I was one of those who criticized the feminist movement that is so popular in my country, as well as all over the world, with different intensities, but which is a global issue, after all.
I observed their extreme ways of manifesting and felt that somehow, they transgressed too much, lacking respect for conservative values and even themselves, with their aggressive and irreverent ways of protesting.
I was already outside of Chile when that memorable demonstration took place in which thousands of women went on the streets to protest and some of them wore "horsetails" (yes, they only wore horsetails) in front of one of the main national monuments , Stopping the transit and making themselves noticed to such a point that during that day they modified the rhythm of the city.
People called them nudists, disrespectful, anarchic and even whores.
I also judged them, luckily not in words but in thoughts.
However, I remember precisely the moment in which I told one of the most important persons in my life and my soul sister what happened in my country (she is Italian and a great fighter for the feminist cause) I showed her horrified the censored photographs that appeared in the Chilean newscasts to solve my arguments that feminism was rather a meaningless struggle for rights without much foundation.
She not only was surprised, but praised the forms of manifestation of them, and gave me to understand two things:
1. Those girls, with whom I did not agree, were also fighting for me.
2. If the extreme point is not reached in a certain minute, it is difficult to reach equilibrium later -as in any revolution-.
Until then, and with all the love I have for her, I still did not support her argument; my ways of "fighting" the principles of respect for women's rights were others: I do not speak badly of other women, much less I mean another one under the simplicity of "bitch", I take care of my body and respect it, and I don't like stereotyped discourses of any kind (such as "women are not good for driving").
All this was my speech, behavior and paradigm "until it happened to me" ...
Although in Australia there is a policy of respect for all people with equal rights, and unlike my country, inequalities are not a topic and are rather imperceptible, men and women are still disparate and I do feel that sometimes women are perceived as object (I think that has not changed in any country, is a paradigm that remains) and well ... "it happened to me", I felt used, I felt treated as an object ...
I was - once again - in one of my casual jobs as hostess / model, where obviously you are the object of looks - and finally it is part of your job - and a man "from the first world", "from a developed country" out of nothing He grabs my waist from behind while walking and tries to touch me. All this in broad daylight and by the way, in front of all your friends. I scared him I screamed that he left me alone and that he was an imbecile. He said "I'm sorry, you're so beatiful". The police were a few meters away, I warned them and they asked the man to leave the place.
(I will not judge the police, I do not have desire and is not the goal of this entry).
Once the initial shock subsided and the disgust I felt was increasing, while I felt his hands permanently at my waist, everything began to make sense, and I was grateful that there were women who protested, as my Italian friend told me "for me and for all, even those who criticize them".
In my heart I did not understand why ... I am a human being, just like him ... who does he think he is?
Because not because you are a man you have a right over me,
it does not justify you being drunk,
not because you are stronger,
Not because I see a skirt I'm provoking you.
I think the vast majority of women will understand me, because I'm sure we've all been violated in some way; through the trial (pretty / ugly / fat / thin / slutty), through abuse or through manipulation, among so many other forms, and of such diverse intensities, since I know that what happened to me it compares under no circumstances with the types of abuse that others have had to experience.
And it is easy to judge when nothing has happened to you, or when you do not share the forms or principles, when your values are different or when life has blessed you with the luck of not being violated.
Now I understand and I thank them that they fight for me and for all, those of today and tomorrow, the martyrs and those who are no longer here, and who dare to take out that feminine warrior force, understanding that we are not better than men, but that We want to be appreciated and treated as equals, because that's what we are.
Now I also appreciate that they take their fight to the extreme, hopefully sooner than later we can reach the balance.
For you, for me and for everyone.