I am temporarily leaving activism (and I’m conscious this is the worst time to do it)

To be in the activism field is tiresome. Then, there is to be in the feminine activism field nowadays. It is frustrating, confusing, and just as demanding as it is necessary.  But I need to step out. Temporarily. 

Therefore I’d like to make a point: to be active and engaged in any sort of human rights movement may vary accordingly to your geographical location. Which may cause the demands to double. 

I tried. I tried to manage it all. But my activism is taking away precious personal development time. And I can’t afford that anymore.

You see, as I grow and learn more and more about women rights, I realize there is one fundamental fact that unites all the fronts, and waves, and groups of feminism: financial stabilization. They all agree that it is mainly due to financial reasons that women, all over the world, are still being abused, harassed, diminished, etc.

Money is power. And on that , we can all agree (even if you don’t admit it).

It's a delicate situation

I need to focus on rescuing my financial independence, and my professional pride. I need to focus on life, on dealing with personal issues. I want to focus on my family,  in raising my son to become an honest and respectful adult man. So this is all pure selfishness. 

But, to me, life sometimes gets to a point in which we need to choose a path, and this may be one of those moments to me. So, I am picking my life and my family. 

The fact is, I’m a journalist, I’ve always been one, and I will always be one. I learned to observe and to investigate, and to listen to both sides. I made a commitment to myself, and to the ones reading my stories, that I would be true, honest, and impartial.  This “journalistic/sociological” background has allowed me to see, over the last five to six years, that non-profits are a sort of “feel good/do good” kind of corporation, holding to its own set of rules, agenda, and priorities.   

Big non-profits are amazing organizations with headquarters, CEOs, CFOs, Directors, Boards, and employes. They also have franchises,  and members, who are people contributing an annual fee to support the cause, and who also volunteer time, knowledge, and experience.  They do fantastic work around the globe and are definitely necessary. The problem is that they can overwhelm you.  And, right now, I am burned out. 

Here is something that I often ask myself: how do I feel about being an activist now? And my most frequent answer is

“I feel useless, and used.” Go figure. 

Photo by burak kostak

 I feel like I don’t do enough. Because I’m not out there protesting and marching. And to be clear here, I can’t even vote. 

By the way, you should know that I also just failed the civics test to become an American citizen. Yes, against all the odds, I got 5 out of 10 answers wrong. Apparently, I’ve done the impossible (which was to fail such an easy test) and became an example.

To quote my dearest worst boss ever (not being sarcastic), who happened to be a woman, it’s just like “I swim, swim, and swim to then die by the beach.” 

I need a break, to make myself great again (yes, I am sarcastic now) because right now I’m drained. I am at my absolute limit, and still, I feel irresponsible and sorry for letting others down.  

So then what? 

In her 2017 book “It’s Messy: on Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women,” personality and activist Amanda de Cadenet – photographer, founder of “Girlgaze” and co-founder of the #Metoo movement – mentions how financial stability and independence are essential for a woman. Even thou, we are from entirely different worlds, Amanda’s essay collection felt close to me in many aspects, after all, we are a generation who started adulthood in the pre-social media era. Besides her hard times, and all her doubt, she made herself into the influencer and the professional reference she is today, and through her success, she became able to help more and more girls, giving them a place to express their voices and do not feel a stranger. Her book got me by its title, and I very much recommend the read. 

I believe that education and knowledge are the only weapons for the change. I think that all women should know more, so they can fight and fend for themselves. That’s what I work for. I work for what I believe can change the world. 

Don’t they say that sometimes we need to take a step back, to jump forward? Girls, it is so hard to just to let go. Feels like failing. Yet, here I am making a public statement: I am out.  And during this time, I will educate myself about my chosen country’s working rules. I’ll take back my professional pride. I’ll be assertive, I’ll be understood, and most of all, I will be successful because of my beliefs. 


Thank you!  ‘till next time!

The lack of female leadership in Brazil, by Marcia Maeno

Márcia Maeno
Márcia Maeno is a Law Student, at Unifeob in São João da Boa Vista – SP, Brazil. 

Brazil, 2018: Besides being a country in development, and showing growth in several areas, Brazil is still presenting a persistent gender inequality issue. For this reason, measures must be taken to change this unfortunate reality, such as providing more opportunities, empowering women, having active participation and, mostly, giving voice to women so that they can be heard throughout the universties, companies, politics, and all the areas they may have the will to be in.

The partnership between Unifeob and AAUW, established in 2016, has helped shape and lead actions on the university’s Campus in order to bring awareness not only to the female students, as well as the male ones, so the paradigme of gender inequality can be broken in this country.

Data shows that women are the majority in Brazil and also at the Brazilian universities. Nevertheless, when it comes to female leaders, the reality changes drastically. According to research by Grant Thornton, titled “Women in Business 2015”, 57% of the Brazilian companies have no women in charge and this puts Brazil among the top ten countries without solid women representation.

Although this research dates back to 2015, very little has changed as reported by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE – Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística), in which it has demonstrated that women receive 74,5% of the salary paid to men. A connection can be made taking into account that out of the 200 biggest companies in Brazil, only 3 of them have women in charge.

To explain this huge gap, some aspects have to considered, ranging from the sexist culture, which puts women as the only responsible for domestic chores, to the lack of opportunity and prejudice. All of this, when 57% of University graduates in the country are women.

In the most recent report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) concerning gender equality Brazil dropped 11 positions in only one year, due to lack of female representaion in politics and leadership positions. Brazil scores 90, out of 140 researched, in the scale of gender equality in the world.

On the other hand, the WEF report also shows that Brazil has risen its numbers for women pursuing education and solid careers. Which goes to show that if women have the opportunities, their reality and the reality of those around them can be changed.

Therefore, education and empowerment are the key to balance. Where there are confident and educated women, the environment can be improved for the whole community.

My Post

“Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.” – Indira Gandhi