By Moonyeen King
President of the Board for Tepehua
Incredibly enough, in 2019 women still find themselves with their backs against the wall, fighting for their rights against violence, Femicide, job inequality, lack of representation for family violence and rape, and other forms of oppression. “Poverty has a woman’s face”, a term used when discussing the plight of women of color around the world.
The History of Mexican Feminism as stated by Wikipedia, happened in three peak periods. The revolution 1915 to 1925, another in 1968 to 1990 and peaking in 1975 to 1985. As with women around the world, household commitments, children, illiteracy forced them to underpaid jobs of domesticity if they could get one at all.
In this authors research, the first jobs of any significance for women were teaching and nursing, and although underpaid they were positions of respect.
In 2014 a gender gap evaluation was taken and Mexico dragged behind placed 80th on the list for lack of equality. It was as late as 1990 Indigenous women started demanding their rights, voicing their concern regarding domestic, sexual assault and no representation. They also faced ethnic discrimination by women of other “class,” unlike other feminist of the time. The ‘women of color’ and the Indigenous struggled against ethnocentrism from the main stream feminists.
Artists such as Guadalupe Marin, Frida Kahlo, Maria Izquierdo and others began demanding rights that protected them from violence, freedom in sexuality. They explored politics and inequality but not by joining feminists movements. According to Wikipedia, by mid-nineties half of Mexico’s feminists were Lesbians, after years of hiding their sexuality from Society.
The Zapotec Cultures believed in a non-binary gender called ‘the third gender’, which in this writer’s humble opinion has existed since the time of man.
For the barrios, women have more to fight for than equality, they fight the poverty caused from lack of education. If parents can only afford to send one child to school it is usually the boy. The girl is then trained in menial labor and Motherhood. The oppression of women could be lifted simply by education. It has been proved that the education of women has very positive effects and far outweighs the affect that educating the male has.
The experience of the Tepehua Team, and that of the Zapotera team that started the Community Center in Zapotera recently, proved giving the women tools they can wear many hats...give the man the tools and he will have tunnel vision. This is not degrading the men, it is that society gave everyone a role to play, but the burden of poverty and Motherhood with no family planning opportunity fell on the woman, the responsibility always fell on the women, therefore giving them a survival strength that in the male species of all the Animal Kingdom isn’t so strong.
Education is a factor in economic development.
In 2017 women around the world marched in unison...in South America, it was “Ni una Minos” (Not one [woman] less,” and in the North America’s and Europe “Me Too”...and still they march.
MOONYEEN PATRICIA KING
Column: Profiling Tepehua
Settled in Mexico 13 years ago. The intention was to retire into the arts as a writer, poet and painter...that didn’t happen. Beneath the smiles of the peoples of Mexico there was such a great need for change, especially for the women and children of the barrios, Moonyeen has dedicated these years to change the face of this little corner of the world. The work done by the volunteers of the Tepehua Community Center is teaching that change is possible anywhere. Moonyeen was portrayed as “Woman of the Year,” also two Paul Harris Rotary awards for the work done at Tepehua. “Life in Mexico is very fulfilling. The Mexican people give so much more to us immigrants than we can possible return.