This week has been International Nurses Day, and I enjoyed writing about it from a feminist point of view. But I am not a nurse, so I asked my amazing friend Blanca to answer some questions for us! And despite working nonstop under these crazy circumstances she generously spent some time to share her experiences and her version of feminism with us!
* Have you always wanted to be a nurse? if so why? If not, what made you make that decision?
I was always interested in the sanitary root when I was studying in high school, and after all the exams I could not make it to the Medicine school, so I started nursing instead. Today I can say that was the right thing for me as I think a nursing approach fits me much more!
* What is the biggest challenge as a nurse?
Be respected. Many times nurses are undervalued and there is not enough investment in training because we are “just nurses”, but we stay 24/7 next to our patients and we are the main front line, not just now with this pandemic but every day under every circumstance.
That closeness with the patients should make our opinions more valued but very often we see them discarded without having a proper look into it. A lot of times we find out that we were right in the first place despise not had been listened to. It is a very frustrating feeling.
* Do you feel that Covid19 has changed the perception people have of nurses?
Yes, indeed. People have now more faith and trust nurses more than before. Let's just hope that we stay like this for a very long time.
* As a feminist nurse what are the stereotypes in your career and professional day to day that in your opinion need to be revised?
As a role very female-dominated I realise that sometimes it is hard for my male colleagues to fit in. I have met incredibly caring male nurses, amazing ones, that find difficult to do their jobs just because they are men.
Society needs to understand that men do not have to be always tough, always strong and showing no feelings; they can be caring and they can be gentle and in an incredible and amazing manner.
Now our feminist questionnaire:
What is Feminism for you?
That this is a very hard question for me. The concept of feminism itself keeps changing for me, and growing at the same time as I grow.
At this very moment, I am struggling a lot with white feminism, and feel that as a society we need much more than this! For me, feminism is about recognising privileges, starting with our own privileges as white women, and from that position, let the people more oppressed lead the way.
Which “everyday sexism” really bothers you?
Body-shaming and the impact that those female stereotypes have on the female population, especially the young ones.
Just a couple of days ago I heard about how Adele looks absolutely fantastic with all the weight-loss and how that would let her properly success as if she hadn't before.
Feels crazy the idea of not identifying as successful a multi-awarded woman who fills stadiums in her concerts until she is skinny. This really bothers me.
Do you remember when you start identifying as a Feminist and why?
Not really, but my mother used to say that when I was a little girl I used to add long hair to the male characters in school to make them females, so I guess it has been there forever!
I am aware that my thoughts were very influenced by the patriarchy, and it is taking a lot to deconstruct them and built them again, and it is an ongoing process, the more I learn about feminism and meet diverse people. I am still on a journey!
Who is your biggest feminist role model?
Marie Curie. I have always been very much into science, very male-dominated. I remember being very happy when I first heard about her in one of my chemistry classes in high school.
What is your favourite Feminist quote?
“Is Feminist, not Feminazi!” (Seen in an 8 of March Feminist day banner, with a picture of Hermione Granger. I am a huge Harry Potter fan!).
What is your proud feminist victory?
I do not consider any step I take on on my feminist fight bigger or smaller than another. I believe they are all part of my whole transformation into a more tolerant, respectful and feminist person; and that whole picture is my greatest victory.
What is your feminist recommendation?
Book:This is a very difficult question! I am going to recommend a book of a very strong female character, with an amazing story: “Tell me who I am” from Julia Navarro.
TV show:Also a tough one! Mostly because many of them are not lead by females... but I would say “The Morning Show” produced by Reese Witherspoon, who is very active at the moment trying to give a voice to female writers and producers.
Film:My favourite film will always be Amelie. It gives a very sweet voice to all of us who are considered weird and broken.
What is your feminist call of action to whoever is reading?
Try to listen more, to read more, and to try to remove the patriarchy glasses that society has put on every one of us.
May 15, 2020
Yay for nurses may you be heard and considered from now on!!!