Is it necessary to return to the values ​​of pre-Hispanic Mexico?

Last Tuesday, a journalist asked President Andrés Manuel López Obrador the following: “what do you think something has not worked in Mexican society so that, differentiating poverty, misogyny, something is not going well for women?”.

This was part of his response: “… the original failure is the prevailing model for a long time (…) they stopped promoting principles, values; they wanted to overshadow the entire life system inspired by our cultures, our great civilizations, by a materialistic, individualistic, selfish system (…) the loss of cultural, moral, spiritual values, coupled with the lack of opportunities, impoverishment , to inequality (…) it led us to decline, it was a process of progressive degradation (…) then there was a crisis”.

Immediately, the same reporter asked him: “Or the role that women are believed to have in society?”

To which AMLO replied, among other things: “… that is in our traditions, in our customs, in our cultures (…) we have to go back to instilling principles, values.”

Tuesday’s was not the first time that the president assures that Mexicans must return to the “system of life inspired by our cultures, in our great civilizations,” referring to those that existed until 1521 in what is now Mexico and that of they still manifest themselves in many indigenous communities in some way.

Every time she says that, it shows that she has a very romantic idea of ​​what the reality of women in pre-Hispanic Mexico was and what indigenous women live today, because history and reality confirm that women in our country have always been mistreated, whether or not they belong to one of what are now called original peoples.

But the past is far from being what AMLO paints for us.

Most historians agree that the women of the different pre-Hispanic cultures and civilizations were subordinate to men and that political and economic power was in their hands, as it has been in almost the entire world since the most remote times. Should we then understand that, for AMLO, the problems faced by women will end when they subordinate themselves to men and stay at home in charge of housework?

The situation of indigenous women today is also far from what he wants us to believe. Based on the most recent National Survey on the Dynamics of Household Relationships (ENDIREH), carried out by Inegi in 2016, the National Women’s Institute estimated, in 2020, that “59.5% of indigenous women aged 15 or more years has experienced some type of violence throughout his life; emotional violence affected 45.5% (…) physical violence 32.6%, sexual violence 29.6% and economic or patrimonial violence 25.8 percent”.

In the six years that have elapsed since 2016, poverty and violence have increased and it is very likely that the percentage of women subjected to violence, whether indigenous or not, will also be higher.

Before accepting that his government has been unable to stop violence against women, Andrés Manuel insists on longing for idyllic worlds that never existed and blaming his predecessors for the serious situation.

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Eduardo Ruiz-Healy

Journalist and producer

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Opinionist, columnist, lecturer, media trainer, 35 years of experience in the media, microentrepreneur.

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