We don’t normally don’t look at ourselves and think we’re ra-ra feminists. As Latinas we think the term feels white-washed and we’re almost afraid to admit we stand up for women’s rights and empower each other. Looking back, Latinas are feminists. We stand up for each other. We empower one another. After all, that’s what comadres are for. Latina companionship and feminism is about a circle of women who support each other and understand what we go through. Do you have a circle of Latina feminists? Check out the clip above and compare your experience to Kats.
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For the past several years, women — mostly in Latin America — have been fighting for the rights of women. And not just for the rights of abortion and health care, but fighting literally for their lives. Femicide — violence against women — is a real and serious problem in this country. It points to the countless women that have died, been raped, and assaulted at the hands of men and nothing is done about it. What makes this matter even worse is that some men are stupid and senseless enough to make fun of it.
On Dec. 16, a new college graduate thought it would be funny to mark this big occasion by dressing up as a victim of femicide.
If you wanted proof about the “men are trash” movement, you need to look no further than Tomas Vidal who grated from the International Commerce at the 21st Century University in Argentina. This dumbass, and there is no other way to describe him, wore the signature green bandana that femicide victims wear and their supporters. His sign read, “the fault was not mine.”
The school was not pleased with his actions. In fact, they were quite mad.
“From the reproachable action during the celebration of the graduation of the student Tomás Vidal yesterday, the authorities of the 21st Century University have summoned him to notify him, that he has started immediately a summary that will establish the responsibilities and sanctions that correspond, depending on his behavior, contrary to the values that this institution promotes and represents, it will not allow any demonstration or behavior that threatens women, equal rights, peaceful coexistence between citizens and respect for differences.”
People on social media were not pleased by his actions either. And they let him know exactly how they felt.
One woman said that she not only blamed him for his dumb actions but those that enabled it to happen. “Tomás Vidal is NOT an isolated case. Behind this costume is a friend who created it, one who created it, one who laughed and one who saw and fell silent. One of the most fundamental elements of sexist violence is male complicity, and in this photo, we have its description.”
Another woman on Twitter wrote, “Can you imagine losing a sister, friend or daughter in a femicide and then see the publications of the tomboy Tomas Vidal mocking, does not happen for feminism or not, what kind of person can celebrate deaths of women impaled, raped, burned, dismembered?”
Yeah, we’d like to know how his mother feels about her son’s actions.
Women around the country are saying “enough” to the violence against women and that “not one more” woman should be harmed. And it’s not a laughing matter.
In addition, many countries have adopted laws, such as restraining orders, to help protect women from intimate partner violence. They are also providing training for police and prosecutors to heighten their awareness of these issues.”
Here’s another lesson for Tomas Vidal. Perhaps he should learn this dance and maybe his soul will be awakened with kindness and empathy.
Something is clearly mentally wrong with Vidal for him to think it was okay and funny to make fun of a movement that is addressing a serious problem in the world.
Warning: This story is contains accounts of sexual assault, and can be disturbing to some of our readers.
Two weeks ago, four police officers were accused of raping a 17-year-old-girl in their patrol car. Two days later, another officer was accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in a museum. Friday night, protesters took to Mexico City streets armed with pink glitter and spray paint to demand justice for the teenagers, and all femicide victims in Mexico. The next day, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, the city’s first female mayor, announced the suspension of six police officers implicated in the first case. The officer on patrol at the museum has been arrested.
Still, after nearly a century of living under a police force that women are taught to fear, the women who started the #NoMeCuidanMeViolan (“They don’t take care of me, they rape me”) movement are demanding a declaration of a gender alert in the capital, and tangible action to end femicide.
An estimated 300 women flooded Mexico City streets, and even covered Mexico City’s Secretary in pink glitter.
One officer had been arrested on the grounds of rape the day before the protest, but the four who allegedly gang raped a minor in their patrol car were still active duty on the force at the time of Friday night’s protests.
Signs from the protest ranged from, “My friends protect me, not the police,” to “Sailor Moon taught me that you can kill monsters with glitter.”
The women ended the march at the Angel monument, where they raised their held hands up high.
The Angel monument celebrates the independence of Mexico from Spain, and is the chosen setting for quinceañera photo shoots, and town celebrations. The monument is a symbol of justice and freedom.
The protesters didn’t feel heard by the government, so they made sure the public hears them.
