Invisible Women

La Voz de Galicia – March 8, 2024 →

Cristina PatoI wish I could thank all the women who have shaped my life in this column, all the women who opened my eyes. I wish I could name them all, in an endless list of invisible references that, unknowingly, influenced the way I am in the world.

Sometimes, especially in recent years, when March 8th arrives, I feel something that I don’t quite know how to explain: I feel guilty. When I receive interview requests from media outlets doing an article related to International Women’s Day, or when a school informs me that they’re working on a project about me, or when I’m invited to speak at an event around this date, I start to think about how I could turn that discourse (my old discourse) around to focus on them, on the women who have been and are the pillars of their communities, the pillars of society. Sometimes I feel like responding to these invitations (for which I am immensely grateful) with more questions than answers, and with another invitation in return: to name, interview, or invite all those women whose names we don’t know and who inspire us constantly with their actions.

I am aware of the privilege I have lived in these last twenty-five years of public life, and I want to believe that over the years I have learned to understand the responsibility of what it means that when one speaks, there are people who listen. But I am also aware that mine is an exception. And precisely for that reason, on a day like today, I wonder what would happen if, instead of focusing on public figures, we sit down to name and listen to all those invisible women who, as Borges would say, are saving the world around us.

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