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“As I go and find it”: why Andalusian grandmothers are teachers of feminism

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The journalist and expert in Gender, Identity and Citizenship Galician Sea She says that she learned a lot about feminism by scrutinizing the silences. Addressing them. They had been very present in the “stories of violence” against the women in her family: “Among other reasons, I grew up with my grandmother Antonia, a woman who had lost her speech after suffering a thrombosis. that left her in a situation of great dependence,” she writes in As I go and find it. Andalusian feminism and other clothes that you didn’t see (Libros.com).

That non-verbal language with which he managed to understand his grandmother opened up other sensitivities. Other ways to “listen to bodies.” To weave together the stories of all those women from the south who were classified as “servants” and “illiterates”: the stories of women who believed that they had no history. Those who felt that what they experienced did not matter, that they would never be part of any story.

So many wise women who spent their lives remaining silent and swallowing pain and misery. So many comadres, so many friends who protected each other, who became strong in the neighborhoods and in the corralas. So many taking care of each other, taking care of the rest of us. Putting our whole body, head and heart so we could eat well, that we grew up healthy, that we were good people. Her love was activism. His way of being in the world was pure resistance: just existing They contradicted the capitalist, neoliberal and individualist wheel that devastates us. They wove all the networks. They were supportive without stridency. They with oral tradition and memory.

Our mothers and our grandmothers. Our ancestors, our antepresents – what a beautiful word with which the author winks. They went trench without saying a word. They made them invisible. They continue to do so, while they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders every day. The weight of “the ordinary”: as the essayist says, “there we exist and we have the basis of our life.” In the small. Domestically, of course. What makes us up and what no one notices because -unfortunately- we take it for granted.

From Marisol to Rosa López

Gallego thought she didn’t want to write a book about feminism so theoretical that it would leave her mother cold. He thought that he did not want those women who were his true references not to feel reflected in his book. “For my mother, as for many Andalusian women from poor origins, theoretical words represent a world to which they do not belong”says the author.

That is why Gallego opened his eyes and began to fight against the hegemonic narrative: he began to put together pieces of the puzzle. To be a woman. Being Andalusian. Be a feminist. Being precarious – being poor, “but we say ‘humble’ so that no one is scared,” she shoots. What to call all that happened to us, what happens to us? Identity, memories and the land matter here.

In this highly recommended work, Mar Gallego collects ideas, collects stories, collects voices known to everyone and wonderfully new ones. From Rosa López – better known as Rosa de España – to Marisol: “They were similar cases (…) Manipulated? I don’t know if that’s the word. But if you mean that I had to stop doing many things, as a child, like being able to be in my neighborhood, which was what I liked, having to Spanishize my accent and other things, well yes,” transcribes Mar. “They pulled Pepa Flores from her roots and dyed her hair blonde to turn her into the whitish Franco image. of Spain, without the features of its land and without the smell of poverty of its origins,” he launches.

Here are the verses of the poet and rapper Gata Cattana. The writer Remedios Zafra comes out. And the Madrid actress Luisa Martín, who played Juana in Family Doctor, appears, telling how she had to force the Andalusian accent to get a job, which was what she needed. And how the fundamental requirement for that role as a domestic worker was that accent.

Muhe of few words

Here comes the immaculate Cádiz street vendor Michinina demanding a license in the Plenary Session of Cádiz “to be able to feed my two daughters.” And the Andalusian gypsy Rosa Moneo Vargas, grandmother of the Jerez journalist Claudia González, who dedicated a documentary to her called My Rosa, in which she comes out saying, with infinite power: “I am a woman of few words, but of much knowledge.”

Elena Medel. Ángeles Mora. Olalla Castro. The prostitutes. The protesters. La Paca, a trans woman from El Puerto de Santa María who, during the dictatorship, stood in front of a procession and He stopped her shouting: “Franco die!”. Lola Flores. And the dancer Angelita Gómez, who went so far as to say that, for society, “if you were an artist, you were also a whore.” Bad Rodriguez. And many others. A fundamental treatise that puts on the table why poor Andalusian women “were, are and will be” the resistance.

A book, in the end, that rescues these enormous women and vindicates them as “great teachers of feminist movements, precisely because their context of greater vulnerability has led them to seek solutions not foreseen by the status quo.” A work like a dagger straight to the stomach: its author says it better than anyone, “generating a story is also a right.”

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