Writing about Feminism, once again

I’m going to start this with a History lesson about women voting in Liechtenstein. I promise it’s a short one.

Can you believe I couldn’t find a decent Elle Woods gif saying ‘I have a point’?

Well, so women here (like everywhere else) fought for decades to get the right to vote. Fifteen years before the law passed, the Prince —because this is a Principality, said he would always be in favor of women voting BUT he didn’t do anything about it. Men, right? There were a lot of referendums where the ‘no’ won until women (and the men who joined the cause) managed to get 2,370 votes in favor. But the law almost didn’t pass, because there were 2,251 votes against it. With only 51.3% of votes in favor, women got the right to vote in Liechtenstein.

And, you know when this happened? Back in 1984. Scarlett Johansson, Katy Perry, Avril Lavinge, Khloé Kardashian, and Prince Harry are the same age as the Women’s Vote in Liechtenstein. Which is crazy, because Avril Laving is still like 18 years old in my mind.

But that’s not the only thing. It was not until 1992 that it was added to the constitution that men and women have the same rights in Liechtenstein. Last year, I went to a feminist event here and one of the women that was involved in the movement was a speaker. And she wasn’t that old!

My point is, sometimes I think that things have improved, that maybe we’re doing enough, that maybe life, at some point, won’t be a constant struggle for women. But nope.

One of the things I’ve loved the most about emigrating is the peace and tranquility I can experience in my daily life. I’m no longer afraid of wearing short shorts or skirts, for example. But, when one thinks that everything is wonderful and amazing, the patriarchy says, I exist everywhere.

Last year, we had an incident in our apartment building. I won’t go into details but I’ll say that there were zero consequences for the perpetrator involved. The only consequences were for everybody else, us, the people who see him walk around as if nothing happened.

Stories like these happen everywhere.

Some weeks ago, I read Kim Ji-young, born 1982 (two years older than the Women’s Vote in Liechtenstein). The book isn’t that great in my opinion, but what was interesting is that through Kim Ji-young, the author tells you the story of an average South Korean woman and how inequality between men and women there is systemic, inescapable. If you read it, you’ll realize that she could be a woman almost anywhere in the world. A woman who sometimes has to keep a smile on her face in a misogynistic workplace, a woman who has to choose between having a career or taking care of her kid when she wants both (something men NEVER have to choose!!!), that can’t escape of being a woman and everything it implies. It’s the story of a system that will never be in your favor.

If you’re a woman, you know what I’m talking about.

Especially here, where it seems like there’s more equity, the question in my mind is always the same. Do we still need Feminism? Do we still need to fight?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is actually full of questions haha. If everything is going great with women and rights, then please tell me:

  • Why will it take us 131 more years to close the gender gap in the world?
  • Why do women occupy only 32% of leadership positions in companies?
  • Why is there such a lack of representation in political positions for women and, why is it that when women get to those positions it’s expected from them to be not only perfect at their work but beautiful but not so beautiful that everyone else will think they pay too much attention to their appearance?
  • Why are presidents and politicians in 2024 trying to go back in time?
  • What’s with the p*rn deepfakes and why do they always seem to affect only women? Why is the final goal always to objectify us?
  • Why do men still, in the year 2024, want to decide what a woman should do or don’t with her body?
  • Why are trad wives something in 2024?
  • Why are some women afraid of going out, or even worse, why are they afraid of the men they share their house with?
  • Why does it seem that justice is never served?

And many more whys that touch every single corner of women’s lives.

This week I read Mira a esa chica from Cristina Araújo Gámir (Look at that girl in Spanish) that’s based on a real case in Spain called La Manada. I don’t know what kind of face I had when I was reading it, but my husband asked me if it was a sad book. And I said yes, it’s a very sad book. It also made me cry on the bus. Please read it, everything will make you angry.

There’s a part in the book, after everything happened, where one of the friends of the victim says this:

“Right now, I’d like to write to Miriam [the victim] and tell her: look, I know that your thing is worse, but my problems are also important, I’d like to tell them to you without you saying I’m dramatic.”

Mira a esa chica (Araújo, 2022), translated by yours truly

Sometimes when I talk about feminism, I feel a bit like that because what am I even complaining about? I live a life of privilege. I know that many cases out there are just terrible, nothing compared with what I live in my life, with my own experiences.

But do you know why I keep talking about it?

Because it’s important. Because it doesn’t matter it’s just small things. Because if I don’t speak, if you don’t speak, nobody wins. I write this because we must keep sharing our stories, even if we think they’re insignificant. Because things need to be visible. Because life is made up of tiny moments and injustice starts just there. Because if we don’t talk about the details, if we don’t talk with each other, if we don’t include others, then nothing changes. Because every time we speak loud and every time we complain, we’re setting a precedent. Because I don’t have to wait for something to happen to me or my sister or my mom or my friend or my aunt or my cousin to seek justice for everyone. Because we need each other.

And since Malala already said everything better than me:

I tell my story, not because it’s unique, but because it is not.

Malala Yousafzai

So that’s my invitation to you. Talking and sharing are the first steps. Complaining is valid and necessary. And doing something, we owe that to the girls and women who can’t.

It’s our responsibility.

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