"You're lucky to be Brazilian. Men don't diminish women in your country as they do here in the mountains, do they?" There I was in a small stone house at the Peruvian highlands, talking about men and women 'presence' in their society, when Rosa brings up this question. So... It doesn't matter where you live, after all. There are many ways that women are seen as 'less worthy' than men
As a Brazilian woman, whenever I go abroad, I see that men would look me in a different way when I say where I come from. If you talk to a man that is not accompanied by a woman, or a man that might be considered from a 'higher position' than you (workwise, moneywise, whatever), chances are people would think you're trying to seduce and get something from him, even if he is not thinking about it.
I've spent most of my time in small communities -where I don't notice this kind of misperception (with me) - in the recent years, so I'm not as used to deal with situations like these as I used to be many years ago when I was still in the fashion industry.
However, I faced something like this recently, and even though I consider myself a woman who wouldn't think twice before defending myself from these kind of people, I found myself trying to choose who I could talk to, so the person wouldn't have the wrong impression about me. But still, once the misconception is there in someone's head, it becomes so dangerous, strongly implicit and contagious, that anything you say could be used against you in court. You've been judged already. And there I was feeling as vulnerable as women from' less developed societies' feel. As vulnerable as a teenager girl that is being bullied would feel. And I didn't say anything because I felt it could be worse in that particular situation.
Then I came back home thinking: we work hard, we study our whole life, trying to prove ourselves and still.. how long will we be treated like this? and why do we choose not to say anything? Why didn't I?
So yes, Rosa. I'm Brazilian, you are Quechua and we are all women in a man's world. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