"El Taino Vive!" Was one of the most memorable quotes of the night and words that truly conceptualize what this event was about (that and uh, "he ate my pussy with purpose.." How can you forget a poem that starts with "he ate my pussy with purpose"?) We were celebrating our history as Latin Americans, remembering our roots, discussing our multiple identities, and saying: we are still here. Death only occurs when something is forgotten. We are American, we are First Generation Americans, we are Latin@s, we are Gringos in the motherland and Immigrants in the US. All of these different labels affect who we are, and being as underrepresented as we are in the media, it was beautiful to see so many different shades of Brown united in an attempt to celebrate our art and our perspective.
This was the second Scarlet Event of writer, poet, and verbal rebel Mercedes Paola Frias, known to most of you as @MP.Frias on Instagram. I was fortunate to make it to her first event which celebrated women and our experience and which was limited only to women and family (those of you who know me know I wouldn't miss an event like that). This go around, though, the objective of the event was for people of all Latin Backgrounds to connect, find comfort in our similarities and discuss how we can be more tolerant of the differences- including gender and everything in between.
Feminism was a constant topic where we dissected everything from what the word itself means to defining what actions truly make you a feminist. Is Amber Rose truly a feminist? Is Beyonce? Is calling yourself a feminist enough? The crowd had plenty to say as well as the women on the panel. Basically, calling yourself a feminist is the first step, at least that's how I see it. Second are the feminist goggles that should come along with the title- not label - but title, something voluntary, something wanted. These goggles allow you to challenge the things you see and realize that conforming never brings true change. We agreed that Amber Rose IS a feminist, she is a woman who is unapologetic and that in itself is rebellion (not to mention her involvement in the Slutwalk). What is feminism if not a rebellion of archaic traditions? A battle for cambio. I am still on the fence about Beyonce, being that I believe that with great power comes great responsibility and so I judge her based on what she's not doing rather than what she's done. Everyone else had B's back, I have to admit, and stated that so long as feminism rings true with you, you are a feminist- love to break it to ya'. :) Stay tuned for a recap video, but in the meantime take a sneak peak into The Scarlet Event: A Celebration of Latino Expression. - Ay!
by: Ailyn K. Robles @ayyy_mujer
Update March 2016: Bey & I are on better terms. More than funding women centric organizations, which she has (but I'm sure its all chump change for her), she's used her main platform, her music, to send a message and to me there is no greater good than to use the skills or talents you have to inspire positive change, even if it means pissing some people off. ya, ahora si, I'm done. -Ay!