Latin America, Land of Femicide

Ilka Oliva Corad
Crónicas de una Inquilina
Translated by Marvin Najarro

The emotional and physical violence that we women experience is an inseparable part of our lives in Latin America. Every day we are harassed, insulted, assaulted, we suffer rape, torture,14011935_1828894777344515_1732954914_n-1 we are mutilated and are left lying on roadsides and vacant fields, as waste in garbage bags. We are disappeared in clandestine graves. In Latin American we women face fear and we have to beat it down every day to leave our homes and go to study and work. To think that is latent and that this may be the last day we would see our family, because something may happen to us along the way. Girls and adolescents are in constant danger because of the vulnerability of age and the threat of a society sick with patriarchy and insensitive to gender violence.

At what point did we become this crap of population? At what point did we dehumanize ourselves in such a way? How did we exceed the limits of respect and deepen the roots of patriarchy and misogyny that kill us by leaps and bounds?

Femicides are far removed from common violence. They are specifically misogynist and carry with them intrinsic hatred of the female gender. Very hand in hand go transgerdericides carrying their heavy dose of homophobia, transphobia and lesbophobia added to the hatred of the feminine gender; it’s alarming the number of murders of transgender people taking place in the continent, which like femicides continue in absolute impunity. And if things are bad for us, to transgender women the violence of patriarchy and sexism make them even more invisible and in that exclusion abuses multiply, remote to our insensitivity as a society; rotten, patriarchal, misogynistic, bigoted, lacking all morals and inhumane.

Every time we learn about the disappearance of a girl what we say is that despite her young age she behaved like a worldly woman. And with this we rest importance to her disappearance. If she’s a teen or woman, the first thing we say is that most probably she went to “fuck” with her boyfriend or lover. That for sure she was a call girl and ran away with a secret love she had. That she left because she was a whore. And the whole attack is to her sexuality, which by the way she has every right to enjoy it freely and not to be judged by that.

If that disappearance, tragic in itself, becomes the news of a femicide, then we say that she deserved for being a whore. Since when is it a crime to be a whore? All women are. And to experience sexuality in complete freedom is no reason for any finger pointing and abuse, much less for a rape and femicide.

But how did we get to this level of violence against women? Where does it begin? From the moment of birth and when the person who deliver the baby says, “it’s a girl”.  And we mistakenly continue with the patriarchal patterns of gender roles and the sexist and misogynist norms that govern our society. A key role is played by the church in gender violence, spreads it, supports it, and endorses it.

The enormous lack of responsibility of sensationalist media helps spread sexism, misogyny and patriarchy.

The question is, when are we going to start changing the patterns and eradicate the culture of patriarchy and gender violence? When will we stop spreading and abetting street harassment, emotional and physical violence, sexual abuse and femicide? When will we stop punishing, pointing a finger and devalue a woman for living her sexuality in complete freedom and with every right she has as a human being?

When will we understand that when a woman says no she means it and there is no right to abuse her for that?

Image result for Protests against femicides in latin america

When will we understand that a person has the right to choose how to live and that that doesn’t mean we have the right to denigrate, abuse and murder her? Even worse, to hide that abuse using religion as an excuse, inhuman patterns and double standards.

When will women stop attacking each other, for their virtues and others for whores, benefiting the patriarchy that oppresses us? When are we going to stop being this crap that infests Latin America and become human beings who respect each other in the beautifulness of diversity? When will men and women stop being sexist, misogynist and patriarchal? When are we going to stop praying and leaving everything to God, and to demand justice for sexual abuse and femicides which are swept under the rug in absolute impunity?

When will be the day that we get rid of patriarchy and finally be a society that respects gender differences of all kinds?

Do not wait for violence, tragedy and pain to touch us personally and stay to inhabit in our lives forever.  We need to eradicate the culture of gender violence, and we must begin now.

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Femicides, Part of the Fourth World War