The Ministry of Culture announced last Friday the creation of a unit for the care and prevention of sexist violence in the cultural sector (sic). According to this same newspaper, “there is still no economic memory. Nor is it known what the structure will be, nor how it will fit into the ministry’s organizational chart, nor who will direct it, nor the personnel it will have.” In other words, there is nothing beyond the press release. The measure is to say that measures will be taken. Necessary measures? I really doubt it. Photocopies, videos, posters will be made. Talks will be given. Someone will get paid very well, I suppose.
Is there a problem of structural machismo in the world of culture? Yes. There is. Almost at the level of what the army or the world of poetry must have. There is another problem – in my opinion more serious – that has to do with the wide gap that exists with labor exploitation and power relations. Another serious problem we have is precariousness. Ours is approaching a Hobbie for those who can afford it. And that, I assure you, does keep us all awake at night, and it is completely endemic in the sector.
Creating an office to house a couple of colleagues and (mis)spending money will only serve to produce headlines. I have discussed the news with a friend who knows that she was in care of abused women. She told me a while ago what her time in those sinister facilities located “in places you can’t even imagine” was like. A “playroom” with two children immersed in silence and sadness, a woman urinating on herself because her husband calls her, another with an anxiety crisis because her ex has changed cars and she no longer knows when she is following him, some minor twenty years old, another pregnant…
All united by mistreatment in facilities where they could not cope and where there was a waiting list of several months for a consultation. One of her colleagues had been raped after a beating by her then husband. She was sedated and he entered the room, entered her, and left. There was no room for her in her residence. Chilling stories that would have been resolved with a little budget in concrete measures (rooms and staff) instead of posters, red carpets, presentations, and egos.
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