Fierce

A Year After Nicaragua’s Uprising, Women Of All Ages Are Leading Resistance

It’s been one year since Nicaragua’s civic uprising, and women, who have been uniquely impacted by political violence, are still fighting back.

On April 18, 2018, protestors took to the streets throughout the Central American country, demonstrating against Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo’s government, particularly the president’s social security reform proposals, in a mass rally that sparked an even bigger and longer anti-government movement.

Since then, the government has responded to the mass opposition with violence. Police and paramilitary groups are often sent to rallies to intimidate protestors and deter observers from joining protests. On April 19, authorities’ shots claimed the lives of two young men, Darwin Manuel Urbina, 29, and Richard Eduardo Pavón, 17. A year later, more than 300 are dead, 700 are in jail and 62,000 in exile.

These deaths have directly impacted women — their mothers, partners, siblings and friends — who are turning their pain and anger into fuel for their political fight. Throughout the nation, women have been playing key roles in the opposition movement.

Last year, when Ortega denied there had been any student killings, 21-year-old Madelaine Caracas read out the names of all those deceased, gaining instant repute.

She’s not alone.

A group called Mothers of April, which bands the mothers of those who were killed, jailed or disappeared, has since formed. Together, they offer each other support and make demands, like ending repression, disbanding paramilitary groups and holding elections earlier than those scheduled for 2021.

One of the mothers is Yardira Cordoba, whose son Orlando was shot during a Mother’s Day march in May 2018 when snipers killed 19 people. He was just 15 years old. According to his mom, Orlando, who played drums at his church, left his high school to attend the march on his own. When Cordoba, 45, learned of his presence and that he was wounded, she rushed to the hospital, where he died. “I fell on the floor, crying,” she told Al Jazeera.

The mom, who then faced harassment by pro-government supporters, was forced to move across town. Another of her sons lost his government job because of the publicity and moved to Costa Rica. Long scared to speak out, she joined the mother’s group, seeking support and change.

“I want justice, for my son and all the others,” she said.

Long-time feminist activists in the country are also leading efforts. At 69, Marlen Chow, a sociologist who carried an AK-47 in the Sandinista revolution that overthrew United States-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979, has since taken on the government that succeeded him.

She was arrested last October for protesting. When police asked her which group she was representing, she said “Pico Rojo,” or red lipstick, igniting the hashtag #SoyPicoRojo, with women and men protesting Ortega and showing their solidarity with Chow by posting photos of themselves in red lipstick.

The women’s efforts have helped ignite some change. Ortega has agreed to release some prisoners, allow people to practice their legal right to protest and let media report on demonstrations and Nicaraguan politics freely. However, human rights officials at the United Nations have said that the president hasn’t followed through on all of his promises.

Until he does, he can count on women to be on the frontlines of resistance.

Read: These Young Nicaraguan Women Are Pushing Back Against State Violence Through The Power Of Art

Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Women Share The Moments They Regreted Staying Silent In Uncomfortable Situations

Fierce

Women Share The Moments They Regreted Staying Silent In Uncomfortable Situations

Ponomariova_Maria /Getty

Sexual harassment and assault of women is rampant across every country, culture, workplace, and industry. Sadly, it’s common for women to have to endure harassment and for comfort sake’s or a desire to remain safe, stay quiet. Recently, women on Twitter shared what it’s like to have to be quiet in uncomfortable situations they realize are harmful or unsafe.

 *Trigger Warning: the stories in this piece deal with sexual harassment and assault.*

They’re also sharing their personal, horrifying stories.

Check them out below.

“This is a terrible feeling. A couple years ago I went into a neurologist’s office for an EEG, which involved attaching dozens of electrodes to my scalp. The tech who was attaching them told me how silky my hair was. Began asking me questions about whether I was single, if I ever planned to have kids. Later, he asked me my weight. Told me I was too thin (I had a BMI of 22-23) and that men liked women with more weight on them. I was 33 years old, and for the first time in my life—after growing up in a highly abusive, silencing household—I spoke up. Told him how unprofessional he was being, and that I would file a complaint. He said, ‘Do what you need to do.’ And then I did. I filed that goddamn complaint with shaking hands. It felt awful and uncomfortable and I have no regrets about doing it. I hope it made a difference.” –ennovahs

