At times with good intentions — other times with not so good — someone tries to silence my complaints about the machismo in my country, telling me, “Cuban women don’t have it so badly… those in some African nations, where they are subjected to ablation, are worse off.”
As an argument it’s a low blow, it hurts me in the groin, connects me to the cry of a defenseless teenager, mutilated, subjected to that ordeal by her own family. But the rights of women should not be reduced only to the power to maintain their physical integrity and to defend their biological capacity to experience pleasure. The clitoris is not the only thing we can lose, there is a long list of social, economic and political possibilities, which are also snatched from us.
As I live in a country where the paths of civic protest have been severed and demonized, I dare to offer in this blog a list of the violations that still persist against women.
They do not allow us to establish our own women’s organizations, where we can unite and represent ourselves. Groups that are not channels of transmission from the government to the citizens, as sadly happens with the Federation of Cuban Women.
When they speak of women in the political class, it’s clear that they don’t have any real power but are there to fulfill quotas or assignments by gender.
The icon of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) — the only organization of this kind permitted by law — shows a figure with a rifle on her shoulder in clear allusion to the mother as soldier, to the female as a piece of the warring conflict cooked up from above.
The absence in the national press of reporting about domestic violence does not eliminate its real presence. Silence does not stop the aggressor from hitting. In the pages of our newspapers there should also be these stories of abuse, because otherwise we are not going to understand that we have a serious problem of assaults, silenced within the walls of so many homes.
Where can a wife go when she is beaten by her husband? Why are there no shelters or why doesn’t the media publicize the locations of these refuges for battered women?
Buying disposable diapers is almost a luxury in this society.
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