Opinion - Bolivia

María Galindo

Reading time: 3 minutes



Essential feminist bibliography or dare to read feminism

I take this opportunity to pass on this bibliography to you for the next course on feminism that I will teach in any venue, school, bookstore, self-managed home or neighborhood.

The last time I gave a talk in Buenos Aires, at the end, a young woman with an innocent air asked me what bibliography should she read to do feminism. She mentioned sadly that in her University there were no books on feminism and that, besides Silvia Federici, she had not found anything. I was clumsy in my answer. The question made a lot of sense, but it immediately upset me because I found it insulting. I told her bluntly: if there’s nothing to read in your University, perhaps that University should be left empty.

But I felt bad, I know that the blow was unfair, I know that she left with a taste of disgust, that’s why I want to publicly apologize to her and pass on this essential feminist bibliography.

At the same time, I take this opportunity to pass on this bibliography to you for the next course on feminism that I will teach in any venue, school, bookstore, self-managed home or neighborhood.

I propose that you read your mother’s body, her stretch marks, her wrinkles, her ailments, her shame, her inhibitions, her nervous tics, her outbursts of anger and melancholy, which are expressed in her pupils and eyelids, in her eyebrows.and nose. Read her white hair, her baldness, her forehead and her sagging tits.

I suggest you go out to the street and read it. Yes, to read it, not to walk in it, to read it. May you read its colors, its smells, its urine, its dirt, its walls, its sidewalks, and collect, as if it were archaeological material of great value, all the fatigue that accumulates in the corners.

I suggest that you read the money you touch: the 100, the 300, the 500 pesos that are no longer enough for anything; don’t read the letters on the bill or the figure of Eva Perón, Sor Juana or Juana Azurduy that they carry, but  read the traces it contains, the traces of those who tried before you to spend that money, to buy bread, to pay a debt, to save for rent.

I suggest that you read the essential places in your city, such as the women’s prison, the square, the market. Can you imagine if by reading the prison you could understand the women who live there, the wonderful amount of knowledge you would acquire? Who lives there, what do they think, what do they imagine, what is the concept of freedom with which they wake up?

I suggest that you take a bus or the subway and sit in any worn-out place and let the verbs of those who previously sat there in search of something they never found penetrate your ass; verbs like wish, verbs like search, verbs like wait. May you read and experience the seat until your anus itches from understanding it so much. You will discover that objects have life, they accumulate history and knowledge that must be learn to reveal.

I propose that you read life, reality, the neighborhood, the women’s eyes, their mouths, their clothes, their nails. I suggest that you read the objects that make up the architecture of our daily life, the market bag, its smell and its wear, the coffee maker, the kitchen, the entrance floor.

I propose that you read yourself in depth. With this essential bibliography you can come to my feminism course to depatriarchize society.

P.S. You can complete this incomplete list of readings yourself with other characters such as the grandmother, the aunt or the crazy woman from the neighborhood. Other places like public bathrooms or the train station, the cemetery or the traces of blood and semen at night1.


1 This article was first published in MU, a monthly newspaper produced by the Lavaca cooperative in Buenos Aires.


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