© André Costa, “Sofia applying for a job”, 2016.

This is a very brief post, to mark the date, not that I like to celebrate institutionalized dates (they tend to serve material aims, more than spiritual ones), but the 8th of March is to be remembered. Do we need to go around celebrating women and bringing them roses? Gosh, no! But it’s important to reflect upon the fact that more than a century has passed since this day was first celebrated, and we’re still living in a world of inequality and prejudice. On higher or lower degrees, we experience it daily. I struggle to be authentic, not to fall on the necessities of the everydayness. Such a struggle is accentuated by me being a woman, whether in the role of teacher, of photographer, of image-maker, of citizen, of girlfriend, of daughter, sister and friend. One of the mundane things that happens quite often (and not once did it differ) is that if I go to a bar or coffee shop with a male friend and we ask for a beer and a juice, the juice is always served to me. It’s irrelevant, I know, but it happens regularly and it’s the mark of our patriarchal culture. Women keep being marginalized, oppressed, underestimated and treated with violence and disrespect. As a PhD student I feel it as well. Academies tend to promote a sort of life that (they think) is not compatible with multi-tasking, so they promote the male way of thinking, the male mind, for (supposedly) women have less time to dedicate to research. As a women who doesn’t like to dress up, wear make-up or high heels, all my life I’ve been told “Why don’t you wear something nicer?”, etc, etc. While on work, things get worst: not only am I neglected for being a woman, I’m also neglected for being a woman “that looks young”. Is seriousness and maturity a sign of respectability that comes with a suite, high heels and red lipstick? While applying for a job, today, I had to take a photograph to send with the application form. This is the “what were you expecting?” form…

Não te esqueças de viver! Com Maria Filomena Molder

3 replies on “Let them be

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