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Esther Vivas: “feminism needs to claim the maternity”

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Updated:16/03/2019 01:42h

There was a time that the feminist claim is made to the cry of “We parimos, we decided to”. Although still resonates isolated in some of the calls, each time it is heard less. The act of giving birth or the fact of being a mother is not the only thing that defines a woman, but the experience of breast yes that accompanies many throughout his life. Breastfeeding in public, go with the baby to work, benefit from a reduction of working time or to decide the type of birth that each one of them wants to have seems an act of rebellion. Aware of this, Esther Vivas, a feminist from birth, visit the “stops” of motherhood , “Mom disobedient” (Captain Swing, 2019) to give his point of view, critical of the new wave of feminist who seems to forget about the mothers (and their children). “Our society is adultocéntrica”, where everything is “made in the benefit of the adults,” he says. For this reason, calls for a structural change in the society, that has to come from the hand of those demanding equality.

He says that it seems to be incompatible to be a mother and a feminist, why?

Motherhood has been used by the patriarchal system as an instrument of control of women, of their body and for a long time it has been identified to woman with mother, and the women had no other option than to be mothers. Against this dictation rebelled against the feminism of the 60’s, but also fell in a speech antimaternal and antireproductivo. From my point of view I think that there is a distinction between the experience from the breast and the imposition of motherhood. The problem is not motherhood in itself, is how it has been used by the system to subject women. What it is is to break with this motherhood, patriarchal, and with the alternative put forward of the supermom that I have ever come across. Recover the experience of breast so that it can be experienced by women without also falling into the idealization of motherhood. The challenge is to rebel against the maternities imposed.

How does that fit within this new wave feminist?

The challenge is that motherhood is, from my point of view, an element of central demand of feminism, and how some practices are so fundamental, in which the woman has a central role are so made invisible and undervalued?

There is now a new generation of younger women who have grown up and that we have benefited from a series of conquests that I consider to be defended and that surely motherhood today we see her with less prejudiced generations of feminists earlier. Now what this is about is reclaiming motherhood from a optical new and live the experience of being a mother, without interference, pointing out that motherhood is a thing of all: of mothers, fathers and society as a whole.

How has changed the maternity?

Motherhood to me has been reaffirmed in my ideal feminist, because when you want to be a mother or when you’re a mother, you realize that your maternity is very much determined by the socio-economic system and patriarchal. In reality we are not free to be mothers. One of the great paradoxes of the current moment is that we women have finished with maternity as a destination, but in the time that now it is a choice, the paradox is that we have many difficulties to be able to be mothers, to stay pregnant. And once we are the mothers, the society is hostile to parenting.

How is the society to the children?

We live in a society adultocéntrica, where the society, the labour market, the public space is intended for the benefit of the adults and in benefit of the market. The current society is not welcoming to the little ones. Often, when from a political point of view, it raises the issue of motherhood, always a question of how it fit in the labour market, always granted subject, next to parenting, to the job market, when the problem is the labour market, which does not allow the settlement.

Also speaks of a “double presence” of women in the productive sphere and the reproductive.

Women carry a double burden of work: productive, paid and the of the reproductive sphere, that is not appreciated, not paid or is malpagado. Because when women cannot do this work of care is externalizamos to other women. We always have to keep in head the organization, is the mental burden.

How there are so many types of maternity leave as mothers?

There are so many experiences of motherhood as women, and even the same woman can have different experiences as a mother, because in the end, motherhood comes not so determined by what you want to do as a woman but for what I can do. There is a look very individual to the mother, but there is that desinvidualizar this glimpse into motherhood. For example, if I want to give the breast to my son but I have to going back to work at 4 months, the end is determined by the context in which I find myself. From this point of view, the book is not intended to judge the experience of breast of any mother, but it does point out that we impose certain models of motherhood that are useful to the system, and belittle what they need or want the mother and the creature.

How does it fit the “parents” in the motherhood today?

