I have lost count of how many times I have asked myself the same question: Who invented the philosophy that the female sex is weak? Sometimes, as product of voluntary error, we believe that strength is defined by carrying, pushing, or sustaining a fixed weight. Human civilization, however, has given women more of a lead role. They have been able to combat the female apartheid with perseverance and firmness.
It is no secret, however, that there unfortunately remain cultures, or better said- incultures, that malevolently discriminate against females, even to the extreme of prohibiting them from educating themselves, or even prohibiting them from choosing the man they would like to start a family with.
Universal history has collected a list of names that belong to great women. Just to cite a few: Mary, mother of Christ, Joan of Arc, Rosa Luxemburg, Marie Antoinette, and a couple of more recent ones- Evita Peron, Valentina Tereshkova (the first lady to go to space), Nadia Comaneci (the Romanian who achieved a perfect gymnastic performance), Margaret Thatcher (known as the Woman of Steel thanks to her firm attitude while she headed the UK’s government), Indira Gandhi, Rocio Jurado, Rocio Durcal, Marilyn Monroe, etc, etc.
Within the past few years, a transformation in the mentality of countries, when it comes to electing leaders, has occurred. Women like Mireya Moscoso, Michelle Bachelet, Cristina Fernandez, Angela Merkel, and most recently- Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica, have all risen to head of state positions in their respective homelands. I must also cite Condoleeza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, and my current idol- the great Russian athlete, Yelena Isinbayeva.
I am one of those who truly believe that the feminine limit is unpredictable. Each day we are all further surprised by the feats achieved by women in different social spheres. When we analyze the situation, we must conclude that women deserve unconditional respect. We Cubans feel a great sense of pride in knowing that we have females that go by the name of Mariana Grajales, Amalia Simone, Marta Abreu, Ana Fidelia Quirot, Regla Torres, Mireya Luis, and plenty of others that are impossible for me to list, for obvious reasons.
I cannot finish this commentary without mentioning a group that formed in 2003 and responds to the name of Ladies in White. As a result of the jailing of their relatives, they decided to speak up when the majority remained silent. They ignored the hate, intolerance, and repression that curtail a grand portion of this society that, for 50 years, has been under totalitarian rule. The existence of these Cuban ladies is essential to every political prisoner and prisoner of conscience. Thanks to them, we continue expanding our hopes of one day living in an improved Cuba, together with all and with no exceptions.
Who knows- perhaps tomorrow, Cubans will be able to say that they have their first female president in a country that has deep elements of machismo. Meanwhile, there is one thing I am sure of. As long as the current dynasty continues ruling in Cuba, women will have very minimal possibilities of reaching positions of presidency. Of course, though, we must have faith that there is no evil that can last 100 years, nor a body that can withstand it.