Hi, I'm Patricia, from Venezuela. I once thought that feminism was unnecessary, now I consider myself 100% feminist. You can ask me anything on how I changed my mind!

Patricia Graziani
Jun 18, 2017

When I was a little younger, I didn't understand what feminism was about. I thought that feminist were just a bunch of mad women who hated men. Also, I thought that it wasn't necessary fighting towards women's rights because I felt like we had them all. 

As I grew older and started reading more I noticed that women are not as empowered as I thought we were. I started feeling the typical misogynist, sexist and "macho" behaviors in Latin America, specifically in Venezuela. I started worrying more about this social issue. 

Although there are some things about modern feminism that I don't share, I consider myself 100% feminist and try to be as critical as possible with this theme.

You can ask me anything on how I changed my mind and my perception about modern feminism.

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Conversation (136)

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My biggest problem with feminism is the man hating. I love strong women, I just don't think men are a lesser species. I beleive we work well together. Love the AMA! 

Jun 19, 6:54PM EDT0

What are those 'things' you said you don't agree with regarding modern feminism?

Jun 19, 5:14AM EDT0

Well, I've seen some feminists hating men and promoting hate even towards women. 

For example, I've seen some feminists saying that white women shouldn't call themselves feminists because of their privileges. I think feminism isn't an exclusive movement. It is an inclusive one and we all should be allowed be part of this.

Of course, I do think it needs more participation from all women: trans, African, Asian, Latinas, Muslims, etc. But excluding other people, no matter what, is not a choice for me.

I know this hate is not the norm, but sadly the bad things are what give something a wrong perception. 

Jun 19, 10:05AM EDT0

I get what you mean. You're right; sometimes white woman get it, too. 

Jun 19, 10:24AM EDT0

Are you harrassed for your feminist views?

Jun 18, 9:24AM EDT22

I'm not always harassed, but there was a time where people called me a feminazi, men-hater, disgusting, sick girl, etc. 

And it is funny because of that time, when I was so insulted, I realized I was a feminist and I needed to assume it. 

Jun 18, 9:01PM EDT9
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Where in the world are women most equally viewed?

Jun 17, 6:25AM EDT0

I don't know if I'm idealistic or something, but I think Europe is where women are viewed most equally.

Jun 18, 8:59PM EDT0

Do you volunteer at any women's shelters in Venezuela?

Jun 16, 2:40AM EDT0

No, I don't. I would love to and now that I have more free time I'm looking towards this kind of experience!

Jun 18, 8:58PM EDT0

Are there any stereotypical men's jobs in Venezuela?

Jun 15, 5:05PM EDT0

Yes. The successful businessman who needs to provide his family. Also, men are always associated with scientist and hard-work careers. 

Jun 18, 9:05PM EDT0

How old are you at this point in time?

Jun 15, 2:17PM EDT0

I'm 19 years old. I'm turning 20 on September.

Jun 15, 8:58PM EDT0

What would you tell men who are struggling to understand feminism?

Jun 15, 7:42AM EDT0

I would tell them— and it's what I always say to men who do not understand feministm— that it's a mutual fight. We both women and men need to fight against sexism and gender roles that oppress us. I've always thought that not only women are affected by this gender issue. Men are also pressured by all theses stereotypes. 

Jun 18, 9:07PM EDT0

Do any of your friends share your feminist views?

Jun 15, 7:21AM EDT0

Yes, actually most of my friends share some of my feminist views with me. It is really nice, to be honest. We have healthy discussions all the time. But, of course, we have our differences. 

Jun 18, 9:08PM EDT0

How old were you when you decided that you were a feminist?

Jun 15, 5:17AM EDT0

I didn't decide being a feminist. During the last two years I've learned a lot of things and it made me closer to the feminist movement. However, I accepted myself as a feminist when I was almost 19 years old, a year ago.

Jun 15, 9:01PM EDT0

Are there any difficult life experiences you feel comfortable sharing that have affected your views on feminism?

