20/06/2022

Look her in the eye

3 min
Look her in the eyes

Being a woman is tiring. And I don't feel sorry for myself. Nothing could be further from the truth for someone from the generation which was required to be "strong and brave" and was told that, if they wanted to achieve certain things, "they would have to be the exception to the rule", as Nora Ephron writes. No self-pity, yet it is still very tiring today to be surrounded by exhausted women, permanently overcome by a cocktail of self-demand and burden built with their own and other people's expectations. Women striving to demonstrate that above and beyond their gender condition – or perhaps in spite of their gender condition and its burdens – there is always a reason that allows them to "deserve" the recognition of others.

Fortunately, little by little, efforts are gradually receding in favour of a generation of women who are tired of being concerned about how they are perceived by the central, traditional gaze, still constructed with male eyes. This look grants professional recognition to a woman when it is accompanied by a certain self-restraint and discretion, and clashes with the express rejection of new generations, who have chosen not to be aware of the gaze of others, nor to do what they are expected to. This is what Catalan government spokesperson Patrícia Plaja, who has professional attributes to spare, but was struck hard by this reality, has shown this week

The message

That the vindication of the body and the naturalisation of self-expression are acts through which spaces are conquered is obvious, but it is also obvious that the medium is the message. We learnt this years ago and perhaps times have not changed enough. A television producer knows that, however unfair it may be, a fly, a tear, a cleavage or an open fly capture and monopolise the viewers' attention and eclipses the message the source wants to emit.

Has anyone still not understood why Angela Merkel or Ursula von der Leyen have chosen to dress practically in uniform in order to exercise their authority? Unfair as it may be, the open expression of femininity is still a distortion for many and there is no censorship when an expert producer aims to make the message as clear as possible and to keep interference to a minimum. She knows what she is doing.

This does not mean that women have to dress like them, nor does it mean that they cannot act to normalise their presence anywhere. In fact, there are women in positions of public prominence who dress in flamboyant colors to stand out in photographs full of dark-suited men. To stand out is to highlight the lack of parity, especially in areas of political, economic and business representation.

There is still a lot of work to be done for minorities and also for women. It is necessary to stop participating in non-parity forums and to stop lending themselves to appear in photographs where the reality of male control of organisations is expressed

Small and large humiliations must be exposed. Humiliations translated into abuses of power or sexual abuse, whoever the perpetrator is. That is, the opposite of what Mireia Boya has done with CUP, which has prioritised the denunciation of gregariousness and obedience to a political party. The Boya case is striking for the accuser's solidity, which contrasts with the renunciation of freedom of thought and is expressed when loyalty to the whole becomes paralysis.

Boya prefers to withdraw the same week that artist Paula Bonet withdraws from public life out of fear after her stalker was released from prison. These are not isolated cases

Serious issues

I wanted to write about serious issues that allow an editor-in-chief to maintain her credibility. To write about the subject of the special report on economics, which explains how the storm clouds on the horizon put made players in the international economy on alert to try to avoid a scenario of generalised stagnation with skyrocketing prices. Explaining what exporters need to know to continue to exist, how the war over political models threatens a lengthening of the conflict with Russia. Interesting topics, men's topics. But, of course, it's impossible because we women often feel challenged when the attributes that are valued are not the same as those of men.

"In what capacity are you here?" or "Why do they put this ugly picture of you in the paper?" are just two of the questions of the week that would hardly have been asked of a male newspaper editor no matter how bad he looked.

As always, this is not an article directed at men or against men. There is no need for victimisation, but there is a need to take collective responsibility.