Things That Matter

11 Latina Revolutionaries You Must Know About

There are two undeniable facts about how history is written. One: it is written by the winners. Two: it is mostly written by, for and about men. The role of women in social and political change is only now being acknowledged and properly recorded and commented upon. However, for centuries women have lived in the shadows of history, while at the same time being key actors of historical events.

Here’s a list of 11 women who have rebelled against injustice, the patriarchy and those who oppress their people. As always happens, some of these figures are controversial. 

1. Marichuy

“But it’s precisely because we are the ones who feel the deepest pain, because we [experience] the greatest oppressions, that we women are also capable of feeling the deepest rage”

Credit: 1508971902830-Reportaje-Marichuy_Zapatistas-131-e1511293964532. Digital image. Feministing.


This nahua indigenous woman attempted to run for the presidency of her native Mexico in early 2018, but she could not get the necessary signatures to guarantee her run. Nevertheless, she ignited the hearts and  minds of students, activists and intellectuals. 

Credit: marichuy-2-780×450. Digital image. Chispa OC.


One of her main supporters was the writer and essayist Juan Villoro, who mobilized his influence in political and literary circles. He saw in Marichuy hope in balancing the deep inequalities faced by women, particularly of indigenous origin, in Mexico. 

2. Gioconda Belli

“It had never crossed my mind that a man could think he had the right to stop me from being who I was”

Credit: El-pais-de-las-mujeres.jpg Digital image. Havana Times


This Nicaraguan poet is a symbol of fierce political convictions and a refreshing look at the role of women in society. Belli expresses her femininity through verses that sometimes verge on the erotic. Throughout her life she has spoken out against injustice, whoever the perpetrator is. 

Credit: gioconda_beli. Digital image. Literal magazine


In her novels, Belli writes about the struggles of the indigenous populations under Spanish rule, and about everyday mechanisms of repression. 

3. Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez a.k.a La Corregidora

Credit: josefa-ortiz-de-domingo. Digital image. Mexico desconocido.


She is considered to be one of the precursors of the Mexican independence, which is quite a feat given that Latin American independence wars have been told as “the men who liberated us” narratives. 

Credit: DXS8eMKWAAg2JCH. Digital image. Mexico 21.


She was a wealthy woman whose husband ruled over the city of Queretaro (there are numerous stadiums and streets named after her today). Like other Mexican freedom fighters of the time (the war for independence started in 1810), she basically saw no reason why the then New Spain should keep paying taxes to the debilitated Spanish Crown.

4. Comandanta Ramona

“Our hope is that one day our situation will change, that we women will be treated with respect, justice and democracy”

Credit: a7c2076279be5526946186ed04f7f900. Digital image. Pinterest.


When the Zapatista movement got the international spotlight in 1994 one of the most recognizable profiles was that of Comandanta Ramona, who died in 2006. What she lacked in physical height she made up in dignity, courage and compassion for her fellow dispossessed.

Credit: unnamed_1-678×380 _. Digital image. Voices in Movement.


Ramona was not her real name, but a moniker. She was of tzotzil mayan heritage. The Zapatistas wore masks to hide their identity because, they claimed, they did not want to be protagonists but rather just representatives of the faceless and voiceless. 

5. Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo (The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo)

Credit: 40-años-de-la-primera-ronda-madres-plaza-mayo-foto-pablo-ernesto-piovano-copia . Digital image. Desinformemonos.


Between 1976 and 1983 Argentina suffered from one of the most severe and ruthless dictatorships of the twentieth century. Hundreds of political activists, most of them young, disappeared and were most likely killed. In 1977 a group of mothers whose children were unaccounted for marched in Buenos Aires downtown, in defiance of the right State laws. 

Credit: Madres old photo. Digital image. openDemocracy.


These courageous women marched every week for years, until they announced their final march in 2006. They became a symbol of quiet and peaceful resistance around the world. 

6.Eva Perón

“I demanded more rights for women because I know what women had to put up with”

Credit: eva-peron-1951-1150×862. Digital image. Remezcla.


