Over the weekend, my family had invited over a couple of Argentine family friends. We spoke about a wide range of topics and eventually discussed the message behind international women’s day. They made a really good first impression, to say the least!
The father, Federico, spoke about machismo and why it was an antiquated way of thinking that only exposed the insecurities of the men that didn’t allow their wives to hang out with friends at night or forced them children they didn’t necessarily want. I asked then if there had been any events or marches for women’s day and his eighteen-year-old daughter looked at me with saddened eyes. She told me the stories that had plagues the newsstands in the days following March 8th when “intolerant feminists” had attacked and shooed men that had tried to join the topless women’s rights rally. There was also coverage of the woman who, with the help of a handful of other pink ski mask wearing women, staged “the abortion of christ” outside of a catholic church. A woman dressed as the Virgin Mary standing over a stream of blood stole the attention away from the entire day’s activities, events, and messages.. Regardless of what the messages of these violent scenes may be, I think that it deters from other pressing feminist issues that more people can identify with. What can violence achieve in an argument for understanding and equality?
The acts of these small groups of people acting out on their own beliefs that do not necessarily mirror the values of many feminists (and male feminists) in argentina will always gain more media attention. Unfortunately this continues to perpetuate negative stigmas associated with feminism and gives an inaccurate image of the group of women that feminism tries to help.