The feminist movement is taking over Mexico

The #MeToo movement is disrupting the sexism and misogyny ingrained in Mexican society

The feminist movement is taking over Mexico
Women in the academic, literary, music, and art industries have come forward to denounces harassment and abuse - Photo: Juan Carlos Reyes García/EL UNIVERSAL
English 07/04/2019 14:35 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Alida Piñón Actualizada 14:42
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The #MeTooMX movement, with its different ramifications, has denounced sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the literary, academic, music, and theater fields, took Mexican society by storm and has influenced the creation of a movement called #MujeresJuntasMarabunta (#MarabuntaWomenTogether), supported by writers, academics, editors, and other women in culture. This movement was created because violence against women “is not an isolated event but a systematic (event) that continues thanks to impunity.” A letter written by the organization is being shared through social media, where women have finally spoken out harassment and abuse, they also look to promote a “structural change” to end with gender violence

In this first stage, the group released 10 demands, including that safe public spaces, that the General Law for the Access of Women to a Life Free of Violence is implemented in the cultural sector, and political alternation, among other requests.

This document was signed by writers such as Guadalupe Nettel, Vivian Abenshushan, Aleida Salazar, Selva Hernández, Carla Faesler, among many others.

Other writers including Lorena Wolffer, Mónica Nepote, Mónica Mayer, Sandra Amelia, among others, revealed women are forming an alliance called #SomosJuntas (#WeAreTogether), formed by artists, academics, curators, writers, and feminist lawyers, who called on the Culture Minister, Alejandra Frausto, to fulfill a pact made during the transition period, which included the creation of the General Directorate of Gender Equality, to guarantee the institutionalization of gender perspective in the federal government. The also urged the official to push for the investigation of the complaints made against other public officials.

Later, another letter signed by academics, human rights, and gender violence experts, was released, where they establish that the presumption of innocence must be accompanied by the presumption of good faith of the victim, as it has been established in the General Victims Law, and that the government “is committing a serious omission by not investigating the events that are being denounced.”

In recent days, there has been a lot of debate on whether or not the #MeToo movement should continue, after musician and writer Armando Vega Gil committed suicide after being accused of harassing a young woman.

Moreover, the women who are part of this movement insisted that this mechanism isn't looking to start a “witch hunt”, rather, they explained, it is a “political tool that pinpoints and exposes the different types of violence that have tried to remain in the private domain, to benefit those who perpetrate harassment and bullying.”

Different perspectives

In an interview, poet María Rivera said that with the death of Vega Gil, “the Mexican #MeToo movement died in the (same) terms in was born.”

“This movement didn't empower any woman to tell their stories because they implemented an anonymous allegation system. Also, the heart of the Mexican #MeToo is not the women's experience, but the men's, those who were denounced,” she explained.

She questioned that sexual harassment and mistreatment inside relationships allegations were mixed. “They began to publish any type of anonymous allegations indiscriminately, allegations that, from my point of view, wanted to damage to the image of the men accused, they didn't look for justice or damage repair, but rather social scorn,” she said.

The poet added that Mexico is a “terribly misogynist country.” “We have to talk about structural violence, from another place.”

Lucía Núñez, a feminist, Doctor in Social Science, clinical criminologist, and lawyer explained that this movement has given visibility to a social issue and has brought an urgent and necessary discussion to the table. “What we need now is that we can create change. The death of Vega Gil is unfortunate and forces us to reflect on the strategy that has been implemented and think about where are we going. There is a polarization in the debate, especially in regards to anonymity but we have to think about the repercussions there are when (a woman) denounces (violence). In the midst of the debate, we have to ask the government to stop being silent. The government hasn't assumed the role to implement solutions,” she said.
 

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