Violence against women within different levels of society has taken an uncommon appearance. Amid campaigns and promotions to end this epidemic, the physical violence continues through untarnished machismo and a vulgar scorn for feminine dignity. Even without counting the official statistics of women who are killed or beaten, every day we hear oral stories of such lamentable cases in contemporary Cuba.
We do not have a realistic or objective press which analyzes and presents these cases in a critical manner. The social poll remains without hands nor feet. Regardless, these appalling testimonies remain in the collective memory and in the social imagination. During the last three months, a small provincial town such as San German has found itself caught up in four cases of murder of women (which I am not citing by name out of respect for the families), and all for motives of passion. Physical blows on the face and on the breasts, stabbings, attacks with machetes, and psychological wounds which will never fully heal.
Currently, the physical aggressions against women range from a shove to a punch while in the loneliness of a house or out in public, as well as cases with guns or sharp objects like knives. The motives of passion are nearly always because of supposed cheating, demands to have more accompaniment, and, only in rare cases, there has been a reverse response. Each passing day there are less women who fight back their oppresors, as was common during past decades through the use of poisoning, death by fire, or wounds with sharp objects.
Behind the pretty words spoken on Radio and TV, we are in need of an urgent action, and we need that action to bear true intentions of healing. The Cuban woman has been exposed to a verbal atmosphere of violence like never before. Their conditioned leadership in the most recent martial conflicts, as well as their participation in the inflamed battles of insults against those who are different have made them different: but also excluded. Years of coexistence in agricultural fields or in construction sites, of living side by side men under the notion that they have the same chores and rights, far from making them “equal” have made them different, but in a negative light. When words are not enough, we must know that campaigns aren’t either. From the coldness of the discourses we should pass into the heat of the facts.
Dawns of the sweetest love, their kindness could possibly be in extinction very soon, and it will be us, the impassive ones, who will be the only ones to blame.