‘‘Girls, who run the world,” sings the chorus of Beyoncé’s hit 2011 single “Run the World (Girls). Maybe so, but since it is not every day that we see equality for women moving forward, the idea of feminism can strike some as an abstract idea. Glancing over our history, it is easy to follow the path of feminism on the surface: women fighting for the right to leave the realm of household work, battling for the right to vote and still struggling to receive equal pay for their work. As the country celebrates National Women’s History Month, is feminism just an abstract idea within that history? Three New Mexico activists say the answer is no.
Jessica Montoya, outreach and education coordinator at Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families, was born and raised in Santa Fe. She has been involved with the annual One Billion Rising event that is part of V-Day and feels that “feminism is thriving in our community in Santa Fe.” She can easily point to her own role models, including author, activist and former Albuquerque Journal editor Demetria Martinez, who was once charged with conspiracy for helping two women immigrate to the United States from Mexico. Martinez argued that she was simply interviewing and accompanying these women for a story she was writing. Montoya said Martinez’s story shows that being a feminist sheds light on the fact that we are also human beings who care about one another.
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