Cristina Redondo, escriptora, per Cesc Sales.

Like Artemis

Working Women’s Day and I think of Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the Hunt, who coincidentally went hunting with her bow and arrow, which Zeus gave her, but also with six dogs that Pan gave her. Curious that they were men, and only the men, those who provided the weapons to work.

I also think of the story of Cinderella, that they only wanted her to work at home removing dirt from other women, how “bad” women were, and that she coincidentally was “liberated” by a man who gave her delicate glass slippers. Curious?? TRUE?

Already in the fantasy of stories and mythologies, I think of Maleficent, Cruella de Ville, Snow White’s Stepmother, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, or even the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I think of Medusa, Lillith, Cleopatra, or even Morgana. How bad all those women are! TRUE? Curious, all of it, curious.

I think of Toni Morrison, Shirley Jackson, Ursula K. Le Guin and so many other writers who had to prove that they were good writers to the male-dominated literary sector of their time.

Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, the first black woman to win an important prize that had always been given to whites, only seven white women had won it before her: Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf, the first woman to win the Prize Nobel Prize in Literature (1909), followed by Grazia Deledda (1926), Sigrid Undset (1928), Pearl Buck (1938), Gabriela Mistral (1945), Nelly Sachs (1966) and Nadine Gordimer (1991). Of the only fifteen women who achieved it in total, the writers who were able to enjoy the honour after Toni Morrison were: Wislawa Szymborska (1996), Elfriede Jelinek (2004), Doris Lessing (2007), Herta Müller (2009), Alice Munro ( 2013), Svetlana Alexievich (2015), Olga Tokarczuk (2018), Louise Glück (2020), and Annie Ernaux (2022).

Shirley Jackson alternated her job as a clerk in a department store while publishing her first stories in magazines, where the stories of other men such as John Cheever or John Updike dominated, and where she had to fight against her typecasting as a writer for women, while her texts They were of a quality as remarkable as that of other male writers, but that others tried to ignore by publishing in women’s magazines. How much work done, my dear and adored Shirley.

Ursula K. Le Guin was the first woman to write a science fiction not focused on machines and the spatial and technological apparatus of her time, innovating and writing a science fiction that went beyond, never better said, and delving into anthropological concepts and socio-political denunciation, feminist texts, texts based on the Tao philosophy and all through their stories in space or, for example, The Tales of Earthsea, in which the writer R.J. Rowling was the basis for writing Harry Potter. No male writer had written science fiction before like Ursula K.Le Guin did.
We could also talk about J.K. Rowling, but I also told you about her in previous years.
How much work has been done by all of them!

I also think about many of the women I have known throughout my life. Fighting women, workers physically and emotionally exhausted by the effort, but tireless at work: housewives, professionals in their sector: police officers, detectives, doctors, psychologists, nurses, house cleaners, actresses, singers, writers, artists, photographers, musicians, literary agents, editors, administrators, receptionists, university professors, kindergarten teachers, school teachers, yoga instructors, teachers, scientists and engineers, astronauts, politicians, mayors, councilors and directors, technicians, firefighters, agriculture, madams and sex workers, I think of all of them. I think of mothers, single women with children, single women without children, neighbours, co-workers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, friends, girlfriends, and lovers.

All of them.

I think about them, about us. And it pains me and surprises me that we still have to, like Artemis, use “our weapons” and launch reclaiming arrows like the ones we feel obliged to launch today to claim our place in society, fair, supportive, equitable, not even above nor below, at the end of theday, equal, hoping that one day this continuous, constant, exhausting fight of 8M, International Women’s Day, will not be necessary.

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