Jun 15, 4:35AM EDT0

Compared to other's people experiences, mine are really nothing. I think my views have been affected by everyone's experiences, including mine. 

Jun 18, 9:12PM EDT0

What is the main thing that made you become a feminist?

Jun 15, 3:07AM EDT0

There are many things that made me become a feminist. But if I have to resume it in one thing, I would say it was the injustice. 

Last edited @ Jun 18, 9:13PM EDT.
Jun 18, 9:13PM EDT0

Are there any jobs that are usually left for women to do?

Jun 15, 1:07AM EDT0

Home jobs, almost every level of teaching, beauty-related jobs, and some others are usually left for women. I think it's mostly related to the "soft spirit" of women and their "love to homes". 

Jun 18, 9:16PM EDT0

Are feminist ideals taught in schools in Venezuela?

Jun 14, 9:48PM EDT0

Lack of education in Venezuela is a really big problem, actually. In schools (not all of them) teachers barely talk about sexual education. It is reaaaaally hard feminist ideals being taught in schools. 

Fact about me: I would love being a teacher some time in my life. I would enjoy a lot talking about this kind of topics. 

Jun 18, 9:18PM EDT0

Where are you living at in this point in time?

Jun 14, 9:20PM EDT0

I'm still living in Venezuela. I'm sorry if I made you think that I wasn't living here anymore :( I guess it's the way I wrote the title. So sorry.

Jun 14, 9:41PM EDT0

What topics are of the most importance to feminists?

Jun 14, 7:07PM EDT0

There are a lot of topics, it mostly depends on the type of feminist you are. 

For me, is really important talking about rape culture, domestic violence, equal education, sexual education, unhealthy women beauty ideals. Also, I always talk about how sexism also affects men. It is important for me looking towards real equality.

Last edited @ Jun 19, 3:20PM EDT.
Jun 14, 9:40PM EDT0

If you could say one sentence about feminism, as an explanation, what would it be?

Jun 14, 4:25PM EDT0

"We are ALL together for a fair world". 

This one was hard, but I liked it, haha. 

Jun 18, 9:20PM EDT0

Do you feel the Venezuelan government is supportive of feminism?

Jun 14, 4:10PM EDT0

Nope, not at all. This government is terrible in every single way possible. They don't even care about providing people food. 

You can check out if you want to my other AMA to learn more about the Venezuelan government. 

Jun 18, 9:21PM EDT0

Are there any men in your life who you feel you've helped understand feminism?

Jun 14, 9:17AM EDT0

I think I've helped my boyfriend understanding feminism. He is still kind of closed to the movement, but he understands it. 

Jun 18, 9:23PM EDT0

Are men paid more than women in Venezuela?

Jun 14, 6:11AM EDT47

I haven't experienced this directly, but according to a study, there's a 34% wage gap between genders in Venezuela.

Jun 18, 9:24PM EDT20
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What does feminism mean to you as a Venezuelan?

Jun 14, 3:06AM EDT0

As a Venezuelan, it means being strong and challenging a really sexist culture. It means wanting to be different, not just a copy of our Misses. It means being independent. 

Jun 18, 9:26PM EDT1

What did your family think about you being a feminist?

Jun 13, 11:18PM EDT0

They don't have any thought of me being a feminist (or that's what I think, haha). I just know that sometimes they think I'm a rebel and not so feminine. 

Jun 18, 9:27PM EDT0

Do men or women earn most of the home's income in Venezuela?

Jun 13, 10:53PM EDT0

Men are most likely to work in Venezuela because there's the typical "women need to be in their houses". But it always depends on the family, their social class and they lifestyle. It's not the norm, I think. 

Jun 18, 9:29PM EDT0

What was it exactly that changed your mind about feminism?

Jun 13, 10:21PM EDT0

Last year I started identifying myself with some feminism's statements. One day I was on Twitter and people were literally freaking out thanks to a Spanish hashtag saying "#MiCuerpoMiDecisión" (it means "my body, my decisions"). Some girls uploaded pictures of their hairy legs/armpits and, believe me, people were insulting them in a way I didn't understand.