One of the most famous symbols of early female power in politics. She was the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón and as First Lady she became a symbol of all those who support labor rights and implement public policies that benefit the most vulnerable. 

Credit: 3422584. Digital image. Mental floss


One of her biggest challenges was advocating for the right of women to vote. Universal suffrage was the firs, but not the last, battle that Latina women have faced in order to truly be heard in politics. 

7. Celia Sánchez

Credit: Sanchez. Digital image. Roberto Landori.


Like all Cuban revolutionaries, her legacy is controversial: some see her as a hero who helped Castro overthrow a tyrannical regime; others see her and the leaders of the Revolución Cubana as tyrants themselves. Truth is that Sánchez embodied a role often taken up only by men: guerrilla fighter. 

Credit: celia-sanchez. Digital image. Radio Bayamo.


She was a close friend of Fidel Castro and once the Batista government was overthrown she was named Secretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, an important role through which Castro entrusted State affairs to one of his oldest and more loyal comrades. 

8. Soldaderas

Credit: 0cbc268db5f98f30e0bf4d29549b8d08. Digital image. Inmense hotels.


The Mexican Revolution was a conflict full of enigmatic characters like Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. But perhaps none are as intriguing as a group of women who not only took on domestic chores and tended for the soldiers, but took up on arms themselves. 

Credit: soldaderas-640454381. Digital image. History.

Soldaderas, as they are commonly known, were mostly of indigenous origin. Their fierce nature and gender-stereotype-breaking has been immortalized in photographs, pieces of silent cinema and corridos, popular songs that persist even today.  

9. Rigoberta Menchú Tum

“Peace cannot exist without justice”

Credit: tum-13442-portrait-medium. Digital image. Nobel Prize.


Along with thousands of indigenous women in Central America, Rigoberta suffered the atrocities of civil wars and iron-fisted governments. Contrary to most, however, she said “enough is enough”. The soft-spoken K’iche’ Maya feminist has organized not only women, but the indigenous population in general, and built bridges with other indigenous groups in the continent. 

Credit: portada-96-724×400. Digital image. Infinite Fire.

She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 “in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples”. Her recent political views have been quite controversial, as she has defended the rule of Bolivian president Evo Morales, who is seen by some as a populist. 

10. Paulina Luisi

Credit: DraPaulinaLuisi[1]. Digital image. Great Thoughts Treasury.


One of the founders of modern Uruguay. She was a revolutionary for many reasons. In 1909 she became the first woman to get a medical degree in her country, an almost impossible feat considering the gender power dynamics of the time. She was also the first Latin American woman to represent her country in the League of Nations (the predecessor to the United Nations). But her biggest achievement was… 

Credit: 231px-Paulina_Luisi_-_1929_-_Planisferio. Digital image. Wikipedia


… getting women to vote! Yes, she was a restless advocate for the right of women to be involved in political life and Uruguay became the first country in America to set things right. 

11. Ana Irma Rivera Lassén

“Don’t take under consideration stereotypes, prejudice or anything apart from reason”

Credit: ana-irma-bn-1. Digital image. 80 grados


It is not easy to be a black girl in a Latin American country, more so if you identify as gay. But Ana Irma Rivera Lassén is an awesome Puerto Rican powerhouse who became the first black woman to head the Bar Association of Puerto Rico. She is an amazing lawyer and unapologetic feminist. 

Credit: Ana. Digital image. 80 grados.


Talk about a power move: she was once forbidden to enter the court in pants instead of a skirt. She sued the judge… and won! Burn!

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Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

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Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Last week, Mexican feminist activists took over the National Human Rights Commissions federal building in a move to bring greater awareness to the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide that has racked Mexico for decades.

According to the federal Interior Secretariat, the statistics in Mexico have recently taken a turn for the worse.

Domestic violence against women has became an even more acute problem since the pandemic has forced women to stay insider with their abusers. Emergency distress calls reporting domestic violence have risen by 50%.

