The most luxurious things in my life have been the help from other women, the true and open love from the ones I love and the understanding smile from my boss when I messed up. It seems that women (myself included of course) need to be perfect in every possible way. Being the perfect wife, the perfect sister, mother, worker and oh, hostess… leaves almost no room for being the perfect “me”.
But even being so, most of us do get away with being "perfect". We always try harder, work harder, stay longer, and live for our families, no matter what kind of odds we face. Someone has dared to call us "multitask women". Ironically, this is not the term most of us would like to use. We may prefer plain words like "mom", "sis", or "honey" and "sweetheart", which do not give the impression of being "multitaskers".
We know that we have opened Pandora's box when we called out for feminism. We know that men are the real winners of that rally, because once again they are the ones who end up having the praise for the better outcomes at work, and we are held accountable for the bad grades of kids, the dirty homes and the poor nutrition of newborns.
But none of us complains about this because for every issue we hold in our shoulders, we have gained a new liberty. For example, there are men searching for a woman to support them economically, but in return we have opened new jobs for women who need them, regardless of their marital status. Or in the case of women in the media, it is true that women are under represented, but we have come a long way since the times when you needed to be a man to host a show that was not of "feminine" nature (read cooking, fashion or sex). We have gained spaces in editorials, many of us have created shows that are an example to the rest of the community, and we have earned respect for our opinion in many media outlets.
So, when I make a balance of what we have gained and lost, I would rather,of course, be here than in the past, when our grandmothers had to stay home and clean and take care of kids only. I think that even then there were women who stood out from the crowd, working and delivering education and good homes, just like today.
But one more time, in this new year I have to admit that we have a long way to go. In most countries we are still being abused, lessened, belittled, and even assassinated by our male partners. Our homes are not, in some or many senses, "shrines of equality", and we need to work that out.
Let us rejoice on what we have accomplished as a global collective, but let us not forget that the road has not been easy, as it will not be easy to continue on it. Let us think before we speak, let us speak before we are abused, let us stop before accepting violence, let us search for positive ways of being firm and respected without accepting violence. Let us be peaceful, yet firm and responsible for our own well being.
We need to thrive for non violent environments at our homes. Let us think about this every time a man shouts at us to remind us how "bad" we are, just to lessen us. Let us know he is being violent when he speaks louder than us to get his ways, something we should not open ourselves to. Let us stop him from taking away our daughter's feminine side. That is also a kind of violence. Let us find a way to make our daughters see how much easier their lives will be if they align in the feminine way of doing things that mom can teach them, instead of trying to be like dad.
Let us find our own ways, let us do it armored only with love and laughter. Smiles are free, we should give them away throughout the next year. Let us imagine ourselves as conquerors fighting for our freedom of speech, our freedom for living the lives we want to live. I wish that Christmas’ good feelings are kept alive during the new year. I wish that the hope that the birth of Jesus brings into our lives, becomes the permanent reminder that God is with us, then, who will go against us?
In the picture, three generations of women gathered for Christmas.