Sexist Summer

Graphic+by+Angelica+Cruz.

Graphic by Angelica Cruz.

I don’t owe any man anything. I don’t know why men feel entitled to my body and my mind. Like I have a sign on my forehead that says “Free,” like a couch you see on a Sunday afternoon on the sidewalk. Have at me, muchachos. I am yours for the taking. Anything goes. Say what you want to me. Call me a bitch when I don’t respond to your stupid ass “Hey,” “Hola guapa” and “How are you babe?” These are all messages from bored, gross dudes who eventually got upset because I’d leave them on read on Messenger.

The Mexican Nationalist

This man was very upset with the fact that I did not cheer for the Mexican National Football team during the World Cup.

According to him, I was not supposed to cheer for a team that was not from Latin America. Anyone who knows me knows I am a proud Central American woman who identifies as Latina. Why would I automatically cheer for a team because they look like me? As someone who has followed soccer for more than 10 years, I look at the quality of the game not skin color, nationality, etc. I have been a Germany fan for the past three World Cups. For Ramiro to both insult me by saying I do not respect myself because I am not backing Mexico or that my non-fanaticism is tied to being a Central American is ignorant. He should look into why there is tension between Central Americans and the Mexican cohort (mistreatment of Central Americans when they cross through Mexico to come to the United States, complete erasure of Central American representation in the media, etc.) Add Ramiro calling Germans “Nazis” and we’ve got a comment that reeks of machismo and stupidity. I unfriended him.

On Instagram, some men also had things to say about my ethnicity and questions about why I supported a European team:

Somehow, Mr. Cienfuegos deemed himself more Latin than myself and not in solidarity with their teams because my pics for the cup were Germany, Spain, Portugal and Brazil (someone needed a lesson on geography on that last country) If you have read this far, you see how absurd it is for men to even be commenting on my posts this way, right? A Latin girl cannot have an opinion. I should root for certain teams by default because of my blood. I had better stick to Latin American teams because maybe I’m too dumb enough to analyze teams by skill. None of what I just typed is a reach. This is how I feel when men do this.

UPDATE: Mr. Cienfuegos messaged me and apologized, but I am still going to share how toxic this was for other women who may go through this.

The Sore Social Media King:

In this cute screenshot, you can see that a social media “influencer” by the name of @thedapperjuan felt it would be cool if he called me an attention seeker.

This man thought I was rooting for Germany for attention. If you visit my Instagram and Facebook, you will see a pattern of my opinions on social and political issues get me all the attention just by speaking my mind. I have a brain. I use it. I write about it. That is what these men cannot grasp in 2018: A Latina can root for whomever she wants, may they win or lose (and Germany lost badly.) Also, all of these people I have put on blast so far are Mexican, complaining about how a Central American does not back their team up. That in itself is sad and childish.

The Desperate and Controlling Psycho

Sad and childish men do not limit themselves to World Cup posts. This man wanted to take me to dinner. We spoke twice. Once in person and once for a brief time over the phone. He would text and call me throughout the day, multiple times. I would not answer. This all happened within a four-day span. I was scared. I was also done. One day, he hit me with this:

The Machista Cry Baby in Dodger Blue

Just because I add a stranger does not mean that I owe them a response. This “man” saw me as a mutual friend of others on Facebook and would message me a few times a day. His messages were not a nuisance, so I’d just ignored him. Then, this happened. Stranger or not, you do not get to call me a bitch unless you’re one of my close circle of friends, in which it always comes from an endearing place.
If you’re a heterosexual male and you’re calling me a bitch, I don’t care who you are. You’re unattractive, desperate and a mess.

The final machista moment I want to share is from a friend I made over Twitter. We were speaking for a few months and bonding over being Panamanian. Then rapper XXXTentacion died. I am a domestic violence survivor and spoke out about how he beat his ex-girlfriend… many of my followers were not happy. Some I knew personally, some I knew only over social media. They felt the need to comment on my posts where I linked articles or wrote my opinion about how glorifying an abuser just because he was famous and was shot.

“I want to see more integrity out of your posts. When you post nine posts complaining about four different issues, it becomes white noise.”
This “friend” had a beef with a photo I shared of Malcolm X. I captioned it as him being an exceptional leader and a great example of standing up for what is right as opposed to XXXTentacion who beat his exes and used utensils to torture one of them, as stated in her deposition.

According to Pitchfork,”… He slapped her and broke her iPhone 6S, because she had complimented a male friend on his new jewelry… later that day, XXXTentacion left the room and returned with two grilling implements—a ‘barbecue pitchfork’ and a ‘barbecue cleaner,’ she said—and told her to pick between them, because he was going to put one of them in her vagina. She chose the fork. He told her to undress. He was lightly dragging the tool against her inner thigh when she passed out. He did not penetrate her with it.”

My friend went on and said, “I’m all for supporting victims and holding abusers accountable, but I haven’t seen anything from you in support of the victim here, but I’ve seen quite a bit from you basically celebrating the murder of a 20 year old. I want to see more integrity from your posts. Save the rants for your blog. It’ll be more powerful when you utilize the moment to rant vs. constantly ranting.”

No one has any right to tell me how to feel about an abuser, no matter if he’s my ex-husband or a rapper that supposedly was a “good example” and “inspiration” for others, as his fans claimed.

I am a person who has an opinion about many issues facing people of color, women, politics and domestic violence. This summer showed that people stay bothered by my opinion of all the above, on top of something so normal as what soccer team I like. With all of the negativity and attempts to discredit or silence me, I also have lots of support from friends who tell me to keep speaking up. My column, Facebook and Instagram posts will NEVER be silenced.