By Rocio Arango Giraldo
COLOMBIA: Ever since Eve offered the apple to Adam, every woman has had the same destiny regarding her place in the world, and more so if we are Latina women.
For this reason, I want to share with you what it means to be a woman — how I understand womanhood from my point of view in MedellÃn, Colombia.
The main point of the discussion between women and men is the roles that throughout history we have been made to assume.
Shakira, in her last song in Spanish titled “Las de la intuiciÃ³n,” says that women are the ones with intuition while men are related with action.
According to the song, intuition is related to intelligence: Eve had curiosity, an interest to seek the unknown, which then moved her closer to the Tree of Knowledge. Later, history deemed that version incorrect and instead blamed women for unleashing God’s anger and, in turn, sentencing humanity to live out of paradise.
All the cultural stories throughout history recount how we were inside our houses while the men were hunting; we were cooking the food and relating with other families. Supposedly, for this reason we are bad at parking cars because we didnÂ´t develop our eyes and didnÂ´t learn how to orient ourselves, since our best capacity was to make friends and talk.
During the time of the greatest civilizations, we have had to resign ourselves to being the toys of the emperors and militarists. It was as if we hadnÂ´t been the promoters of many important decisions or hadnÂ´t had the role of being the loyal and wise consultant of men every night. While they told us their problems and challenges for the next day, did they not wait for our good advice on what to do?
When they went to war, we were in charge of keeping everything safe for their return — to keep things working. During the First and Second World Wars when the women started working in the factories and Europe was being rebuilt, women did all of this in addition to waiting to welcome back their soldier men arrive home either with many traumas, or never arriving home, or being greeted with the news that they had found another love during the war.
The Latin-American women have become experts in representing mythology’s long-suffering wife, Penelope, when it comes to waiting.
Shouldering the cost of war in our countries, patiently waiting through bad dreams or insomnia and many, many tears that are now reflected in the dull eyes in the faces of the moms, daughters, sisters, cousins, wives, girlfriends, and friends that wait and wait for the end of wars to welcome home our men.
For Colombian women such as the group Candelaria’s Moms, the families of the kidnapped, the policemen, the guerrilleros, and the women who cried in front of Cali Delegates after eleven corpses were received — what they all waited for and missed the most from their kidnapped and murdered loved ones were five years of kisses and hugs.
I’m also talking about the First May Mom’s in Argentina, and the victims of that country’s past dictatorship, civil war and the ongoing victims of drug trafficking.
Shakira also says in her song: “I strive to be your almost perfect victim.” I don’t think that women should become the victims, but rather put themselves in the shoes of other victims throughout history.
This isn’t an invitation to start a female revolution, but an opportunity to think about the meaning of being a Latina woman.
To be a woman born in Latin America is more than just dancing with swing, more than being the mail-order wife for foreigners through websites, more than being a “mule” carrying drugs or being a perfect model for fashion designers.
We, the Latina women, carry in our veins the blood of the natives and the Spanish woman — the indigenous strength to resist and the curiosity of the Spanish woman adventurer discovering a new land.
Venezuelan women protest court decision to annul section of law on violence against women.
We encompass the wisdom of the Incas, Aztecs, Mayas, Chibchas, Mapuches, Guaranies, and all of the Spanish cultures spread among Muslims, the Mediterranean Sea and Europe.
Latina women have all that is needed to become more than just victims. Even if women have almost perfected the role of being a victim, we still strive to become those who use their intuition and are individuals of action.
Learn more about RocÃo :
RocÃo Arango Giraldo is 21-years-old and lives in MedellÃn Colombia. She studied Political Science at the University of Colombia, as well as, Social Communication, Public Management, and Strategy and Public Knowledge at the Mexico City campus of the Technology Institute of Monterrey.
RocÃo is a member of the Conservative
I am member of the Colombian Conservative Party (Partido Conservador Colombiano) where she works in political marketing, social and policy investigation and foreign affairs.
She also works as a young democratic participant with the Democratic Christian Organization of America and has written for such prestigious Colombian publications as El Colombiano, El Tiempo and others.
But something she is most proud of is her advocacy for people with disabilities.
I fight for the rights of disabled persons like me.