Muejeres in A Man’s World

I grew up in a household where it was the norm to accept all apologies from men, despite the seriousness of the mistake. I grew up in a place where everyone around me said nothing about this. It was something no one spoke of and still don’t speak of.

If I were to bring this up in my Mexican household, I would get side eyes, rolled eyes and worst of all, I would be cut off halfway through, so as to silence me.

Men can say and do anything they want. But women cannot.

Graphic by Gichi Viramontes

Women cannot cheat, women cannot lie, women cannot go out without asking permission from their husband or male family members. We are this precious thing in their eyes that is only there for them. When they need us, we are there. Every. Single. Time.

I grew up in a household where it was the norm to never say anything bad about your family. I grew up in a place where women around me said things under their breath but never aloud because they were too afraid to speak out against traditional ideals.

I know some of you want to.

I know some of you are holding back years of anger and resentment. But there you are, sitting idly behind people who talk ill of people in your own family, speak ill of those in your own culture.

This is internalized racism, this is hate against our own culture. We have enough derogatory terms thrown at us and we don’t need it from our own.

I grew up in a household where all of this was fine because the people who said and did these things were higher up on this invisible totem pole. I grew up in a place where I never felt comfortable speaking up because I knew whatever I said was going to be disregarded. And it’s still like this. I still don’t know what I’m talking about. I never will because I am a woman. Once the women in my family and culture begin to rise up to the role they think they’re not entitled to, then this patriarchal culture will experience a shift.

I am no longer in that household that I grew up in. I am no longer around the people who tried to silence me. All those years I tried to muster up the courage to whisper these things that I am writing, and now I am ready to scream all of this from the top of this crumbling patriarchy. All those years I mumbled sentences here and there, I cowered when I felt that I had said something unheard of. But I know now that I am valid. And so are you. Do not cower. Speak when it is ‘not your place’ too.


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