The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As I sit down for today’s class, I get a “Happy Women’s Day” from my friend sitting down next to me. I take a deep breath and say “Thank you, but I don’t celebrate women’s day.” You see, I am from Tamaulipas, Mexico, and I’m one of the 1,935 international undergraduate students that are currently attending UT Austin, and today is a bittersweet day for all my mexican sisters back at home.
Mexico reports on average 10 femicides per day, which are killings motivated by gender based violence. With Mexican Authorities doing little to nothing to protect girls and women, feminist organizations have taken it upon themselves to organize protests urging change to happen. These efforts are often brought to full force during Women’s Day, also known as #8M.
These uprisings, however, have not been kindly received by the Mexican government. Police officers have used batons and tear gas to break up crowds of “bloques negros”, which are groups of women in charge of protecting peaceful protesters within the march. The use violence has left both officers and protesters injured during multiple encounters.
Cities where protests have occurred, especially in Mexico City, bear the loss of Mexican women in its architecture. The streets are covered in purple graffiti, the official color of the movement, and posters of missing women are seen on every flat surface. Although, the state of these cities is meant to portray the disarray within the patriarchal sediments of the government, it has given sexist men the audacity to say that “estas no son formas” this is not the way you get what you want.
But when you have looked for your daughter, your sister, or your mother every day with no response from the government, what do you do? What you don’t do is sit at home and give up. You fight for answers, for your loved ones, and for all the innocent little girls that are growing up in this beautiful country with its bloody past, so that they can get the future that is rightfully theirs.
So please don’t tell me happy women’s day. Instead, take 5 minutes from your day and read about what is happening in countries outside of your own. Educate yourself so that you can educate others, because global pressure will be the only way in which countries like my own will truly change.