“This is the worst part of being a victim. The urge to make it go away, you want to believe if you move on, you can’t be upset by it. But it doesn’t work like that, it just hits the snooze button. Enough shitty moments like that and your jenga tower comes down and you turn into a salty bitter person that loses faith in humanity and it’s so much harder to heal from later than if you do something and process it now, enforce your boundaries now. It also like, primes you to let it happen again the next time. You let this one slide, and then someone else does something else inappropriate later and it’s like “where do I draw the line? I didn’t say something that other time”. And then when you finally reach the limit, all the other times you let people violate your boundaries without saying something haunt you and you can’t tell if it’s your fault or theirs Take care of yourself by honoring and enforcing your own boundaries. Don’t create additional pain you’ll have to heal from later with your own self-betrayal. You are worth the effort it takes to file a report, even when it’s exhausting. Is there a way you could offer to help her file? Like figuring out how to do it and helping her fill it out? If she says no, that’s her right. But I feel like so often we get betrayed twice, once by others and once by ourselves.” –valicat

“I got felt up by my masseuse and then he asked for my phone number. I just froze said I have a boyfriend and went to pay. Later I was telling my friend about it in a haha can you believe that happened and my friend looked at me all serious and said, so you were sexually assaulted, tipped him for it then want to laugh about it. I started crying and then went through the hell of having to report him and getting his license revoked.” –pulchritudinousss

“We should complain, though. For our sisters. My company offered an in-house massage therapist. Nothing like saving up coffee breaks for a proper massage! But he was … personal without being sleezy, like, “Nice breasts for a woman your age” said in a neutral tone of voice. He also liked to be rough when massaging. I like a hard massage, but the other stuff wasn’t right. When he offered to give me massages as his private office (elsewhere in town), my gut instinct kicked in and I said no, and I also stopped seeing him at work. A month later, he was gone. Somebody else had complained. I was disappointed in myself for not speaking up. I hadn’t overreacted about him and it wasn’t just me.”-ThinkbigShrinktofit

“As a woman who kept quiet when people did or said things to me that made me uncomfortable until I was in my 40s (all in the name of avoiding confrontation, not upsetting the other person, wanting to be liked, etc.), it took one really bad experience to finally realize that enough was enough. People are going to be shitty and there isn’t anything I can do that will change how shitty of a person they are. But, I can actually start telling them how unacceptable their behavior is and if it continues to happen, remove them from my life. It’s been rough, trying to speak up when warranted. Sometimes, I come off as pretty harsh. But, people are starting to realize that I’m not going to allow that type of behavior anymore. It has cost me some ‘friendships’ but my life is actually much better off without them in it.” –idreamofgin

“Speaking from experience, I can understand your friend not wanting to do anything. I was getting a physical for the military. The last person I see is this old guy. We are told to strip down to our underwear. This guy is asking all these medical questions, poking and touching. Turn your head and cough stuff. I can’t remember how, but at some point he called me cutie. I later said something to the military person running the facility and it turned into an investigation into me. After being repeatedly told my entry would be delayed, but if I withdrew my “comment” I could ship for basic training. My experience is nothing compared with what a lot of what women go through in similar situations. Every time I hear of a rape, I think about how much more horrible it would be. Any woman that comes forward and presses charges is braver than I ever could be.” –Barbuckles

“Went to take my husband to work and the man at the check station pointed out my tongue ring and made vaguely sexual statements about it like how I ‘must be fun.’ Insanely inappropriate. I was a little bitch so I cried when I got home. I did report him but he still worked there through the season.”-hattallb1tch

Uncomfortable Situations
Five women of different nationalities and cultures standing together. Friendship poster, the union of feminists or sisterhood. The concept of gender equality and of the female empowerment movement.

“I had a similar experience. I’d been having intense lower abdominal/pelvis pains and went to get an ultrasound because my doctor was concerned. Went to the place and the guy was being super rough with the thing, and it hurt. I let out a gasp of pain because it had been painful even without someone mashing an ultrasound thingy right in the painful spot, like it felt like someone just stabbed me; and he just laughed and said ‘Don’t get so excited, I haven’t gone that low down yet.’ and winked. Turned my stomach. Like, okay I am no longer comfortable being in a room alone with you, with your hands at hip level. But he seemed so comfortable making such an inappropriate joke that it’s like… this shithead probably gets away with doing it all the time. My boyfriend was furious and just couldn’t understand why I was apathetic about it. It’s something you get used to. Those casual threatening sexual jokes.”- cinnamonbrook

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Here Are The 2021 Fashion And Style Goals To Expect

Fierce

Here Are The 2021 Fashion And Style Goals To Expect

Thomas Barwick // Getty

Funny to think that around this time last year so many of us were all eagerly pouring over the Spring and Summer fashion lines in anticipation of what to wear. So young and naive. So far away from the world of COVID and quarantine and sweat pants. And this year it shows! In 2021, designers have turned out lines inspired by our new work-from-home routine. Here are some 2021 Fashion And Style Goals. You must follow

It’s not just designers aiming for WFH safe fashion.

Redditors also have their minds filled with fashion on their mind.

Check them out below!

