Mujeres visibilización e interculturalidad

This seminar today dealt with several issues regarding feminisms. The presenter, Consul Aguilar Rodenas, a teacher at the UJI, presented “the state of art” so to say, on women’s conditions over the various media. A quick google images research offers significant amount of proof on how denigrated women’s image is.

Drawing on further examples on the sexism pervasive in several fora Mrs. Aguilar draws attention to the fact that women have historically been relegated to domestic affairs, to the household while men conquered the public space. This pattern of patriarchal behaviour took place in the whole western and eastern world, although differentiations on the perception of certain freedoms might be made. We already are familiar with the issues relating to the depiction of women in Islam, but can we actually presume that using which kind of clothes we want is enough to guarantee freedom for western women? This is aggravated when we consider that most of the time media shows us what women should wear in order to correspond to a certain male perception of feminity and/or beauty. On this issue. Lorella Zanardo produced a fantastic video on this issue that could bring hours of debate here’s her video (with English subtitles) Il corpo delle Donne

Yet, although there is so much information on these matters, people still seem keen on exploiting the women’s body and sex as a tool for profit. In her recent launch for her lingerie brand, brazilian top model Gisele Bündchen was accused of portraying women in a demeaning manner, which led brazilian government to remove her advertisement campaign from media. Here’s two of thse ads:

Now from these broad areas we can derive two different issues:

First, is that, eventually, men would fall prey of their very misogenous patricharchist approach. Professor Hugo Schwyzer points out how more and more men and becoming sexual objects and that nowadays they are beggining to suffer when it comes to artificial unnatural looks on media and how this affects their self-esteem. It just seems sad to me that they had to suffer it to praise solidarity to women. Here is his interview:

http://bitchmagazine.org/post/isnt-he-lovely-guy-talk-with-hugo-schwyzer-of-the-good-men-project

Second, there needs to be some clarification on certain issues. We already know that there is not only ONE feminism but that the feminist movement is multiple. Yet, to me Vandana Shiva’s Ecofeminism offers the best theoretical approach when it comes to gender equality. Shiva offers a very interesting look on how women’s historical relegated role might offer a solution for nowadays economic, environmental and value crisis. While traditional feminists advocate women to leave the household and conquer their space in the public arena, Shiva proposes that women look at the public arena as their own household, as if it was ours to care, because ultimately, it is. This shift in perspective might offer a much more peaceful manner to deal with issues regarding the environment, economy and etc.

Some critics might argue that Shiva essentializes feminity, but she argues back that there men are equally akin to the household matters as women, altough historical construction made us think differently. So, aware of that, exercising our criticism and awareness on gender issues we might prevent ourselves from reproducing misoginous behaviour and reestructure or local environment.

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