Everything changes very quickly and continues to accelerate. It is not just about the external events that have been precipitated or the undoubted technological acceleration. Also, our beliefs are modified by the rule of circumstances and new understandings emerge, in such a way that what we affirmed until very recently, currently deserves serious doubts. We are in a time when a way of living, a style, a way of being in the world is ending. A civilizing form is coming to an end while the new one is just trying to be born.
We are beginning to become aware of what we didn’t see before, even though it was as much in front of our eyes as it is now. This shaking of beliefs leaves room for the emergence of new images and giving rise to attitudes and behaviors that are better adapted to the current times.
Almost in all fields, this true mutation can be noticed, which initially occurs within us and then becomes externalized and also becomes effective in the world.
Sometimes that disbelief hurts a little, it is similar to disappointment or loss of naivety. But it is also accompanied by a feeling of liberation, of gaining coherence and growth.
This happens, for example, when the customary patriarchal behaviors, the macho arrogance, the gestures on which so many times before we prefer to avoid criticism to look the other way and move forward, in a contradictory and even hypocritical way, begin to become intolerable. But currently, we feel that we can no longer conceal or continue to cover up violence, wherever it comes from, especially if it is about comrades in the struggle. Now we ask for consistency.
Thanks to the emergence of feminist movements around the world, to the repeated struggles, to their denunciations, little by little something unthinkable was becoming flesh: sisterhood, that relationship of mutual support and collaboration between women that establishes a basis of mutual trust.
“I believe you” was the slogan of a campaign to make visible and raise awareness about the re-victimization and violence experienced by a woman… and from being simply the title for an interesting campaign, it got under our skin and changed the culture, until we were surprised by our own boldness in coming out to defend her, another woman, for the fact that she had been abused.
The refuge of indifference ceased to be comfortable for us to become accomplices and we preferred to get out of there and start reacting.
The patriarchal age has been blurred, we do not want to hold it anymore and it begins to seem possible that it ceases to exist in our heads. Consequently, our behaviors have been changing and we are making new options. We no longer tolerate violence against women, or abuse, harassment or, even less, rape. Not to mention femicide. Simply because we cannot hide our disgust towards those who exercise this type of aggression.
We understand, of course, that we are all, in more ways than one, victims of patriarchal culture. For this reason, we do not judge the crimes of machismo, it is the judges who have to do it. It is up to them to carry out the processes, investigate the cases and issue their verdicts. Hopefully, they exercise the role that corresponds to them.
We do not want to blame: we know that guilt leads to resentment and revenge. But we also understand that every human being has intentionality and is responsible for the consequences of their actions, whether or not they are visible to all. We feel ready to defend the victims, to give them protection. We bet to believe them because we are also supported by a whole collective history of submission and mistreatment that today we will not continue to deny.
We want to start by repairing the damage done twice: we will no longer justify the violence and we will continue to educate, clarify, raise awareness, empower, humanize. It is about women and men being able to participate by building a new culture in which parity prevails. We will advance further, we will continue adding to the demands of public policies for protection, prevention and repair that are already beginning to be installed.
If we have experienced the change in our own outlook, then it will be possible to accompany that transformation in many, many others, who dare to adopt decidedly non-violent forms of behavior, move towards relationships of care, true kindness and hopefully – some day – become able to treat others as we want to be treated.
Translation by Lulith V., from the voluntary Pressenza translation team. We are looking for volunteers!