The girls of Camp GLOW (Girls leading our world) had such insightful questions, and while few things teenagers ask ever surprise me, I was shocked by this question:

How can I reduce machismo and feminismo(feminism)?

The girl who posed the question viewed feminismo (feminism) as equally oppressive asmachismo, which refers to the patriarchal forces in Latin America.

Machismo reinforces heteronormative gender expectations of men and women: Men are breadwinners, while women should take care of the home. At its most non-violent, machismo reinforces rigid gender roles. At its most violent, machismo normalizes violence against women.The Gender Index found that 70% of Nicaraguan women have experienced some form of violence. Rapes and femicides make the nightly news regularly.

I knew that machismo was a societal problem, but I didn’t expect feminism to have a bad wrap at a girls’ camp. The girls taught me to ask them what they wanted to know. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have thought to address this misconception.

Find out the misconceptions we cleared up about feminism, and the three lessons girls taught me about empowerment in my Wanderful post!


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