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Rebel and Libertarian Women

Daniel Benadava

Thursday 22 May 2014, posted by Riley Pentico

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Historically the dignity of women wouldn’t have been trampled if, as Eduardo Galeano outlines, Eva had written Genesis and clarified that: she was not made from any rib, did not meet any serpent, never offered an apple to anyone and that God never told her that she would bring about pain and that her husband would rule over her.

But since the beginning men wrote the story, condemned women to exist to please their desires and to bear the mark of “the weak sex”.

However since the 1970’s, the time in which Juan Pablo I affirmed that God is Father; even more He is our Mother, many latinoamericanas began to immerse themselves in The Theology of Liberation and in its cooling waters they thought seriously about its reality, as daughters they read the Word of God and with heart, mind and eyes of women, they recognized him from their Woman Being. In other words, as the indigenous Tzeltales that live in Mexico say, they experimented and discovered the sweetness of the Word of God, knowing it, reading it, and extracting it.

In the words of the theologist Pilar Aquino, latinoamericanas reflected upon the experience of God that men and women have in their customs that look to transform the systems that create poverty and violence against people, with the goal to progress toward new social relations governed by lifelong justice and integrity, in a cultural environment free of patriarchal dominion.

Currently, different latinoamericana communities keep unraveling the complex theme in which feminine bias is entangled and invent new relational forms. Among these groups is the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in Spanish) that, from May 26th to the 30th, will organize a meeting in which they will share thoughts and stories of indigenous struggle and resistance.

One of these struggles is being led by the rebel and discontented indigenous women of the EZLN who — many of them have participated in Christian base communities inspired by the Theology of Liberation — have a central role in the peasant struggles as they consider that history without them is nothing more than a shoddy one.

So from the first day of the EZLN uprising, in January, 1994, they managed to get published the Revolutionary Law of Women. Through it, they became insurgentas and obtained recognition of their right to hold positions of leadership in the organization, have military grades in the revolutionary forces, work and receive a fair wage, decide the number of kids to have, participate in community issues, choose their spouse, receive an education, etc.

As the EZLN women say, there is still much left to do and to fight for because it just so happens that dignity is contagious and women are the most prone to catch this embarrassing illness. Yet it’s undoubtable that with its path, revolutionary and emancipating, they are giving birth to new forms of insurgent and libertarian life that spread through the veins of latinoamericanas.

Translated by Riley Pentico.

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