The Mexican actress and star of ‘La Casa de las Flores’ believes that to end gender-based violence and femicide, men and institutions must promote a different concept of masculinity. Cecilia Suárez is a global advocate for the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative.
In a beautiful place in my country, Mexico, I wake up calm. I look out the window to see a huge green field and the dawn that breaks the night. There, still in the dark, I wonder: how does one wake up after the horror?
Not many nights ago, a friend from Madrid wrote to tell me that something had happened in our neighbourhood. Later, a Mexican friend told me by phone that something similar had happened in hers, in Mexico City. In both cases, women murdered by their partners, in the bosom of their home. We all already know the figures, the numbers, the excessive increase that arose from the pandemic, the slowness of the judicial institutions, the indignation, the anger, the disbelief.
I wonder again: is there something we don't know? Yes. What is the matter with men? Why is that not said, not spoken? Why so much pain? I am tired of hearing what women have to do - even how we should demonstrate or protest - I have never heard such demands made of men. Not even the smallest suggestion that they be responsible for their actions. Institutionally, that dialogue still remains closed. Which means this same dialogue remains unaddressed in private and intimate spheres.
Gentlemen, it is time to ask yourself: what does it mean to be a man? Why represent only one form of masculinity? What are they afraid of? What hurts them?
I often see men broken because they do not meet the model that society prescribes, but above all, because they do not have tools, not even basic ones, to see themselves in a different light that allows them to connect with their fragility and doubts. There is no map for tenderness, crying, softness, no way to free oneself from the yoke of being the strong provider.
Brothers, you and only you have the power to deconstruct and rebuild what it is to be a man. Ask yourself questions, be disturbed by what is going on, go to therapy, find circles of support, be brave enough to experience other ways of existing.
Authorities, we urgently need to create a new kind of masculinity. Do your homework. Women can't wait any longer.
Originally published in El Pais.