The parents are becoming the figure most common in the families, such as stepparents. Your figure is loaded with a stigma fruit of the patriarchal system in which we live and it is necessary to point out that the stepmother is an experience motherly more, but instead it is an experience very invisible and misunderstood by the social environment, because a parent may want to like the creature of your partner to the biological mother, but do not understand this affection. I think you have to change the look that we have on the parents and try to give it another name and there are groups trying to remove the negative charge that has this figure and determines the look that you have these people, they are also giving love and accompanying the ageing process.

How have you embraced the feminism of the recent debate on the surrogacy?

There is a debate in the feminist movement in this topic. I think that implies the commercialization of a biological process, physiological, and ultimately becomes the uterus in women on the subject of luxury, taking advantage of a situation of economic and social inequality. It is quite understandable that men and women want to be mothers and fathers, but this desire can not violate the rights of third parties, of the pregnant mother when she takes out this pregnancy for nine months has to relinquish control over her own body, and if at any time you want to back down because it can’t.

What meant for mothers day that Carolina Bescansa went to the Congress with your baby?

In politics the babies it seems that they are only designed to take photos in the campaign. When a baby appears on the floor becomes not only a debate but a scandal on the part of certain sectors, and this puts on the table, and to what extent there is a misunderstanding toward motherhood and parenting. It seems that in the end the mothers have to hide of what it means to care, to nurse, and that is why it is very important visibilizarlos in the system, because in the end, motherhood is a matter of public and political. What you cannot do is to give back to motherhood, it means to give back to the mothers.

Is there someone who is concerned about the declining birth rate?

Yes we see, from time to time, headlines in the media indicate that the birth rate has fallen again in Spain, and turn on some lights alarm, but nothing is done to fix it. It is not that women do not want to have children, is that they can’t have them. In Spain, 50 per cent of women would like to have 2 children, and 25 per cent, 3. But in reality the birth rate is 1.3. Birth rates go down by hardships: the socioeconomic context that does not accompany, and as postponing the age, both in women as in men, there are also fertility problems. We live in a system that is the enemy of the human fertility. The problem that we have is not technical, it is political. In the end, having children is going to convert to a privilege.

What taboos have you found and defined around motherhood?

For me the two taboos plants have to do with infertility and with the duel gestational. Everything that surrounds motherhood is loaded with the weight of guilt, but in particular the infertility or pregnancy loss socially is perceived as a failure. I think that it is important to uncover them and talk to put an end to the taboo that surrounds it, because infertility is not an individual problem, it is a social disease, and the duel gestational also form a part of the experience of motherhood, is much more typical of what we really think and it is necessary to recognize the loss and acknowledge the grief, improve health care to the grieving and reivindicarlo from a society feminist.

What is the difference between the “feminism liberal,” “feminist of the 99%”?

The feminism liberal is that feminism in america, as represented by the Democratic Party, and here it is the feminism that goes from the positions of the PSOE to Citizens in the sense that it claims equality, but without taking into account class oppression. Claimed equality only for a set of women middle-class white women, when from my point of view, the major feminists are demanding economic justice, social, when gender inequalities are marked by economic and social policies, and if not touched it is impossible to achieve an effective equality to the society as a whole. That is what raises the feminism of the 99%, equality and equity for all women, not just for a minority of white middle-class. What I mean is that this feminism is the one that has to claim to maternity of the 99% and we need a system of care for the 99%.

How is feminism a matter of ideology?

The feminism is policy, and achieve gender equality and to end the policy goes through policy changes, and not just for getting achievements in the labour market or in relation to the glass ceiling, but to achieve changes in social and economic policies that generate social equality.

It also tells how the society has been taking over the delivery to steal it to women. Why has been this?

The modern societies have seen the delivery as if it were a disease, and the hospital birth today is approached from this point of view, which implies that it is considered essential that medical intervention, when in reality birth is not a disease, is a physiological process, and what we see is that it is also used as an instrument of control of women, and there is a look very paternalistic in relation to the delivery, and also in the delivery care is exercised a number of practices that tend to demean women or not to take into account their point of view. At the physical level is practice unnecessary cesareans, and all this has a name, which is that of violence, obstetric, and appoint this practice is only the first step.

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