Feminists that say “no” to religious intolerance

Intolerância religiosa na Marcha das Vadias.

Last Saturday, during the Pope’s visit in Rio de Janeiro, there was a “collision” of two marches: the Slut Walk feminists and the Youth World Journey catholics met (link to a Portuguese newspaper reporting that).

One of the claims of the first group is the Secular State in Brazil (which is promised by the Constitution but doesn’t happen on real life).

Part of the protesters then thought it would be a good way to make that point by crashing Virgin Mary statues and using crosses as sexual objects, under the horrified eyes of the religious people from the second group.

Are the Catholic church dogmas oppressing? Yes, a lot, specially when it comes to women sexuality and reproductive rights. When those dogma go together with politics, it’s a disaster…

But disrespecting religious symbols considered sacred to some, although they might mean nothing to you, is an idiotic way to protest.

It is the kind of protest that perpetrates hate, violence and intolerance – the exact kind of thing the the feminist movement has been fighting for so many years.

What happened on the Slut Walk was a big mistake.

The bare breasts, a symbol of a message of freedom and tolerance to women’s bodies, now run the media (and people’s imaginary)  associated with women with covered faces, like criminals, breaking everything around them.

Such a pity…

This is a repudiation blog post. It doesn’t undo what these people do, doesn’t erase the shaming pictures from the newspapers (and certainly won’t reach as many people), doesn’t reverse the offenses.

But, at least, it states that these people don’t represent us, these images don’t picture us and that we, the feminists, repudiate these acts and all forms of violence, hate and intolerance.

Obviously, I can’t speak for all the feminists. One of the things about this movement is that it’s horizontal. But feminism is an inclusive movement, it is for catholics and atheists, for women and men, for all who believe that women shouldn’t be subjugated nor subtracted of their rights for being women.

I, as a faithful person (although not a catholic), felt the need to record the voice of the feminists who say “no” to religious intolerance.

Photo: from here.

Update: here goes a link to another feminist and her view on what happened (in Portuguese) named “The saints that have been breaking us” from which I quote “If we can take some lesson out of the show which was considered a religious intolerance display (and they are right, I think), I believe it would be that we have a selective perspective on things we consider unacceptable on our society” (talking about how easily we feel horrified at the disrespect of Catholic symbols but don’t see much problem when a Christian mayor forced a Umbanda church for no reason.


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