The occupation of the Human Rights building is just another chapter in the saga of the “Ni Una Menos” (Not One More Woman) movement, an anti-femicide collective born in Argentina that has steadily been gaining steam in Mexico since 2019.

In recent years, anti-femicide demonstrations have been sparked by various heinous crimes against women or girls that have been largely overlooked by law enforcement officials. 

Photo by Marcos Brindicci/Getty Images

Unfortunately, the government of Mexico has appeared to be apathetic to the wave of femicide that is overwhelming the women of their country.

Recently, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was asked to address Mexico’s gender violence epidemic, he demurred, stating that he didn’t “want femicide to detract” from the raffle his administration was holding for the sale of the presidential airplane.

As for the feminist activists at the heart of Ni Una Menos and the federal building occupation, the government’s failure to respond to anti-woman violence is the primary fuel for their anger. 

“We’re here so that the whole world will know that in Mexico they kill women and nobody does anything about it,” said Yesenia Zamudio to the LA Times. According to Zamudio, she is still seeking justice for the murder of her 19-year-old daughter four years ago.

The women of Mexico appear to be fed up, grasping at any and all tactics that have the potential to incite change on a grander scale.

Their tactics may seem dramatic to some, but it’s undeniable that they are no longer being ignored. As of now, the radical activists are pulling attention-grabbing stunts like decorating a portrait of Mexican Revolution leader Francisco Madero with lipstick and purple hair.

They’re also making headlines for vandalizing the federal building’s walls and splashing paint on the doors of the presidential palace.

One thing is for sure: something has to change. Otherwise, thousands of innocent women and girls will continue to be raped, abused, and murdered while their perpetrators escape with immunity. 

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

Chip Somodevilla / Gettycc

After weeks of speculation and anticipation, presidential candidate Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he has officially picked his running mate.

In a history-making announcement, Biden revealed that he had tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his VP Pick.

“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden announced in a tweet.

On Wednesday, Biden held his first campaign event alongside running mate Kamala Harris in Delaware.

During their speeches, the two candidates wore masks and kept their distance in keeping with COVID-19 standards.

Speaking about his VP pick, Biden described Harris as coming from an “America’s story.” Biden described Harris as “a child of immigrants” who “knows personally how immigrant families enrich our country as well as the challenges of what it means to grow up Black and Indian-American in the United States of America,” he explained. “And this morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls that feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities, but today — today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way as president and vice presidents.”

In a speech of her own, Harris emphasized the importance of family and urged citizens to vote.  “We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be,” she said. “Joe likes to say that character is on the ballot. And it’s true,” she explained. “I’ve had a lot of titles over my career and certainly vice president will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”

Harris’s nomination makes her the first Black and first Indian-American woman on either major party’s presidential ticket.

Harris is a former prosecutor from California who challenged Biden in her own presidential bid last year. Her nomination makes her the fourth woman to appear on a major presidential ballot. Before her, Geraldine Ferraro ran as a Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984. In 2008, Republican Sarah Palin ran as a vice presidential nominee, later in 2016, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic presidential nominee.

Biden’s choice was one that has long been in the works. In March of this year, he revealed that he would make a point to have a woman as his running mate and in July he announced that he had narrowed his picks down to four Black women.

Kamala Harris was elected to Congress in 2016.

This has been Harris’ first term as a senator. Before, she served as the California attorney general. During her time as AG, Harris formed a lasting friendship with Biden’s late son Beau who was attorney general at the time in Delaware. Writing about Beau’s death, in her memoir The Truths We Hold, Harris recalled that “there were periods when I was taking the heat when Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” she wrote in her memoir. “We had each other’s backs.”

Biden’s son Beau died in 2015 from brain cancer. Harris attended his funeral.

During his announcement, Biden mentioned Harris’ friendship with his son.

“I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” Biden tweeted. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

So far, it seems there are quite a bit of Harris x Biden supporters.

Fans were quick to give their support and applaud her candidacy.

In a tweet acknowledging her nomination, Harris wrote “@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”

Here’s to 2020 y’all. Get ready to make history.

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