However, as a funny and ironical girl, I tweeted a message saying something like: "What? Why are you so concerned about girls leaving their legs hairy? Are you afraid of us being hairier than you?". BOOM. My Twitter exploded. 

I received so much hate that I wouldn't believe it. They called my sick, disgusting, "AIDS carrier" (I found this sad because it's not even an insult to me), men-hater, etc, etc. I realized that if people is so concerned about such a little and personal thing, of course they're going to be scared of powerful and successful women. I felt I needed to start reading and learning more about this issue. 

Jun 18, 9:35PM EDT0

Are there any women in your life who struggle to accept feminism?

Jun 13, 5:30PM EDT0

Well, my grandmother is really sexist and she struggles a little understanding it. But there's nothing I can do. There's a great generational difference. 

Jun 18, 9:44PM EDT0

Are women accepted into college at the same rate as men in Venezuela?

Jun 13, 5:18PM EDT0

Yes! We both men and women are accepted in college. 

Jun 18, 9:43PM EDT0

How prevalent are sexual crimes and violence toward women in Venezuela?

Jun 13, 2:01PM EDT0

According to a study, last year more women were killed under sex crimes than regular violence. It is a lot to say because more than 24K people were killed in Venezuela last year. Also, trans women are so affected by sex crimes it's really sad to see it. 

However, there's a problem. Media (most of it bought by the government) does not show all these murders and crimes. There's a big censorship that doesn't allow people to really know what the numbers are. 

Jun 18, 9:39PM EDT0

In Venezuela, what actions do you see that are being taken towards gender equality?

Jun 13, 9:39AM EDT0

None. Venezuela is immersed in an incredible crisis and this kind of problems are left behind. You can check out my last AMA to learn more about Venezuelan crisis. 

Jun 18, 9:40PM EDT0

Do you have any children, and are you going to teach them about feminism?

Jun 13, 8:43AM EDT0

No, I'm really young and I cannot think about having children under the crisis we're living in Venezuela. 

However, if I ever have children, I would definitely teach them about this movement but not in a doctrinal way, just with an educational purpose. 

Jun 18, 9:41PM EDT0

Was your father more influencial on you than your mother?

Jun 13, 7:51AM EDT0

I think both of my parents were equally influential. They both are wonderful people and I love what they taught me. 

Jun 19, 10:07AM EDT0

What do you think are some of the most important issues the world is tackling regarding feminism and gender equality?

Jun 13, 7:44AM EDT0

I think rape culture is one of the worst issues in the world. It affects women worldwide. Also, I think equal education is an important issue we have to deal with. 

Jun 19, 3:21PM EDT0

Do you have a group of like minded friends that meet?

Jun 13, 5:47AM EDT0

No, I don't. But whenever I meet with my friends, who are not necessarily feminists, we talk about this topic. 

Jun 19, 3:19PM EDT0

Do you have any friends who are feminists?

Jun 13, 5:06AM EDT0

Yes, I have one or two feminists friends.

Jun 19, 3:18PM EDT0

Did any of your family of friends alienate you for your new views?

Jun 13, 3:22AM EDT0

No, my family and my friends are very comprehensive. But sometimes they just joke around about my opinions, but it doesn't bother me. I won't make me stop talking about something so important. 

Jun 19, 3:23PM EDT0

How do you feel about the Venezuelan media regarding feminism?

Jun 12, 10:37PM EDT0

Terrible. One of the things that bother me the most about Venezuela's culture is the image of the women. Venezuela is the well-known country of the beautiful women, but they don't show a real beauty. 

I don't see representation. I don't see an empowerment that goes beyond beauty. The outside is what matters. 

Jun 19, 3:32PM EDT0

Are you excluded from events from being a feminist now?

Jun 12, 7:23PM EDT0

No, no, I am not. 

