March is a complicated month, which forces us to look straight into situations that we would rather avoid thinking about, despite dealing with them on a regular basis, in order to lead a happy life. It is impossible to think everyday about the discrimination, misogyny and violence, past, present and future, that we ourselves have experienced, or that someone else has. 


March is the month during which we all face our experiences and call them by their name publicly, through posts and videos, or that we confess in private conversations. We call attention to what we or others have been through, what we shout about in Reforma [Mexico City’s main street] and other main streets around the country in the demonstrations that take place every March 8. 


It is the month in which we try to draw men’s awareness to all the aforementioned, and, when possible, have them notice our absence from the work spaces on March 9. It is the month in which, ideally, they try to talk less and listen more. 


In a word, March is an exhausting month. 


But it is less so because it takes place amongst female friends. 


While I was growing up, nobody warned me about the importance of girlfriends. I used to have more male friends, and feel rather proud about it. There was a certain sense of superiority in being accepted by the boys. 


It took me many years to undo that path of subtle misogyny, and also learn that my girlfriends -not the ones from childhood, but from this first phase of adulthood – would be much more to me than my previous friends had been. 


A note here: I have male friends whom I love deeply, who have been in my life for many years and that are family to me. Luckily, love is not a zero-sum game: the love for my male friends does not oppose my love for my female friends. And from the latter I have learned the most important lessons of my life. 


Each in their own way and often without even knowing each other, they have taught me to go out of my way to come closer to other people. From them I have learned to be perseverant and determined to get what I want. And that I am free to want anything: to work or to study, in the same field or a new one. To live in a new country or to settle for good on mine. To make plans with someone, and carry them out with or without that person. To change my mind or to continue down the same path. To start a family. To dress up as little or as much as I want. To be patient and hope for the future -which sometimes seems as a very difficult task. 


I learn from watching them make their own decisions, and also from feeling they support mine. How they admonish me when I hint at feeling incapable of doing something. When I doubt myself. How they notice virtues in me that I am not aware of, or that I rather consider flaws. How they celebrate my accomplishments and underplay my mistakes, and see them under a different light: as mere inconveniences, lessons learned, situations past that will not occur again. 


My female friends have been my pillars, raising me up with their own actions as well as teaching me to believe in my own worth, to trust myself. It is them who make March such a special month, that reconnects me and the women that make me grow, that celebrate and feel outraged with me, with whom I celebrate and feel outraged as well. It is them with whom I demonstrate and shout for the end of the patriarchy and the rise of feminism, and sing the Canción sin miedo at the top of my lungs. It is them with them with whom I shall continue to walk until Latin America is all feminist, and afterwards. 


March 2022


Imagen destacada: Silvana Flores