Mexico’s President-Elect Kissed A Women Reporter On The Cheek Instead of Answering Her Questions

Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s current president-elect, has long appealed to his liberal audience with his populist and progressive attitudes and foresight when it comes to issues like immigration, financial aid for students and the elderly, as well as universal access to public colleges. Still, his recent encounter with a woman reporter proves that even the most seemingly progressive of men falter to understand what it is that women want.

Besides equal treatment to be reflected in our homes and paychecks or respect and courtesy as we walk the streets, women want equality while doing our jobs. The latter is something that even men like Lopez Obrador still struggle to understand.

Lopez Obrador made headlines this week after a video of him kissing a women reporter while she was on the job went viral.

In the lead up to his Dec. 1 inauguration, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who won Mexico’s presidential vote in July, has been touring across the country to thank supporters. During a stop in Tijuana on Sept. 20, the president-elect walked through a crowd of reporters and at one point was asked by Lorena Garcia of El Mexicano about next year’s gubernatorial election in the state of Baja California. In response to her questions, Lopez Obrador simply smiled, turned around and kissed her on the cheek before walking away with his security team.

Speaking to MVS radio about the encounter, Garcia said that the incident was her first time meeting Lopez Obrador and that his gesture felt “inappropriate.”

“We are working. We do not have the intention of receiving or seeking a greeting of this kind,” she explained during her interview. “Understand that we are doing our job. It is not something that I would like to continue happening to me every time I go out to report.”

While the video of Lopez Obrador’s response was captured on video last week, the footage of the encounter only became viral this week after it spread across social media outlets.

It’s not the first time, Lopez Obrador’s actions have made women reporters feel uncomfortable.

In the weeks and months since his election to the Mexican presidency, Lopez Obrador has been ridiculed for his address of women as “sweethearts” during interviews.  “I am always going to treat you like this with great respect and affection,” Lopez Obrador said about the complaints and later responded to the question of whether his behavior was sexist or not by saying “I have another vision, it is not like that.”

Of course, we know that it is a  tradition in many Latin American countries for men and women to exchange cheek-kisses of some sort in greetings and passing. Still, in our era of Time’s Up, it’s time for men to begin to acknowledge the ways in which they decide to treat women differently from themselves and their male peers. More than begging the question of whether or not men will ever acquiesce to our please of equal treatment in the workplace, it highlights the many ways in which they actively choose to ignore seeing us as equal.

Read: These 7 Books By Latina Writers Are The Perfect Reads For Snuggling Up To Your PSL

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Women In Mexico Have Started Their Own #MeToo Movement


Women In Mexico Have Started Their Own #MeToo Movement

The #MeToo Movement has arrived in Mexico.

Last week, a young activist tweeted that an esteemed writer had beaten or raped more than 10 women, with her post inspiring hundreds of others to speak out about violence and harassment in their industries.

Ana G. González, a 29-year-old political communications consultant, tweeted on March 21 that Herson Barona had “beaten, manipulated, gaslighted, impregnated, and abandoned (on more than one occasion) more than 10 women.” While she didn’t experience the violence firsthand, she said that women had asked her to speak out on their behalf.

“I knew several women that were just too afraid and not ready to come forth, but allowed me to speak for them and name this person,” González told the New York Times.

Barona denied the accusations, saying “I understand that there is collective pain surrounding the real cases of so many beaten, raped and murdered women” and “unfortunately, in public scorn there is little space for discussion, clarity or conciliation.”

His response didn’t slow down the derision he, and others who have been recently been accused of gender violence and harassment, received on the social network, however.

Since González’s tweet, more allegations have followed under the hashtag #MeTooEscritores, where women are sharing their stories of abuse in film, academia, the nonprofit sector, business, law, theater, medicine, politics and more.

Some women, fearing a backlash from their jobs or their perpetrator, are speaking anonymously or not sharing their attacker’s name. But others, who shared details in their accounts, have caught the attention of the attorney general’s office in the state of Michoacán, which is investigating information published on social media by a network of journalists that “includes acts that Mexican laws consider as crimes.”

Last year, during the height of the #MeToo movement in the US, Mexican actress Karla Souza, famous for her role as Laurel Castillo on the US legal drama television series How to Get Away With Murder, disclosed that she was raped by a director while working in Mexico. She chose to not share the name of her aggressor, which incited skepticism and criticism from many, sending a message to those who might have wanted to open up about their experience with workplace violence or harassment that they, too, could risk similar reprisal.

“When you see how these women have been treated publicly, it makes perfect sense many victims want to protect themselves by staying anonymous,” González said. “Let’s just hope this time it will be different.”

Read: Twitter Is On Fire With The ‘Me Too’ Hashtag And Latinas Refuse To Be Forgotten

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Mixe Author Yásnaya Aguilar Says Mexican Government Killed Off Indigenous Languages In Powerful Speech


Mixe Author Yásnaya Aguilar Says Mexican Government Killed Off Indigenous Languages In Powerful Speech

Indigenous languages are often characterized as archaic, a connection to a past life, certainly not thriving cultures and communities that exist in a modern society. But this mentality isn’t just wrong; it’s also dangerous.

In a powerful speech delivered by Mixe author Yásnaya Aguilar to Mexico’s Congress last month, the writer explains that in the country, where indigenous languages are largely viewed as backwards, the state has killed off certain tongues.

“Our languages don’t die out, they’re killed off,” she said. “The Mexican state has erased them with its singular thinking, its [promotion of] a single culture, a single state. It was Mexico that took our Indigenous languages, [Mexico] erases and silences us. Even though the laws have changed, it continues to discriminate against us within its educational, health, and judicial systems.”

According to Aguilar, known for works like “Nosotros sin México: Naciones Indígenas y Autonomía” and “#Ayuujk: ¿Lenguas Útiles y Lenguas Inútiles,” by making Spanish, a language forced on the people of the region five centuries ago by Spain, the most important tongue of the nation, the state has created a culture where language discrimination can flourish.

“Languages are important, but their speakers are even more important,” she added. “Languages die because their speakers are subjected to discrimination and violence.”

For Aguilar, the country would thrive if it recognized the beauty and strengths, rather than challenges, that come with a multicultural society.

“Being Mexican is a legal status, it’s not a cultural status,” she added.

Watch Aguilar’s thoughtful speech in its entirety in the video above.

(h/t Remezcla)

Read: This Latina Is Saving The Indigenous Peruvian Language One Computer Game At A Time

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