Since I was born I have lived surrounded by women and not only because they are more than half of the world's population, but because the men in the family where I was born were simply not around, at least not constantly. My dad worked all day and I guess when I got home we weren't together.
My mother, sisters and grandmother completed the main picture of the people around me. Afterwards, I've always felt more comfortable around women, but at the same time I feel intimidated by them; I guess I don't feel safe with them. But I like to relate to them, I like their company, the sound of their voices, the way they see the world, the diverse way they confront it, and I honestly don't understand it.
I know that one woman is different from another and that generalizing is not the best possible way, but I can recognize that in this society where I was born and raised, this difference has existed. Maybe in the next few years it will cease to exist, but not for now.
It is precisely this difference that I want to tell you, how there is a part of the world that fails to understand the other half of that same world, and that this misunderstanding leads to different strategies to relate to, from exercise idiotically and irrationally power, until the violence or the inability to even approach them.
The other big part of the world - women - are increasingly confronting my existence as a man, and what I am supposed to be as such in front of them, as a brother, as a son, as a father, as a partner, as a friend, as a professional, as a director, as a person who walks in the street and sees a woman who catches his attention.
I think about the constant and more or less new struggle for the abolition of the genders and I think that this is one more possibility to be able to relate. But it will not be an exercise free of all prejudice, because gender is not only a way of differentiating ourselves, but it is the difference, and in this sense the one that offers us the possibility of creating, questioning and transforming our identity. The difference is important because it makes possible the relationship with the other and with myself. I understand the struggle for equality, but I do not share the search for either the denial of difference, or the supremacy of one group over another.
Recently, I read in the biography of Amos OZ a nice reference to women, but perhaps some of the readers may find it offensive, it is not, at least it is not my intention to do so. Amos Oz says that a woman is like a text, a different one every time, which you have to know how to interpret, read and that with a little luck and dedication we can get to understand, or spend our lives trying.
When I sat down at the table to review Höch's works, I immediately thought about this relationship. Of women who are made up of different parts, of parts that would seem disjointed, but that are basically possible because, like a text, it is not uniform or perfect, but in the imperfection and in the way in which it is constructed.
In the end, so far, a woman and my identity, are made up of various parts, from various inner, outer, social, family universes and by emotions and thoughts and needs and desires, and so, within a context such as the one in which we live, one woman is not similar to the other.
I sat down at the table in front of a woman that as the days go by I admire and I feel an incipient affection that even distance cannot stop. I honestly don't understand her, when I feel that I have advanced a little, she, or what I understand of her evaporates and little by little reconstruct her in my mind, as an image built up of unequal and incongruous parts, but that in the end makes sense, meaning that it is not important, she knows who she is, or may become, and when she does, is just wonderful, and of course what I or someone else thinks doesn't matter to her.
Maybe women have a double opportunity in this century, as a gender, and as individuals: that of transforming the structure of values in our society -to value other things more than those which the patriarchal society has determined-on the one hand; and on the other, to get that which men and women have sought for centuries, the ability to understand each other, since they are what they are asking themselves, us, men have taken it for granted, didn't even question it.
ARTE & COTIDIANIDAD
I look at this collage and I can see, that woman in contruction, or constructed by various elements that maybe only her can live and understand, or maybe each one of the women that have shared a small part of their life with me and allowed me to share something of mine with them: Ana, Julia, Paola, Cynthia, Liliana, Valeria, Flor, Alejandra, Norma, Gabriela, Esther, Cristina, Ana Marcela, Dámaris, Diana, Andrea, Angélica, Nataly, Natallie, María, Ewa, Marianna, Viorica, Haley, Natalia, Mónica, Melissa, Adriana, Leslie, Roxana, Patricia, Jocelyn, Patricia, Magda, Alice, Alicia, Biridiana, Jessica, Jacqueline, Brenda, Yael, Sandra, Alondra, Isabel, Wendy, Rose, Lorena, Jessy, Ángeles, Miranda, Mariana, Daniela, Deborah, Giovanna, Ana Paula, María Fernanda, Ingela, Claudia, Karina, Susana, Beatriz, Marie, Kendra, Nicole, Sofía, Ángela, Monserrat, Fabiola, Julieta, Carmen, Nini, Helena, Jo, Hania, Veronika, Rafaella, Teresa, Therese, Adriana, Sonia, Margarita, Marcela, Michelle…
Many names are repeated, others fade away. "Glass" by Hania Rani is what I listened to while writing this text.