Jun 19, 3:33PM EDT0

Are there any men in your life you've seen transform their views towards feminism?

Jun 12, 6:59PM EDT0

Some friends of mine and my boyfriend have changed their opinions on feminism. They are more open to this movement and I always talk to them about this. 

Jun 19, 3:36PM EDT0

Did you slowly become a feminist or was it over just a month or two?

Jun 12, 6:05PM EDT0

I slowly became a feminist. I think changing your opinion requires introspection and being critical of yourself and the society. 

Jun 19, 3:35PM EDT0

Were boys and girls treated differently when you went to school?

Jun 12, 3:17PM EDT0

Yes. I studied in a Catholic school, so they were really strict with girls, but weren't with boys in that way. By example, as uniform, we used skirts, so teachers were always chasing after us to wear long skirts so boys didn't distract. 

Also, in Physics Education, boys were demanded to do harder activities, while girls didn't have to do those, just for being boys. 

Jun 19, 3:41PM EDT0

What is the biggest problem for women in this world?

Jun 12, 3:07PM EDT0

There's a lot of problems for women and I think we all know it. But if I had to say that one of those is the biggest, I would say it's our right to decide what to do with our lives and not being chased just because we're women. 

Jun 19, 3:43PM EDT0

What would you like to be done to move women forward in the workplace?

Jun 12, 2:31PM EDT0

I think I would like giving women more opportunities for participating and playing bigger roles in the workplace. I feel like there's a fear of being bossed by a woman, at least in Venezuela that's a fear.

Jun 19, 3:46PM EDT0

Are children more reared by women in Venezuela?

Jun 12, 2:25PM EDT0

Yes, totally. In Venezuela— as in any other countries— the main role of the women belongs to the house and their kids, while men's role is providing to their family. So, yes, while men are working, women are raising their children. 

Jun 19, 3:50PM EDT0

Were you raised to not be in the feminine mindset?

Jun 12, 2:12PM EDT0

I think I was raised to be in the feminine mindset, but as I grew up I changed a bit about what I think is feminine. 

Jun 19, 4:20PM EDT0

Do your views affect how you are treated in the workplace?

Jun 12, 1:19PM EDT0

Well, I'm currently working freelance. So nope, I'm not affected at all, hahaha. 

However, in my last job, it didn't affect me. People just thought I was a hippie and an idealist. But it didn't affect me at all. 

Jun 19, 3:53PM EDT0

Are women able to get into politics in Venezuela?

Jun 12, 12:06PM EDT0

Yes, we are able to get into politics. But the sexism is so strong that sometimes it's hard being taken seriously.

Jun 18, 8:55PM EDT0

Do you have any younger sisters you talk about feminism with?

Jun 12, 12:05PM EDT0

No, I don't :-( I would love to. But I have two little brothers and Iwant to teach them about feminism and gender equality.

Jun 18, 8:54PM EDT0

Is feminism not the norm in areas in Venezuala?

Jun 12, 11:45AM EDT0

No, it is not. Venezuela is a really male chauvinist country. 

Jun 19, 3:55PM EDT0

How long did you live in Venezuela for?

Jun 12, 11:19AM EDT0

I'm still living in Venezuela :( I'm sorry if I made you think something else, I guess it's how I wrote the title.

However, I'm 19 years old and I've been living in Venezuela for, um, exactly 19 years and 8 months. Hahaha.

Jun 14, 9:44PM EDT0

Do women have the right to vote in Venezuela?

Jun 12, 11:15AM EDT0

Yes, women in Venezuela can vote since 1947.

Jun 14, 9:45PM EDT0

Is there a wage gap between genders in Venezuela like there is in the United States?

Jun 12, 11:07AM EDT0

Yes, there's a 34% wage gap between genders in Venezuela.

Jun 18, 8:53PM EDT0

What feminist actions should the Venezuelan government take?

Jun 12, 10:02AM EDT0

Well, I think the first feminist action should the government take is to leave. Seriously, we are in a terrible crisis and we have nothing to do with this government. 

