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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Texts for beginners and not so beginners, to understand feminist rage

Irma Gallo. Sic.

Tomorrow is International Women's Day and a few days ago we woke up to find the National Palace and other buildings, some of them listed as historic monuments, surrounded by steel fences. At night (or was it the early hours of Saturday morning?) we woke up to the shocking spectacle of hundreds, perhaps thousands of names of women victims of femicide across the country that feminist collectives painted in white letters on top of the ill-fated steel. I don't know if there are names of trans women; I hope there are, because as I wrote here a few days ago, this struggle is for all of them and for all of them.

Definitely, the image of the National Palace with its billboards full of the names of women murdered by the capitalist patriarchy is a reminder that we are here, for them, and that we will not remain silent.

National Palace with the names of the victims of femicide. Santiago Arau. Source: Twitter

I don't pretend to teach feminism to anyone; I don't have the reading or the experience to do so. That's why this text is about books, which are among the things I enjoy and treasure most in life.

I am not going to get into discussions of whether this or that text is more academic, or more problematic, or is already outdated, or does not meet the theories. queer. I'm not going to do that because these are very different books, not necessarily academic or aimed at specialist readers; indeed, there are a couple that are more for children and teenagers. Some of these texts may not have been written with the intention of appearing on a list of feminist books, and their authors may not necessarily agree with each other. They're not all new releases either (of course!) But I chose them because I think they can give a good overview of the reasons for our rage. 

I mean, in case anyone still has doubts.

We/Weby Valeria Gallo and Ana Romero

In this book, author and illustrator make a journey through all the prohibitions and obligations attributed to human beings throughout history for the simple fact of having been born with this or that biological sex, to reach the conclusion that, at the end of the day, we are all simply people.

Rare. Essays on love, the feminine, the creative will, by Brenda Rios. Turner.

2. Raras. Essays on love, the feminine, the creative will, by Brenda Ríos

From Becky G, to Anaïs Nin, from Anne Sexton to Carson McCullers, from Amy Winehouse to Clarice Lispector, from Emily Dickinson to María Moreno, these essays by Brenda Ríos are a scrutiny of the feminine and its circumstances in relation to the creative act: everyday life with its caring for children and tending to the home, loving passion, the expression of open and joyful sexuality, addictions, self-imposed confinement, the punishment of patriarchy in the form of the denial of just recognition, are just some of the lines that intersect in the stories of these women.

Tsunami 2. VV.AA. Edition and Prologue: Gabriela Jáuregui. Sixth Floor

3. Tsunami 2, VV.AA. Edition and Prologue by Gabriela Jáuregui

Marina Azahua, Lydia Cacho, Dahlia de la Cerda, Diana del Ángel, Lía García (La novia sirena), Valeria Luiselli, Fernanda Latani M. Bravo, Luna Marán, Sylvia Marcos, Ytzel Maya, Brenda Navarro and Jumko Ogata could not be more different from each other. And therein lies the richness of this book. A few weeks ago we interviewed Gabriela Jáuregui, Lía García La novia sirena, Fernanda Latani M. Bravo and Jumko Ogata for this same space; we invite you to read so as not to repeat ourselves: https://lalibretadeirmagallo.com/2021/02/01/tsunami-2-por-la-necesidad-de-escuchar-otras-voces/

Breaking in Other Ways. Filmmakers, journalists, playwrights and performers in contemporary Mexico, by Adriana Pacheco Roldán (Coord). Literal Publishing/Hablemos, escritoras/Ediciones Eón.

4. Breaking in other ways. Filmmakers, journalists, playwrights and performers in contemporary Mexico, by Adriana Pacheco Roldán (Coord)

Just out of the oven, this book gathers four essays by different academics and artists: Maricruz Castro Ricalde, Gabriela Polit Dueñas, Fernanda del Monte Martínez and Artemisa Téllez, a prologue by Cristina Rivera Garza, an introduction by Adriana Pacheco Roldán -who is the compiler and also the creator of the project of diffusion of women writers in Spanish, Hablemos, escritoras- and an appendix that includes names, date and place of birth, and genres of more than 300 contemporary Mexican women writers. 

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Salamandra Editions

5. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood

In a country, in the not too distant future, women have lost all their freedoms and privileges and are organized by castes, according to their ability or inability to conceive and give birth. Maids, like the protagonist Offred, are passed from one family to another to serve as human incubators, which means, of course, being raped by the heads of families. When Margaret Atwood was asked if she considered her novel to be a feminist book, she replied: "If that means an ideological treatise in which all women are angels and/or victimized to such an extent that they have lost the ability to make moral choices, no. If it means a novel in which all women are angels and/or victimized to such an extent that they have lost the ability to make moral choices, no. If it means a novel in which they have lost the ability to make moral choices, then no. If it means a novel in which women are human beings - with all the variety of personalities and behaviors that implies - and they are also interesting and important and what happens to them is crucial to the subject matter, structure and plot of the book? So yes?

