I remember having a happy and very special childhood. Remember playing with my friends and my vacations in the countryside. But I also remember going to my grandparents’ city on weekends and doing a routine program with my Grandpa: taking old bread to feed the fishes at his ranch.
Every now and then some other cousins would join and we would have a blast! But I remember how my grandpa treated the boys differently, he wasn’t mean with the girls but the boys were the ones that got more attention and the huge privilege to seat in the passenger seat next to him (back then there were no laws forbidding children to seat in the front of the car). See when you are 7/8/9 years old sitting in the back of the car while your younger male cousin is mocking you it’s not a very pleasant thing.
Every time I try to recall the moment (if there is one) that I became feminist I remember the journeys to my grandpas ranch. I never understood why he would treat the boys differently especially if we were all behaving well – we were kids after all, probably doing some “wrong” things from time to time. I loved and respected my grandpa deeply and I still do but in some ways I believe he was my biggest influence to become a feminist. Sounds silly but for me feminist is about having (or/and fighting) for the same rights, voice, opportunities, space, resources, salaries, and respect – and at that moment I realized I was being treated different because I was a girl/women. I didn’t expect my grandpa to only let the girls to seat at the passenger seat but all the grand-kids rotating – that is why I get so frustrated when some non-informed person says that feminists hate men or that we want to treat them like we are treated. WRONG! We fight for equality recognizing the differences are socially constructed, not biological and we need to fight that.
I am not sure whether Grandpa knew or acknowledge that like so many more men in the planet, which is why this discussion is so important and crucial. In my case it was more of a simple case of sexism, but so many women all around the globe (including people you may know) are suffering from violence, harassment and exploitation. Tons of them get psychologically hurt, many get physically hurt and unfortunately so many still die. Until when are we accepting that?