FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

An Open Letter to a Mexican Female Student

by

Dear Mara Fernanda Castilla,

I have just read about your story and once again I feel the shame of being a man. I never met you nor will we ever meet in this lifetime. Like too many young women, your life was tragically and brutally cut short. As a father of a beautiful young girl, I cannot possibly imagine what your parents are living through at this moment. I just hope they find some solace of comfort in the solidarity the brave women of your country are showing right now by marching and demanding justice in your name.

I want to be honest with you. I feel our global society (if such a thing exists) owes you this. I only actually became aware of your disappearance and death as a result of the social media feed of a Mexican friend. I then wanted to learn more and found a few media reports, though in the United Kingdom (where I live) these were relatively obscured. I would say you shouldn’t take this personally. But in truth, it’s as personal as it gets. Violence against women is often hidden away.

As I read the reports, I was horrified to be confronted by the statistics. It seems in your country alone, five women are killed every single day and over 60% of women and girls over the age of 15 suffer some form of physical violence and abuse. I have no words for this epidemic. Except to say please remember your life always was more than a statistical measure.

I understand you were a student with an interest in political science. I am somebody who teaches Politics in the University sector.  At 19 you probably had the same enthusiasm and passion for life as the international students who now starting a new term. The man who felt they had the right to take away your right to exist stole yet another life of promise and ambition. It didn’t really matter what you would have become. I am sure you would have made your own personal mark.

I once lived in Puebla for a time. I remember that before I visited I heard about the Nations problems, its violence, narco-trafficking and the need to be “vigilant”. Yet as a white male I must admit I found the place that took away your life, the place you called “home”, completely safe. Then again the realities of safety are always dependent upon the bodies we occupy.

I also have a confession to make. As an author, I often write about the worst of the human condition. I can therefore also become too often fixated on exceptional violence. And even while I wrote a piece about the missing 43 students in your country recently, I have never written specifically about the problem of femicide. This has been a profound failure on my part.

I understand that Latin America has this thing called “machismo” culture. But this is too easy an explanation for what happened to you. I have recently been reading Aeschylus Oresteia. I don’t know if you ever read this book? I wont bore you with the details, though it tells of the story of King Agamemnon, who in order to appease the gods needed to sacrifice his innocent daughter Iphigenia. It’s a metaphor really. The history of the human condition is one of men destroying the lives innocent women.

I am now running out of words to say, not that I couldn’t write books about this, but I know in this moment my words with always fall short and never do justice to your memory.

So I would like to part by offering my heart-felt apology on behalf of every man who thinks it’s acceptable to denigrate, humiliate, and violate the body of any single woman. I would like to apologise for every man who has compensated for their own inadequacies by taking away the lives of innocent young girls like yours. I would like to apologise for every man who thinks women are some sexual and disposable object for their own deluded pleasures. And I would like to apologise for my own shameful compromises with global systems of power, which continue to recreate gendered violence on a daily basis across the world.

May you find some rest in peace,

Brad Evans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail