Patriarchal abuses

The full weight of the Supreme Court has fallen on the women and girls of the United States. Six ministers who are enemies of freedom erased with a stroke of the pen the guarantee that Roe vs. Wade gave to those who made the decision to abort. Limited guarantee, as has been seen, due to the tricks of states like Texas that, abusing their state powers, imposed or will soon impose inhumane restrictions that affect the poorest above all, and even victims of rape or incest. To control the bodies and lives of women, the principles of freedom and democracy are not an obstacle: “We dictate the Law”, inform the nostalgic high judges of the past to a society eager for a better future.

For the plutocracy that prevents the regulation of weapons and only cares about life insofar as “protecting” it makes it easier for it to subjugate half the population, the massacred children, the raped girls or the broken projects of women who do not want or do not they can be mothers, they are mere “collateral damage”. Trump’s poisoned legacy includes both the hate speech that divides the country and the blatant manipulation of institutions.

This infamous determination, however, has not gone unanswered. Thanks to the work of thousands of organizations, millions of women have mobilized against this attack on their freedoms: they are not willing to go back half a century or lock themselves up to mourn their losses. They know that this prohibition will not prevent abortions, it will only endanger the health and lives of thousands of women, especially precarious women, who do not have the means to pay for a safe abortion in another state. Governors of entities where abortion is legal have assured that they will continue to guarantee this right. Various jurists have proposed alternatives to revert this abuse: pass a federal law, expand the Court. Much depends, unfortunately, on calculations and partisan political pressures, but much will also depend on the voters who in November could promote a turn towards the recovery of the democratic ethical commitment in Congress. Hope has not been extinguished.

The manipulations of the Law and the abuse of power by officials against the rights of women in the world are not limited to the desire to control their bodies and lives through the prohibition of abortion. In Mexico, for example, the crooked delivery of justice in cases of abortion, femicide, rape or trafficking, is also part of a strategy of patriarchal control. Although we have made progress in guaranteeing the right to decide on motherhood, women’s right to life and liberty is continually under attack. Sheltered by the systematic impunity that corrodes the judicial system, there are those who kill, disappear or rape as if they were above the law, as if the lives of women and girls were worth nothing. Cases like that of Abril Pérez Sagaón or the continuous increase in unpunished femicide in Mexico fuel criminal misogyny.

In the midst of this bleak panorama, the horrendous femicide of singer Yrma Lydia Gamboa broke out a few days ago, murdered by her husband in a public place. The young woman, who sought to divorce her, had reported previous marital violence, without consequences. The circumstances of her murder, with premeditation, treachery and advantage, correspond point by point to the criminal type of femicide, which is punishable by maximum prison sentence.

There are those who doubt that the weight of the Law exceeds the influence of a man with economic and political power. The laws however are clear. For there to be justice, all that is needed is for the authorities to demonstrate their commitment to legality and to women’s lives. Your credibility is at stake. Our society is not as organized as in the United States, but the weariness due to patriarchal abuses against the Law and life is the same.

Lucia Melgar

culture criticism


She is a professor of literature and gender and cultural criticism. She has a doctorate in Latin American literature from the University of Chicago (1996), a master’s degree in history from the same university (1988) and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences (ITAM, 1986).

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