The base of the Angel monument was covered in “Kill the Patriarchy” and “Rape State” phrases, along with a pink feminist symbol on the culo of the lion. By morning, city workers had already begun power washing and repainting the base, now barricaded from view by a wooden wall.
A spokesperson for the National Fine Arts Institute said they were assessing the damage, and that the institute “respects freedom of speech and offers support for actions to eradicate all forms of violence against women.”
Police body-barricaded the doors of their station after protesters spray painted “RAPISTS” on its windows.
In a statement, Mayor Sheinbaum said she perceived the protest as a “provocation.” Sheinbaum thinks the protesters “wanted the government to respond with violence. But we’re not going to do that.” The protests ended five hours later around 11 p.m. when paramedics arrived to treat the injured, 14 of whom were police officers. Sheinbaum has said that there will be consequences for the violence.
The most recent rape cases ignited the fire of an already explosive rage beneath the surface for women in Mexico.
The United Nations estimates that an average of nine women are murdered every day in Mexico. The UN defines femicide as the deliberate killing of a woman or girl because of their gender, often after other violent, sexual crimes.
The Mexican government’s records of femicide rates are so inaccurate, journalist María Salguero, 40, has taken it upon herself to create her own map of femicides in Mexico. Salguero suspects that the state seeks to minimize gender-based violence, so she tracks the femicides for herself. Using Google alerts, Salguero records all of Mexico’s femicidal horror stories of 11-year-old taking the bus home and being found in the very same bus the next day, raped and murdered.
Mexican police have a long history of brutality against women.
“In the late 90s cops kidnapped three girls, three underage girls,” tweets one #NoMeCuidanMeViolan protester. “They raped them, and forced them to clean, cook and do stuff for them. One of them escaped and that’s how this was known. The three families however experienced retaliation.”
These stories are embedded in the fabric of Mexican society. Women have taken to social media to share the lessons their mothers taught them: to run from police. Never make eye contact. “Police are well known in #MexicoCity for being the main source of violence and corruption,” a protester tweets. “In 100 years since the establishment is #Mexico as we know it, no one has brought the police to account.”
Other teenagers have taken to social media to deliver chilling anticipatory goodbyes to their families.
If Human Rights Watch says Mexican laws do not adequately protect women and girls against domestic and sexual violence,” and law enforcement is actively raping young girls, how could they possibly feel safe?
To those more upset over vandalism than the violation of women’s bodies and lives, here’s your translation for the above graffiti: “The walls can be cleaned, but the girls will never return.”
#NoMeCuidanMeViolan protesters do not want to be compared to #MeToo.
“This week in #Mexico feminists protested against the rape of a 17-year old by cops,” tweeted human rights lawyer and journalist, Gisela Pérez de Acha. “As justice is non-existent and the media criminalizes victims, the #MeToo hashtag does not suffice. Latin American feminisms are amazingly organized. #MeToo is not our paradigm #NoMeCuidanMeViolan”
Pérez de Acha is right. In the aftermath of the march, major media outlets’ reporting has focused on the damage from protesters, rather than from police officers.
Some protesters knew the media would bypass the femicide and rape crisis and focus on property damage.
After coming home from the march, one protester tweeted their “final thoughts” about what tomorrow would bring. “Tomorrow’s headlines will inevitably emphasize the destruction of property by women protesting Mexico’s crisis of rape and femicide.”
Mexico’s largest media outlet, El Universal, chose to focus on the counter-protesters, “With hashtag #EllasNoMeRepresentan [They don’t represent me] condemn acts of vandalism during feminist march.” ABC News‘ headline read “Mexico City assesses monument damage after anti-rape march.” The Independent‘s headline chose to focus on a “TV presenter punched live on air during protest.”
So far, the media has quoted more art historians than protesters.
In fact, in all the major U.S. outlets we reviewed, we haven’t seen a single protester quoted in their stories. Instead of spreading more statements from art historians, mitú is aiming to amplify the voices that make up #NoNosCuidanNosViolan.
“I’m thinking about who the media criminalizes and how,” Mexico City journalist Madeleine Wattenbarger tweets. “About what we consider violence, about how the symbolic violence of breaking a window has more impact than the direct violence of attacking, raping, killing a human being.”
Estamos contigo, México. ✊🏾
The case involving four police officers allegedly raping a 17-year-old in a patrol car has gone cold after prosecution said there were inconsistencies in the teen victim’s testimony.
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