/ feme,sīd /
the killing of a woman or girl, in particular by a man and on account of her gender
Mexico is fractured right now. Tearing apart at the seams because one half of its population is subjected to a scourge of violence and abuse at the hands of the other. On average, ten women a day are murdered in Mexico on the basis of gender. It’s estimated that fewer than 5% of these crimes against women are resolved, and even then the consequences are minor. Imagine what it must be, to wonder every day if today is your day.
Not because you deserve it. Not because you’re poor or rich or white or of color or in or out of shape. Not because you were ‘asking for it.’ Not even because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but simply you are female. Domestic violence. Rape and assault. Rage. Just a few of the bitter flavors of femicide (not exclusive to Mexico, by the way.)
Mexican women have been taking their stands, protesting, singing and marching, even as far as rioting to demand change, to demand consequence. Mexico is dominated by patriarchal society, and the roots of this gender based hatred and disdain run deep, deeper than can be undone without enormous work on behalf of every single person with free will. But not everybody is ready to face that - many men (and even some women) ridicule the movement, spewing misogynistic vitriol based on little more than ego and contempt.
Feminist activists have called for a nationwide, sex-wide protest. On March 9th, 24 hours ‘without women,’ a day for the state to get a taste of what life is like without the work of womankind. No going to work, or doing the shopping, or using public transportation. Lots of companies and business, including corporations, entertainment and news outlets, and stores and restaurants have shown support for their female employees who have chosen to participate. Those women who cannot be absent for fear of losing their jobs or bound by unbreakable commitments are invited to show solidarity by wearing purple that day.
There will also be marches taking place on Sunday the 8th, International Women’s Day. While that’s a day that many of us across the world acknowledge and even celebrate, I’d like to invite you to stand with our sisters in Mexico on Monday. Perhaps absenting yourself from responsibility and society might not be the expression you choose, perhaps you choose to wear purple. Perhaps you choose to stand with a sign making a statement of solidarity.
But I beg you, please choose to speak. If we are complacent, we are complicit. In whatever form you feel called to, speak out. Use the hashtags #undiasinnosotras, a day without us. Crimes made on the basis of sex are not foreign, not someone else’s problem. The victims of these crimes are us. Now is the time to stand. Before the devastating tide of femicide swallows us, not whole but in pieces. #niunamenos