“My goal is to only buy pieces I actually love. No shopping because I’m sad or bored. Secondary goal is to donate or throw away things that I don’t wear. Some clothes is super old and only holds up as pyjamas, some clothes is just …not me anymore, idk? Also learning about how to care for expensive pieces!” –friendlyRaven98

“Learn how to dress a body that is 90 pounds lighter. I’ve never shopped in straight sized stores and I don’t even know what brands I’d like. Up until now I’ve been forced to make do with what was available at torrid, lane Bryant, etc. and always felt pigeon holed into a certain “style” because that’s all that was available or thats what was expected for plus size people to wear.” – threeswordstyle

“2021 I’m making an effort. I can be a middle-aged mom, and not be frumpy. 2020 I started out fine, but working from home and covid I sort of gave up. I stopped doing my hair, and stopped putting on makeup. I stopped exercising (yoga pants and hoodies are so forgiving. Not to mention sports bras and cotton undies rather than sexy lingerie that made me stand up a little bit straighter and smile that secret smile to myself. ) I can be chubbier than I’d like right now, and still have nice style that makes me feel sexy and attractive and good about how I present myself. I can wear cute shoes and accessorize again, even if I have a mask that covers my smile. I can also take care of myself and enjoy exercise and healthy foods, and get to a place where I feel better about my body in a swimsuit.” –LittleBunnyF00f

“I decluttered A LOT this year , several garbage bags full of clothes I don’t wear / don’t like wearing , so my goal is to do a slow but carefully thought out overhaul. I’m going to start with super basic pieces and replacing my jeans for higher quality ones then move from there. This is likely going to take place in the second half of the year though because I’m currently paying off credit cards, so we’ll see!” –Sweatypotatosack

“My style goals for 2021:

  1. Be more creative with my style. I want to wear my more funky and unique pieces more often, and to make some of my pieces more personal by embroidering them with cool designs.
  2. Shop my closet. I probably have about 60 pieces all together including accessories (I know this from my Stylebook app) and I’ve realized that I can combine them in all sorts of new ways to create many different kinds of outfits.
  3. Take videos of my crafted outfits. This has helped me a lot in seeing what is working on me and what needs a few tweaks. For example, I took a video of myself wearing a tucked in fitted turtleneck with high-waisted jeans and a belt. I felt it looked very nice in the mirror, but for some reason, it looked off in the video. I quickly realized that due to my height, my high-rise jeans weren’t hitting me at my natural waist, but were instead fitting closer to a mid rise. After noticing this, I experimented around with what I had, and settled on adding a unique 80’s jacket which made it look a lot more styled and proportionate.” –AppleGirl341

“I’m going on a super low buy for 2021. There’s a chance that I have to move at the end of the year so I want to pair down my stuff (less boxes to pack). I’m allowed one item per month in the following categories (with exceptions carved out). This is one item PERIOD, not one shirt and one lipstick. I can either get the shirt or the lipstick. Makeup, clothing (including bras, underwear, and socks), accessories, shoes (can replace only worn out athletic shoes), tech including headphones/charging cables (can replace my laptop or phone should they die), books, craft supplies (unless I get a custom Etsy order and need something for it), stationary/office supplies (I can only buy a 2022 planner). I’m really trying to fast-track the “financial goals’ portion of my budget and I’m hoping this low-buy shifts my habits and diverts money from “wants” to financial goals.” –crazycatlady331

“I’m pretty much always torn between different aesthetics and I don’t really see that changing, but I definitely only want to buy things that I 100% like and that fit me. I usually thrift and I have some items that are lovely, but just one or two sizes too big, I’ll keep them and wear them with belts or get them altered, but I don’t wanna keep buying things that are pretty, but not my size.” –kirisakis

“My realistic goal is to not shop new at all and really limit shopping secondhand. I’m going to not shop when bored or stressed (not too hard to do, since I’m not really going out at the moment due to covid, obviously, and online shopping doesn’t give me the same boost). I almost set a no-buy for myself, but I know myself well enough to know that if I slip once, I’ll consider the whole thing a wash and go crazy. So I’m “allowing” second hand purchases, but I really intend to try and limit even those. Dream goal is to take sewing lessons and learn how to make my own clothes. I realize I need actual in-person help with this, as I’ve tried youtube and other online tutorials and I just can’t. I need to be able to ask questions and get feedback. So if things get better, I’m looking at this summer finding a class or teacher to start. This has been like a fifteen year goal, though. I am somehow making it happen in 2021!!” –violetmemphisblue

“Contrary to others I’m actually trying to buy more! I’ve always been super picky with my clothes and have had a barebones wardrobe since high school. This is the first time I’ve had a job where I have a lot of freedom in what I can wear, and it just feels like I’m wearing the same stuff all the time (I am).” –toa2tcat

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com