Thursday, April 3, 2014

"C" is for Carlos Monsiváis

A Mexican Feminist

May 4th 1938 - June 19th 2010

Okay so Carlos Monsiváis was more than just a self-proclaimed feminist. He was a writer, activist, and journalist. Aaand an openly gay man in a country where machismo reigns supreme! Especially in his youth.

I am Mexican but due to my father's job and my fondness for travel, I have lived most of my life outside of Mexico. And while I consider myself a feminist I never knew too much about the history of such a movement in my own country. Sad I know, but I am now less ignorant than I was before.

I received this book, Misogynist Feminist, as a gift from a female Mexican senator who heard that I was interested in writing a book with strong female characters. And I'm gonna name drop a bit here but her name is Ana Gabriela Guevara (former Olympian!).

I could only talk to her briefly but she was great and gave me her own copy of the book. She said she would buy another when she got back to Mexico.

Anyway, this book is a compilation of essays written by Carlos throughout his life. Many of which were published in the Mexican feminist magazine Debate Feminista.

The selection of essays included were chosen by a friend and colleague of his, Marta Lamas and it was published just last year in tribute to this amazing man.

His writing challenges and analyses the times and one essay in particular left such an impact on me that it will be the foundation for another post I will write later this month, so you can look forward to that.

I really hope that they will translate such a great book into more languages so more people can know who he was. Because not only was he a great man, in Marta Lamas' words he was also a great ally in the second wave of feminism that took place in Mexico. And in my opinion we need more people like him in every country.

What is your opinion of feminism? What is the history of feminism like in your own country? Do you know? Or would you like to learn more about it?

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  1. Interesting post! I just checked on Goodreads, but it looks like this book has not been translated into English? I'd be interested in reading it if I could find an English version :)

    1. I know D-= ! They don't have it in English yet and I'm not sure when or if they are planning to translate it. But they really should. It was a really interesting read. I've half a mind to translate it myself... but I'll wait on that front.

  2. Hungary is currently cultivating the really unfortunate genre of "women will be happy when they realize that they are biologically meant for other things than men, and they should just accept their role as homebuilder and let the man be the king." It makes me want to throw up. We definitely need some good feminist literature! :D

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Tales of colors
    MopDog - The crazy thing about Hungarians...

    1. It is very frustrating when that happens and I assure you that Hungary is not alone. It's that and when people say that feminism is no longer necessary, that drives me up the wall.

  3. I hope they eventually translate this book into English, because I would be interested to read it. I've talked to too many people who assume that feminists hate men and want to take over the world and subjugate them. It's hard to explain to these people that having to play on an even playing field is not the same as persecution.

    1. I know! People think that equal treatment means that we want to be treated like men. It means we want equal CONSIDERATION. But people don't seem to understand the difference. I'll keep an eye out for the translation but I'm not sure about that one.

  4. That's so cool! Where did you get the chance to meet somebody like her?

    1. I know! She was great! She came to Tehran with a group of senators to visit Iran and the coolest thing was that they were all women and I got to meet all these amazing and strong women.



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