You can check out my last AMA to learn more about this crisis.

Jun 19, 3:58PM EDT0

Were you treated differently than male family members?

Jun 12, 9:29AM EDT0

Sometimes I was. Especially when it comes to talking about relationships and that kind of things. 

Jun 19, 4:14PM EDT0

How many people were there in your family?

Jun 12, 9:08AM EDT0

My family is reaaaaally big. But my close family— let's call it like that— is composed by 10 people, I think.

Jun 18, 8:49PM EDT0

Are there any women in your family who are feminists?

Jun 12, 8:24AM EDT0

Ummm, I think none of the women in my family is a declared modern feminist, I guess. But a lot of them have thoughts on women empowerment.

Jun 18, 8:48PM EDT0

How does it make you feel when you see other women dismissing feminism?

Jun 12, 5:45AM EDT0

It makes me feel kind of sad, but at the same time I know that I once thought feminism was unnecessary. It's a matter of education and wanting to know more about a topic.

Jun 18, 8:46PM EDT0

Are men given more preferencial treatment in the workplace?

Jun 12, 4:36AM EDT0

Umm, I don't really know. I haven't experienced this, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it does not happen. 

Jun 19, 4:17PM EDT0

Do you feel that Venezuelan pop culture exhibits healthy feminist ideals, or not?

Jun 12, 3:47AM EDT0

Nope, not at all. The idea of women empowerment, according to pop culture, is a woman who is beautiful (following the stereotypes of the Misses), is able to get a rich man and is willing to sacrifice her life to her children.

Also, I think Venezuelan pop culture glorifies the "I'm more masculine if I have a lot of women". Women are shown as a product to be consumed, just a pretty thing.

Jun 14, 9:26PM EDT0

Do men mistreat their wives in Venezuela?

Jun 12, 3:31AM EDT59

Yes. Domestic violence is a real problem in Venezuela. There's a saying that goes like this: "Beat me but don't leave". Some people take it as a joke, but I think it normalizes the abuses.

Fact: according to an organization, 50% of women in Venezuela suffer of domestic violence.

Jun 18, 8:42PM EDT15
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Did you have more brothers than you did sisters?

Jun 12, 3:13AM EDT0

I only have two brothers (15 and 2 years old), but I don't have any sister.

Jun 13, 9:06AM EDT0

Do you have a relationship with someone in your life who is also a feminist?

Jun 12, 2:29AM EDT0

Yes, I have a really close friend who is also a feminist. My boyfriend has some points of view close to feminism, but he does not consider himself a feminist.

Jun 14, 9:10PM EDT0

Has anybody in your life made an impact on you and your feelings about feminism?

Jun 12, 2:09AM EDT0

Umm, I think almost everyone in my life made an impact on my feelings about feminism. Some people have taught me about women empowerment— not in a direct way necessarily— and some other people have shown me the sexism around me.

One of those people is my dad. He has always taught me that I need to be treated right, that I don't need no man, and that I always need to look towards to get my degree. But he also has some sexists attitudes that I don't share with him.

Jun 18, 8:39PM EDT0

How long have you been a feminist for?

Jun 12, 2:02AM EDT0

I cannot say that I have been a feminist for a determined time. Before I accepted myself as a feminist, I had some points of view that matched with this movement. But I can say that I "declared" myself part of feminism almost a year ago. 

Jun 13, 9:03AM EDT0

How many of your friends who are feminists have experienced a similar transformation?

Jun 12, 12:41AM EDT0

I don't really know. I think most feminists experience this kind of transformation. We all are raised in a certain way and we think that this kind of movement is not necessary. As the years pass by, we start feeling those gender issues that affect not only women but also men. It's a process. 

Jun 13, 9:01AM EDT0

How old were you when you first accepted feminism?

Jun 12, 12:25AM EDT0

I think I accepted myself as a feminist almost a year ago. I was 18 years old, almost 19. 

Jun 13, 8:57AM EDT0