala Yousafzai, Gloria Steinem, Amy Schumer, Rowan Blanchard, Kiersey Clemons, and so on.
One of the big things these days however, is fear of the “F-word” or feminism. A lot of negative connotation gets strung along when this word is heard because it can be mistaken for misandry which according to Merriam Webster is “a hatred of men.” The two often times get paired together mistakenly when they shouldn’t be a feminism can receive a bad reputation.
But imagine living in a country where so much as the act of protesting femicide (“broadly defined as the killing of women”) could get you killed. Such a case exists in the country of Argentina where a #NiUnaMenos protest was held.
For those of you that haven’t followed this subject, #NiUnaMenos is a Spanish phrase that translates to “Not One Less” in English. Protests have taken place throughout many countries in Latin America with Argentina holding the spotlight. These demonstrations have taken place from June 2015 up to recent weeks in October 2016. The protest in October 2016 formed as the country’s response to the rape, murder, and impalement of 16-year-old Lucía Pérez. Pérez was subjected to internal injuries from the inhumane sexual abuse. According to New York Times, “Ms. Pérez was one of 19 women and girls murdered in the first 18 days of October.” While #NiUnaMenos has become a demonstration of the fear and pain felt by women in Argentina and other Latin American countries such as Chile, Bolivia, and Mexico, these demonstrations have become dangerous as well. Claudia Arias as well as her aunt Susana Ortiz participated in a #NiUnaMenos protest on October 19th which was only one of half a dozen found in Argentina. Days later, the two women were stabbed to death in their home along with other family members too.
To make matters worse along the subject, according to a women’s rights group in Argentina called “La Casa del Encuentro,” one woman was killed every 30 hours between the years of 2008 and 2015. Much of the situation is to blame on the “machismo” (strong masculine pride) that can be found in Argentina. In fact, the current president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, stated in an interview in 2014 that, “Deep inside, all women like to hear a piropo, even women who say they don’t.” Aside from the machismo, the violence has also been pinned as a reaction to put women back in their traditional places in Argentina and Latin America as a whole. In Argentina, there are laws where 30% of the elected positions are for women, there are more female students in university than there are males and the studies have shown that they perform better than males too.
It’s time that women and men take a look at the actions being held in Argentina and Latin America and take a moment to not only stop and realize how great it is that we can pursue acts and demonstrations of feminism, but to also realize where things could end up and how bad things could be and things could get. I, as well as others, stand in unity with #NiUnaMenos and support the efforts that are being made for women in Latin American countries.