Weekly Column – Mexico News Daily

Mexico News Daily

Weekly contributions to the English-language newspaper for Mexico, Mexico News Daily. I write on a variety of current events, as well as topics including culture, social issues, and immigrant life.

From Here’s hoping that next year’s Cry of Independence is the party it should be

“This year, El Grito was a strange sight to behold indeed, but no less moving. Things inside the palace were the same. The military guard performed their rigid choreography to deliver the flag, the president stepped out onto the balcony to give the customary cry of independence.

But this time, he gave it to a plaza that was completely empty: populated with festive lights, but no people. It was so shocking that it was art. Talk about impactful.

Because this year, we’re in a pandemic. This year, we’re in the middle of an emergency that we didn’t admit was upon us until we could already see the whites of its eyes, and that we’re not sure will end anytime soon. This year, had we allowed the plaza to fill up, there would have been empty spaces that might have been filled by those we’ve lost so far, who instead of partying in the plaza are resting in their coffins and urns.”

From After more than a month of isolation, people appear to be getting antsy

“Humans were never meant to live alone: we need each other; we’re communal animals. For myself personally, I don’t feel especially scared. I’m healthy with no pre-existing conditions, young-ish, and have been pretty good at staying away from people, and certainly away from crowds, during all of this.

Add to that the fact that Mexican culture and the Mexican way of life are particularly ill-suited for social distancing. We touch each other all the time, we crowd into places, we kiss, we stand, we sit, and we walk close to each other. The lack of concern for “personal space” is reflected in the very architecture of our communities. Why create larger, more open spaces? Just squeeze in there, it’s cozier that way.”

From What makes femicide so special from regular homicide?

“Why don’t we call it ‘machocide,’ then, when men are killed?” he wanted to know. “Murder is murder, no matter who the victim is; what’s the use of distinguishing?” He was enjoying the argument in that affable and confident way that men do when they don’t have actual skin in the game.

He wasn’t being nasty about it, but I was irritated. We women are weary of these arguments, but tire of not quite being able to put our finger on fantastic counter-arguments when the topic is so viscerally scary and real for us. Too few of us joined debate club as we should have during our formative years, preferring to direct much of our attention to being liked by boys rather than competing with them on “their turf.” I wish someone had told us we’d still get laid throughout our lives anyway. Oh, the time I wasted!

And here we are today, not quite as good as we’d like to be at arguing what we know to be true, feeling like we’re losing a rigged game over and over again. We simply know the difference between femicide and “regular” homicide because it’s something we can feel deep in our guts and as obviously as splinters in our feet.

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