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Here's what these Buenos Aires girls think about community

Feb. 20, 2018
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This article is part of a recurring Crybaby Zine feature in which Crybaby writers interview girls in different cities about topics relating to that month’s theme. For their Community Issue, Anna White interviewed these Buenos Aires girls on the subject of community.  

Is your inner community intergenerational? Why or why not?

My community isn’t really intergenerational. In my group of friends the ages vary from 18 to 20, but because I live far from my family I don’t really interact with people of other generations.  Also because I don’t usually share interests and ideals with older generations. 

What does it take to collaborate intergenerationally?

I think it’s important that my generation tries to help older generations leave behind old ways of thinking regarding things that are currently trying to become normalized (for example: gay marriage). 

Are there any movements you are involved in in your community?

Yes—I’m a feminist, and I consider myself a part of all that the movement involves. Within my circle, the majority of us consider ourselves feminists, and our values are based around the principles of feminism. 

When you think of a community you are a part of, what holds it together? Religion, common goal, identity, common risk?

What keeps us together is our common goal: the idea of gender equality [and] the fight against the stigmatization and objectification of women. 

Are you part of any minority communities (not just ethnicity) and do you feel welcomed and accepted within that group?

Yes, because I consider being a woman being part of a symbolic minority (since we’re speaking of non-numerical minorities)—we have less privileges than the people that identify as heterosexual men, and the creation of the system that gives them these privileges ignores the rights of women. I’m also a part of the LGBT+ community, and although I personally feel comfortable with this, it doesn’t mean that it’s not an oppressed, minority community. 

What does it take to collaborate intergenerationally?

Listening and respect. Sometimes we can have preconceptions, like that older people are boring or “ortivas”, as we say here. But when you spend time together, like I did in the political organization, you realize that there aren’t that many differences. We can learn a lot from each other. 

For example, in the political organization, we have something we call the “gender front”, a space for coming together and speaking about problems relating to gender. We also look for possible solutions and try to apply them in our neighborhoods. In the gender front, we have one member who is 76 years old. One might think that a woman of her age wouldn’t understand about gender identity, biological sex, sexual diversity, gender violence, etc. But yes! She is a psychologist specializing in all of these problems and helps us a lot. She brings us a lot of material to read.

When you think of a community you are a part of, what holds it together? Religion, common goal, identity, common risk?

Of the communities I am a part of, there is definitely a common goal. At school, we all want to learn, study, and feel welcome. In the political organization, the common goal is helping one another use the political as the weapon that it is: a possible means for generating social change.

In my neighborhood, with the neoliberal government that we have to live with today, we make spaces for people to get legal advice; we get cheaper food to sell so that people don’t spend their whole paycheck at the grocery store. 

At school, for example, it is important to know that even though it is a public university, we as students can ask for more: we don’t have to “get used” to working in poor conditions just because “it is the UBA [University of Buenos Aires]”. It can be better; it needs to be both a public university and better quality. This consciousness can incentivize the students, and those transformations that we need to bring forward—this is the political, working together towards a common goal.

Are you part of any minority communities (not just ethnicity) and do you feel welcomed and accepted within that group?

Not a minority community, but one that is often harmed. I am a woman, and being a woman is resisting every day. But I feel accepted; more and more, we understand the concept of “sisterhood”. 

In Argentina, for the past 32 years, there has been a National Women’s Meeting. It is done in a different province every year, and they work for three days on many issues related to women. This work is done by sharing experiences, listening to each other and debating in different workshops. This year there were 71 workshops, among which were [workshops that dealt with topics like these]: sex workers; transgender people, transsexuals; women and healthy relationships; women and lesbianism; women, contraceptives and abortion, etc.