Thursday, June 11, 2015

let's talk feminism

Last weekend was amazing! There were two events I enjoyed greatly, but right now I'll just talk about the first one.

So, this friend of mine had told me there was going to be some conference on transsexuality or diversity or something. It sounded interesting (as vague as it was), it wasn't far (a 20-30 minute walk), and this guy is pretty interesting and intellectual, so I figured the conference should be ok.

Well, when we arrived, we found out it wasn't so much a conference as a seminar, at the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM). That actually meant that people that hadn't registered weren't supposed to be there. But we found out that while already in our seats... so we figured we could stay there for an hour or so and leave, or even stay less if it became obvious we were occupying much needed seats, right?

Anyhow, so, what was the seminar about then? Well, first, we heard a lecture by a woman that talked aplenty about feminism. It was fantastic! I had read quite a bit about feminism, but this time I was hearing an approach from a Mexican feminist, and that meant becoming aware of issues like the intersection of ethnicity and gender, which has a very strong relevance in Latin-American. That is, sometimes ethnicity-based discrimination has a bigger impact than gender-based discrimination or, at least, cannot be disentangled from it. Or, in more specific terms, being African-Mexican or an indigenous Mexican that speaks little Spanish is a much bigger hurdle than being a woman. Which is not to say that gender-based discrimination in Mexico or latin-America is not a serious issue, just that it sometimes needs to factor ethnicity in. Enlightening. 

And on top of that she mentioned issues like the problem of inclusion of transgender women in some feminist groups that base their arguments on biology. Or of lesbian issues in circles that consider other feminist issues (beyond queer ones) more important, therefore giving rising to lesbo-feminism...

All in all, very interesting for me. Totally.

Afterwards, it was the turn of Dr. Ignacio Lozano. No, I didn't omit the previous speaker's name out of chauvinism, I just don't know her name! We arrived right after she had started, and her presentation didn't had her name on! On the other hand, the second lecturer had his name on his presentation, and voilà.

Anyhow, you know what's really cool? Well, this was a male that's apparently been excluded a number of times from feminist circles for his biological makeup, yet who argued for the usefulness of feminist theory in his latest study regarding gay males in Mexico City. A very interesting lecture, and a very poignant reminder that feminism may be originally a women-centred movement, but that it has something to say to everybody, especially when it comes to power relationships where people feel a sense of loss upon their realization that they don't participate anymore of the "correct" gendered performance.

This was really one fantastic way to start the day. And it just got better from there! But that will be my next post.

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