Female Caricature

Woman drinking (14ymedio)

Woman drinking (14ymedio)

14yMEDIO, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 22 August 2014 – A woman on national television said that her husband “helps” her with some household chores. To many, the phrase may sound like the highest aspiration of every woman. Another lady asserts that her husband behaves like a “Federated man,” an allusion to the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), which today is celebrating its 54th anniversary. As for me, on this side of the screen, I feel sorry for them in the face of such meekness. Instead of the urgent demands they should mention, all I hear is this appreciation directed to a power as manly as it is deaf.

It’s not about “helping” to wash a plate or watch the kids, nor tiny illusory gender quotas that hide so much discrimination like a slap. The problem is that economic and political power remains mainly in masculine hands. What percentage of car owners are women? How many acres of land are owned or leased by women. How many Cuban ambassadors on missions abroad wear skirts? Can anyone recite the number of men who request paternity leave to take care of their newborns? How many young men are stopped by the police each day to warn them they can’t walk with a tourist? Who mostly attends the parent meetings at the schools?

Please, don’t try to “put us to sleep” with figures in the style of, “65% of our cadres and 50% of our grassroots leaders are women.” The only thing this statistic means is that more responsibility falls on our shoulders, which means neither a high decision-making level nor greater rights. At least such a triumphalist phrase clarifies that there are “grassroots leaders,” because we know that decisions at the highest level are made by men who grew up under the precepts that we women are beautiful ornaments to have at hand…always and as long as we keep our mouths shut.

I feel sorry for the docile and timid feminist movement that exists in my country. Ashamed for those ladies with their ridiculous necklaces and abundant makeup who appear in the official media to tell us that “the Cuban woman has been the greatest ally of the Revolution.” Words spoken at the same moment when a company director is sexually harassing his secretary, when a beaten woman can’t get a restraining order against her abusive husband, when a policeman tells the victim of a sexual assault, “Well, with that skirt you’re wearing…” and the government recruits shock troops for an act of repudiation against the Ladies in White.

Women are the sector of the population that has the most reason to shout their displeasure. Because half a century after the founding of the caricature of an organization that is the Federation of Cuban Women, we are neither more free, nor more powerful, nor even more independent.


57 thoughts on “Female Caricature

  1. Pingback: Female Caricature | Generation Y | word pond

  2. MIAMI HERALD: Catholic archbishop in Cuba criticizes government – By Nora Gamez Torres

    In an unusual gesture for a member high in the Catholic Church’s hierarchy in Cuba, the Apostolic nuncio Bruno Musaro spoke openly about Cuba’s “extreme poverty and human and civil degradation.”

    Musaro made his controversial remarks while on vacation in Italy after holding a Mass in the San Pio de Pietrelcina park, in the Italian municipality of Vignacastrisi.

    The Cuban people are “victims of a socialist dictatorship that has kept them subjugated for the past 56 years,” Musaro said, according to the Italian newspaper, Lecce News24.

    “I’m thankful to the pope for inviting me to this island, and I hope to leave once that the socialist regime has disappeared indefinitely,” said Musaro, a Vatican ambassador living in Cuba since 2011. “Only liberty can bring hope to the Cuban people,” he said.

    The Italian newspaper said his remarks were “a cry for help, a call to the weapons of conscience and common sense” made by the diplomatic envoy from the Holy See, who also said regarding Cubans, “The only hope for a better life is to escape the island.”


  3. Mario,

    Stop lying about other people lying.

    You’ve admitted you’ve never been to Cuba, never want to go there, and prefer to vacation in the Dominican Republic.

    I’ve seen hungry 10 dollar a month Cubans in Cuba. I’ve seen thousands of them.

    You’re also lying about Colin Powell. Sadam Hussein used chemical weapons on civilians.

    Lots of Iraqi chemical weapons (WMDs) were found after Sadam Hussein fell, and ISIS rebels recently found another large storehouse.

    Photos are on the internet.

    The question was never if WMDs existed, as your propaganda machine keeps lying about, but the severity of the threat they posed.

  4. Compañero Omar is right, when he compares internet to a weapon.

    The whole world remembers a photo which went viral, of Colin Powel showing a glass with white powder in the UN – supposedly a sample of Iraq chemical weapon. Google for it or read this:

    On a smaller scale, persons such as Neutral Observer constantly lie about “hungry Cubans earning $10 a month”. This shows that the enemy seeks allies in most naive, uneducated sectors of american society, Such efforts would have zero chance of success in countries which freely send tourists to Cuba. They may have some success among the rednecks in the US who have never seen Cuba with thieir own eyes..

  5. Pensando en ti Yoani y el tiempo que pasamos en Orlando y Valencia College el año pasado. Le mando saludos. Lucy

  6. That’s right, Omar, you tell em, printing the truth is a dangerous political and military application.

    You must resist this aggression and print more lies!

    Defend the revolution with lies. Recruit more liars.

    Lies or death! Viva Fidel!

  7. Neutral Observer: The internet has political and military applications. The U.S. shot the first shot in this medium and countries of the World are defending themselves from this new aggression and intrusion into their governance. There are some of them taking the fight to the Empire.

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