Mexico’s largest university, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Unam), is hosting a feminism conference this month. Yay, women! The two panels, consisting of 11 participants, are made up totally of men. Wait, huh?
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That’s right, the event, which will honor feminist scholar Marta Lamas, is taking an unexpected format. Lamas, who is also hosting, will debate the men solo rather than including other women in the discussion.
Naturally, given the country’s history of underrepresenting women, people are calling the university out.
Feminist blogger Ana Gonzalez tweeted, “Feminism for dummies: we don’t have a single representative, there are many of us and we’re very diverse. Invite many women to your debates.
Feminismo para dummies: no tenemos una sola representante, somos muchas y muy diversas. Inviten a muchas mujeres a sus diálogos.
— ana gé (@anag_g) October 3, 2017
Another Twitter user, Atardecer Ranchero, wrote, “What’s next? A conference on racism with only white people?”
¿Qué sigue? ¿Un coloquio sobre racismo con puros blancos? ¿"Racismo y MERCADO"?
— Atardecer Ranchero (@Bea_IsBored) October 2, 2017
Since this is a pro-women meeting, the lack of, well, women, does seem odd. And in a country where mujeres have been consistently left out of roles in politics and government, are paid less than men and are abused and killed in record numbers, they could use every opportunity to give more women a platform.
But, maybe the set up is in itself making a statement? Maybe Lamas shutting down these men, in this way, is bringing unique attention to issues that matter? And people are already talking about it, sparking debates of their own.
About the disparity, Regina Tames, director of GIRE, a reproductive rights organization Tweeted, “It’s an event which male allies and friends are going to honour Marta. She has spent 45 years speaking with women.”
Es un evento en donde hombres aliados y amigos van a hacerle un homenaje a Marta. Lleva 45 años hablando con mujeres. Ellos la admiran! https://t.co/63NuFxtty9
— Regina Tamés (@reginatames) October 3, 2017
What do you think? Is this just another example of machismo or a radical way to make a statement? Add a comment and let us know!
H/T: The Guardian