Mexican writers, journalists, actors denounce abuse against women

#MetooEscritoresMexicanos and #MeTooPeriodistasMexicanos trend in country where violence against women is prevalent.

A Mexican woman holds up a placard that reads "respect my existence or wait for my resistance" during International Women's Day [FIle:Daniel Becerril/Reuters]

What started as one woman in Mexico‘s literary world sharing experiences of sexual abuse, has since grown into a online campaign against sexual harassment and other forms of assault in several industries in the country.  

The social movement started on Thursday after Ana Ge, a political commentator, tweeted that “a powerful man within the literary circle” had beaten, manipulated and abandoned more than 10 women, on multiple occasions.

But since “he is a renowned writer, nobody believes these women,” she said. 

Following Ge’s tweet, #MetooEscritoresMexicanos or “Me Too Mexican Writers” began to trend in the country, with millions of mentions, according to local media. 

By Monday, #MeTooPeriodistasMexicanos (Me Too Mexican Journalists), #MeTooAcademicosMexicanos (Me Too Mexican Academics) and #MeTooCineMexicano (Me Too Mexican Cinema) were being used by abuse and harassment survivors to shed light on the prevalence of violence against women in these industries. 

Translation: What was private now is public because it affects us collectively because impunity has already claimed too many lives, because it forces us radically to make an ethical, political, legal and social rethinking inside and outside the private space.

Translation: “Violence against women is also frequent in media.”

“Seven out of 10 women who work in this field have also been harassed by a boss, a coworker or a source”

Translation: “I study literacy, and I have experienced violence against me and against my classmates.”

“When I was in the second year of my mayor, I was raped by Christopher Yescas @ nietodearreola, it took me a long time to get out of the denial. The literary circle is small.” 

Translation: This type of move helps [society] to evolve and awaken consciences. We have normalised harassment and other abusive behaviours but I am glad that this is already changing.

Seven women killed every day

Violence against women is widespread in Mexico.

According to the United Nations, the country has one of the world’s highest femicide rates. Seven women are killed every day, according to the UN. Six out of 10 women, including minors, say they have suffered some type of violence in their lives. 

The online campaign came less a month after a new poll, conducted by the United Mexican Journalist collective, found that 73 percent of women faced some type of abuse in the media industry. 

About 63 percent said the abuse came from their coworkers. 

Recently, victims of domestic abuse were given panic alarms as part of government efforts to combat growing rates of violence, but many online said that more must be done. 

Mexico’s #Me Too moment on Twitter this weekend was not its first. In 2018, Mexican actress Karla Souza came forward with news of how a director had raped her at the start of her career.

Souza did not reveal the name of her attacker, but the Mexican television network Televisa pointed the finger at filmmaker Gustavo Loza. 

Loza has denied the accusations, saying in a statement that the actress gave no “direct accusations against me in any of her interviews”. 

The #MeToo movement gained momentum in October 2017 after US producer Harvey Weinstein was accused by several women of sexual assault and rape. Weinstein has denied the allegations. 

Millions of women worldwide shared their own stories of abuse, harassment and assault. 

Source: Al Jazeera