Margareta spent much of her childhood in Mexico. Watching her daughter grow up in Belgium inspires her with hope. “These kids seem to naturally understand that some traditions should be respected, while others simply have to change.”Margarita
My definition of the term gender-inequality is one that consists of many different memories. For a very long time, I was unaware of just how much my thoughts were shaped by what I experienced while growing up in Mexico.
I remember this kid at school making statements about his girlfriend. Calling her fat, complaining about their sex life. The other guys thought it was funny, I was shocked. Not so much by his actual words, rather by how perfectly acceptable it seemed to be to talk about girls that way.
I kept my mouth shut back then. This ultra-masculine culture of ours granted more freedom to men and that was just the way it was. Yet I wondered: "What right do they have to be judging women? The bodies they talk about are ours, it is our sexuality that is being scorned. But what is there to be ashamed of, really?"
Suchlike disdain generates anxiety. Many women do not want to have children because they fear the extra workload and the mental burden. They already know that they would not be able to rely on their partners' support.
On Dia de los Muertos - or All Saints’ Day - we honour and commemorate our deceased loved ones. It is one of those days where you stop to reflect on life more thoroughly. A memory of my father struck me the other day. He was considered an intellectual by others, an open-minded kind of man.
Both of us were discussing politics. I refused to agree with one of his ideas and spoke up about it. My father turned to look at me and said, “My daughter, you are getting way too fat.” He felt he had to humiliate me for disagreeing with him. It only goes to show how deep macho behaviour is ingrained in our daily life.
The fight for equal rights and treatment is far from over. It has to be understood that restoring the balance would affect everyone's life: that of women, and children as well as the life of men. It is an issue of historical significance. I am happy to see how young people are way better at dealing with issues of the kind. They seem to naturally understand that some traditions should be respected, while others simply have to change.
And so I remain hopeful. For myself, my children, and even for my country.