At 11 years old I was in the sixth grade. My favorite class was history because we were learning about ancient civilizations—the Greek polytheistic gods and goddesses, the cave paintings of ancient Egypt. It would be three years before my first kiss, a year before I wore a bra, but four years before I actually needed one. At the time, I still thought heavy bottom eyeliner (purple to be clear) was cool. I remember not being able to fathom the “dental floss underwear” my 16 year-old-sister had started buying. I vowed to never wear a thong.
I don’t need to write that 11 years old is heartbreakingly too young to be a mom. I don’t need to declare that at age 11 you are a little girl, not a mother. It is so obvious. So painstakingly clear.
If you don’t know what I’m referring to, a few days ago the country was horrified by the tragic story of an 11-year-old girl from Tucuman who was raped by her grandmother’s boyfriend. It’s the natural conclusion of the “save both lives” fable, an irrational anti-legalized-abortion mentality that shakes me to my core. Little by little my social media feed started to fill with the hashtag #niñasnomadres. Over the past few days musicians, actresses, radio hosts, entrepreneurs posted photos of themselves at age 11. Not one of them in those photos looked like a mother. They looked like children.
This is just one of the examples of how strong the community of Argentine women is, how bold, and how incredibly supportive. I’ve watched the way denunciations and hashtags take hold here and grow and how that growth has reach beyond the scope of social media. I’ve watched this city evolve, blooming into its deconstructions and its re-evaluations of what it means to identify as female in Argentina in 2019.
Over a two-year span I’ve had students who said they weren’t feminists one year, claim themselves freely as feminists the next. I’ve been to El Encuentro Nacional De Mujeres and sat there awed by these very women. Awed by their experiences and their voices and their will to continue the fight. Because it is a fight. A daily fight for some against microaggressions, the cat-calls, and the sexists jokes. A fight for others against the lack of female-identifying and non-binary representation in music, in art, in all “seemingly level playing fields.” But it’s also a fight to survive, to not be murdered at the hands of a partner, or raped “correctionally” for loving whoever it is you love.
The changes that have overtaken this city have been immense, palpable, and constant. I’ve seen it on the subtes—in the growing seas of green pañuelos tied around wrists, backpacks, purses, and necks. I’ve seen it in the way people call one another out—machista commentaries no longer as digestible as they once were. I’ve seen it in the way women continue to come forward, calling out perpetrators. I’ve seen it in #miracomonosponemos, in survivors of sexual assault becoming vocal, becoming heard, tirelessly advocating for an end to the rape culture we have been raised in.
We are uniting and moving forward. We are educating and learning from one another. We are marching on.
Today marks the first day of a month dedicated to the historical contributions of women in society. At La La Lista we support female identifiers, cis-women, trans-women, queer women, non-binary folks everyday. But in March we are going to be far more vocal about it.
Feminist has been a term I’ve embraced for the better part of my life, something I feel proud to be. But I’m aware that my perception of feminism, my work towards intersectionality, my relationship with what it means to be a cis-gender, white woman, foreigner here in Argentina doesn’t speak for even a small part of what that term signifies. As Managing Editor of this magazine, I can only work towards giving you access to a range of voices, to elevate those in the everyday fight. You don’t need me to tell you how it is. Listen to the ones from this country, leading these causes, enacting this change.
Here’s a short list of just some of those voices:
–Bruta: Art Collective
–Flo Meije: Illustrator
–Cuadrilla Feminista: Artist Collective
–Revista Anfibia: Magazine
–Sustencia y Elegencia: Entreprenuer/Influencer
–Lia Copello: Artist
–Marlene Wayar: Writer
–Onda Feminista: Magazine
– Tintá gráfica de genero: Artist Collective
–Lu Gaitan: Astrologer
–Jazmin Varela: Artist
–Femimutancia: Graphic Artist
– María Riot: Performance Artist/Sex Worker Advocate
–Estampa Feminista: Printmakers and Illustrators
–Susy Shock: Singer and Poet
–Wachas Radio: Radio Show
–Luisina Soria Arancibia: Illustrator
–Mandolina Libros: Book Maker
–Caro Alamino: Lawyer and Actress
–Maria Pien: Musician
–Gordita Amarillista: Collages
–Doña Batata: Illustrator
–Pilar White: Tattoo Artist
–Parafinas Doradas: Writer/Artist
–Marfa Nekrasoni: Poet
–Maia Tarcic: Actress/Writer
–Ayelen Beker: Singer
–Julia Mengolini: Lawyer, Journalist, Rounder of Futurock
So, welcome to women’s month. The month to be louder, to turn up our volumes, to free our goddamn nipples, if that is what we so choose. Amplify them. Follow them. Join them. Buy what they make and support the businesses they are creating. Listen to their music. Consume their art. March behind them. Be loud.