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Tonight, after a class at Metodo DeRose, I walked alone in the dark streets of Brazil to catch live samba at Contemporaneo Gastro Show. I ordered a pineapple juice instead of alcohol and a Espetinho de carne (grilled beef on a stick) – just to change a bit from being vegetarian. The owner offers me, and to all women on the terrace, a brigadeiro. Simply for being women.
March 8th is an historical date of fight. Fight against devaluation and abuse. For men and women. On March 8th, 1857, a large number of factory workers in the United States took to the streets to demand their economic and political rights and were repressed by the police, who opened fire. On March 8th, 1908, capitalist bosses in Chicago set fire to a textile factory to stop the daily protests of workers, for the respect of the legal 8-hour work day, and ameliorations of their work conditions. A thousand women worked in this factory. 120 died and many more were terribly burnt. (source: Batayouvriyel) In 1910, March 8th was suggested by the International Socialist Woman’s Conference to become an « International Woman’s Day. »
Why does oppression occur? Why do anyone feel the need to dominate someone else? Because they feel danger, right? Because they feel they are facing something powerful, something uncontrollable. So they need to control it.
Why do anyone accept to be treated in a devaluing way? Why do we understand and forgive? Why do we love despite everything? Because we do not know our own value. And maybe because we were gifted empathy, compassion and unconditional love.
Since childhood, I observed – at home and at elementary school – women competing between themselves, showing a tragic lack of solidarity. Now I understand better why. Women do not know their own value. Women do not know how powerful they are. Now I understand and I hope to be part of an important self-empowering and solidarity movement, for women as much as for men.
On March 8th 2011, for the first time I chose to create my own destiny against all diktats, and travelled alone to London (UK), aiming to work there 10 months. On March 8th, 2018, I am again on this road towards self-empowerment, travelling alone across Brazil.
Since my arrival here, I have come across many movements aiming to empower women. Many of them, I have not yet investigated – Feminino Sagrado, Women’s gifting circles, Tantra, etc. Last week, I participated in a program’s introduction evening at a Kundalini Center in Belo Horizonte – Centro Yogi Bhajan. The program is called “Mulheres radiantes”, Radiant Women. What tickled my interest was that this program would, amongst other subjects, aim to explain the differences between men and women brain processes. I thought it could answer many of my questions.
We were a dozen women siting in a circle around the room. Women of all ages and colors. Brazilian women, one Argentinian (my friend), and myself, one of the rare Canadians in the city. “What makes us women?” Asked the teacher, in Portuguese.
- Giving birth, answered someone.
- Yes, women create life, reworded the teacher.
- Empathy, said someone else.
- Caring for others.
When we felt we had said it all, the teacher asked the second question: “What would be a radiant woman?” Shinning, I thought. Self-realized.
- Love, answered a woman.
Yes, I thought. She was right. Love was the only true word. We radiate when we are filled with love. Love for ourselves and for all those around us.
For the next exercise, we had to stand up, dance around the room and smile at each other. Most women, even here in Brazil, would flee the eye contact, feeling uncomfortable. I could recognized the “old Me” inside those women who were more or less my age, in their 20’s. And I really tried to help them feel comfortable through smiling and holding the eye contact. Because eye contact is the most important thing to connect with each other. The music stopped. Each of us turned towards our closest mate to answer the first question.
- What is your biggest challenge?
- Work, answered my partner. And you?
- Love, I answered. Man-woman love, I mean.
- Oh… Yes… Me too, she agreed.
We started dancing again, till the music stopped for the second time.
- What is your best quality?
- Take care of other, she answered. I love to take care of others.
- Being open to other ideas, I said, almost stopping my sentence in the middle. Oh… Wait… Is that true? Am I really open? Well… At least I try… But I guess there’s a limit in accepting other’s ideas, right?
She smiled. And the music started again. We danced. The music stopped for the last time.
How will your quality help you with your challenge?
The owner offers me, and to all women on the terrace, a brigadeiro. Simply for being women. Or maybe for all that women represent. For all that women have endured. And for all the love that women will continue to give, no matter what happened. The brigadeiro is filled with caramel. We deserve it.
Ps: Tomorrow, there is a party at Casa da Cultura (Belo Horizonte), featuring historical brazilian singer and compositor women. Here is the list: Elza Soares, Gal Costa, Maria Bethania, Mart’nália, Paula Lima, Adriana Calcanhoto, Bete Carvalho, Elba Ramalho, Amelinha, Cássia Eller, Luciana Melo, Elis Regina, Marisa Monte, Céu, Clara Nunes, Rita Lee, Vanessa da Mata, Roberta Sá, Sandra de Sá, Maria Rita, Simone, Angela Rorô, Baby do Brasil, Marina Lima, Fernanda Abreu, Fernanda Porto, Negra Li, Zizi Possi, Paula Toller, Tulipa, Zélia Ducan, Silvia Machete, and more… 🙂
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