It's not easy being a woman organizer
During the last year, I became politically active. I went from complete ignorance of radical politics to an involvement in the organization of work in Miami, as an anarchist perspective. It was both a challenging and rewarding career, but my kind seems constantly haunt me. I'm probably not the first woman who lived this experience, but I think I ought to demonstrate the fact that this is a real problem, while offering my personal point of view so that other women can have a reference point in their own struggles.
Having been raised by Nicaraguan parents in the Latino community in Miami, I lived close sexism inherent in southern culture of Florida. Many families with immigrants from South America, Central America and the Caribbean arrived in the United States by importing traditions from years 70 and 80. Girls are so high in women who grew up being told that their goal in life was to become obedient wives, devoting himself heart and soul to the education of their children and the happiness of their husbands. Latin women are thus supposed to be modest, reserved and copyrighted, and be measures to play a purely domestic role. Although some Hispanic families do not fully submit to this social construction, the fact remains that it still plays a leading role in a very large share of the Latino community. For exemple, this social construction is found in the last three generations of the family of my father and my mother. My great-grandmothers and grandmothers, and my mother and my aunts, have not completed their education and have all devoted their entire lives to serving their husbands and their children. Meanwhile, many men in my extended family were able to complete their education, some even received a university degree, and were able to become the dominant figures in their communities. Family men could do what they wanted because they relegated all domestic and family responsibilities to their wives. Continuing this cycle, my grandmother and my mother did try to raise me in the same way. I was told not to engage in so-called "masculine" activities, whether sport, the academic field, politics, or any other field dominated by men. Unfortunately for them, I always refused to submit to their femininity standards. I play sports since the age of ten, I developed a deep interest in history, sociology and political science, and I am currently involved in three projects of a political nature. This attitude is so frustrating for my parents I find myself to be insulted on a daily basis. My mother calls me a 'tomboy', says I'm selfish because I devoted much time to the political organization, and deplores my so-called "promiscuity", the fact that the political groups which I agree are trained mostly men. My father, on the other hand, told me that I act foolishly by devoting as much time to politics instead of prepare myself for my future role of mother and wife.
Throughout my two decades of living in Miami, I met many women from diverse backgrounds. At school, as part of my work as an assistant nurse, as well as political, I rubbed shoulders with women from Nicaragua, to Honduras, from Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Porto Rico, of Haiti, Jamaica, Nepal and the Philippines, and they all have similar stories to share. Each showed me the oppression they lived at home. They are forced to conform to gender roles and follow the traditional standards of what defines a woman. Some tried to break free of these roles, but the pressure of their entourages and their families usually finished by overcoming their will. While some were able to fight against the current, they are systematically insulted and stigmatized, develop poor self-esteem and sometimes sink into anxiety and depression. I myself lived, and still alive, emotional distress episodes. I left myself a depression 2013 after six months of therapy, and I am still against low social anxiety and low self myself. Nevertheless, I managed to keep my integrity and I will continue to do so in order to continue the fight.
Hear the stories and witness the pain of all women victims of patriarchy inspired me to continue my journey as organizer. See the passivity of my mother in front of my father, see my sisters be forced to adopt undesirable traits, and witness the tears of those women who shared with me their life stories under the oppressive male domination allowed me to transform my anger into positive energy and to devote myself to creating a society in which women will no longer be oppressed. I do not want to have to deal with gender inequality and having to look many women fall into its workings. We can not continue to ignore this problem and have to face it alone. As revolutionary women, we must take these problems seriously and find strategies and solutions to overcome.
One way to engage in this struggle is to share experiences between us to identify the problems we face today. We must not deny and repress our frustration with gender inequality. This must be expressed. How can we claim to build a social revolution as we only rarely dare to talk about our own personal torment ? I know it is sometimes difficult to share the challenges we face at home, at work or in our political circles. It is even difficult for me to write this text, but we must stop let these obstacles stand in our way. I remember being petrified me the first time I have expressed about my personal problems with a classmate. I thought she would not understand me and I trouble you, but after telling him my story, I soon found that she was facing the same problems and was facing empathetic to my situation. It has completely transformed my life as I had previously thought that I had ever expected to talk about these issues to my therapist, but I was wrong. There are plenty of people around us ready to listen and support us; it's up to us to go to them. I have come to understand that the problems of gender still exist and that the obstacles I face are real. Through simple actions like talking about them and build relationships, I think we will come to create a group of people determined to create tactics to abolish these oppressions. Thus was formed Mujeres Libres, who managed to create a trend within the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo and Federación Ibérica Anarquista to face the problem of gender inequality. By magnifying their ranks, They eventually carve out a special place in front during the Spanish Revolution. We can do the same today if we put our hearts and souls. Many of us would say that our capabilities and today's social climate make such a thing possible, but how would we know without even trying? This is why I encourage all revolutionary women stop doubting themselves and to engage in combat. Let's break the silence now and create solidarity we need.
Published in original English version in April 2014 in the industrial worker, Article Being A Women Organizer isn’t Easy Fellow worker of Sierra Luz get first place in the category Contribution to the industrial worker of the year at the Working Writers Contest and will be reissued 2015 pour le pamphlet Radical Works for Rebel Workers