Burning Fear. A manifesto, by Colectivo Las Tesis, Planeta.

6. Burning Fear. A manifesto, by the Las Tesis Collective

Last year, a couple of months before the pandemic forced us to lock ourselves in our homes (the lucky ones, because many people had to keep going out to get their daily bread), we started to hear everywhere: "And it wasn't my fault/Nor where I was or how I was dressed/The rapist is you". This is part of the lyrics of the performance A rapist in your way, by the Chilean collective Las Tesis, formed by Dafne Valdés Vargas, Paula Cometa Stange, Lea Cáceres Díaz and Sibila Sotomayor Van Rysseghem, who compile in this manifesto some of their main postulates.Speak to by Rebecca Solnit and Mary Beard. Antelope Editions

7. Speak. Mary Beard/Rebecca Solnit

This small book - in size but not in impact - published by Ediciones Antílope, brings together the essays "Men Explain Things to Me" (2008) by Rebecca Solnit and "The Public Voice of Women" (2008) by Rebecca Solnit and "The Public Voice of Women" (2008) by Rebecca Solnit. (2008) by Rebecca Solnit and ?The Public Voice of Women? (2014), by Mary Beard, published together for the first time in Spanish, with an introduction by Margarita Velázquez Gutiérrez and a preface by Tania Tagle, as well as illustrations by Renuka Rajiv. Beard's essay grew out of a lecture she gave at the British Museum in London, while Solnit's was originally published on TomDispatch.com.

Counter-Pedagogies of Cruelty, by Rita Segato. Prometheus Books

8. Counter-Pedagogies of Cruelty, by Rita Segato

Published in Buenos Aires in 2018, this book gathers the reedition of the three original conferences of the Counter-Pedagogies of Cruelty with a fourth one, called Frente al espejo de la reina mala, which according to its author, although it was not dictated in the same cycle as the previous ones, in the Free Faculty of Rosario, ?includes the main counter-pedagogy of cruelty: the link, the affection, the friendship? It also includes a brief introductory prologue by Segato herself and a presentation.

A series of possible circumstances surrounding a working class Mexican woman, by Yolanda Segura. Almadía 

9. Series of Possible Circumstances around a Working Class Mexican Woman, by Yolanda Segura

This poetic essay by Yolanda Segura is the story of Eloísa, a woman born in the 1940s, whose dreams, desires and aspirations are dashed time and again by her condition as a ?middle-class? woman as capitalism becomes ever more savage and takes its fiercest revenge on women's bodies.

Good night stories for rebellious girls. 100 Extraordinary Mexican Women. VV.AA. Planeta

10. Good night stories for rebellious girls. 100 extraordinary Mexican girls. VV.AA.

After the success of the previous three issues, Planeta dedicates this issue of the Good night stories for rebellious girls? to Mexican women. In its pages you can find from the 68 activist Ana Ignacia Rodríguez ?La Nacha? to the writer Inés Arredondo; the painter and poet María del Carmen Mondragón, better known as Nahui Ollin or the heart surgeon María del Sol García Ortegón; the actresses of the golden cinema María Félix and Dolores del Río and the activist Hermelinda Tiburcio.

Nigra Line, by Jazmina Barrera. Almadía

11. Linea Nigra, by Jazmina Barrera

In this biographical essay, Jazmina Barrera explores pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding from her own experience, but also networks with other writers and visual artists who have explored the female body in full transformation through these stages.

Dear Ijeawele. How to educate in feminism, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Random House Literature

12. Dear Ijeawele. How to Educate in Feminism, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What began as a letter to a friend who had just had a baby, and asked Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for her advice on how to educate her on feminism, became almost a classic when the author decided to publish it in the form of an essay, corrected and expanded.

Water of Lourdes. Being a woman in Mexico, dand Karen Villeda. Turner.

13. Water of Lourdes. Being a woman in Mexico, by Karen Villeda

Based on the death in unclear circumstances (it is not known if she committed suicide or was the victim of femicide) of an aunt with whom she shared her first name, Karen Villeda writes a biographical journalistic essay about the violence that is exercised both in her homeland, Tlaxcala, and throughout Mexico, towards women's bodies.

The water pit. Disappearances and femicides in the Remedios River, by Lydiette Carrión. Debate.

14. La fosa de agua. Disappearances and Feminicides in the Remedios River, by Lydiette Carrión

For six years, Lydiette Carrión dedicated herself to reporting on the disappearances and femicides of women and girls in the metropolitan area of Mexico City and the suburbs of the State of Mexico. She was struck by the number of disappearances she documented in Ecatepec and Los Reyes Tecámac, in the State of Mexico. The water grave documents the cases of at least ten teenage girls who disappeared in that area. Some of their bodies were found in pieces, in black bags, in the Remedios River.


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