In Argentina, the feminist movement is an ongoing movement; a continuous series of efforts made by a variety to improve the lives of women in Argentina and the world. Many of these women who contribute are writers, authors, and poets. A poet in particular, Alfonsina Storni, took steps to fight for women.Although individual efforts may have seemed small-like a short poem-and sometimes unsuccessful, in fact, it is obvious that women in Argentina have accomplished a lot. Traditionally, the status of women in Argentina was based on Spanish law: women considered themselves the property of the men of the family-young women under the authority of their parents and married women of their husbands. These attitudes had evolved in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries due to the influences of other cultures, especially French. Foreign ideas were seen as progressive and modern, and Spanish customs seemed old and outdated (Carlson 1988).
Literature played a big role in this transition. The richest and most educated Argentine women began to organize cultural meetings where people could gather and have informal discussions and enjoy music and poetry, as in Frances. Women influences like Alfonsina Storni attended.
Then, during the Argentine War of Independence of 1810-1818, many women managed the businesses and properties of their family so that men could help in the struggle. Some women provided the militia with food and nursing care. Other women raised money to support military efforts (Lavrin 1995). But, unfortunately, after the war, men continued with their normal lives and jobs, and there is not much changed in society.The law in Argentina classifies women in the same group as children, the disabled, and people with special needs. The women were under the legal supervision of their husbands, they had no unique legal identity of their husbands. Divorce was not allowed, and to achieve legal separation, a woman had to prove that her husband was crazy, and women had no defense against financial oversight (Carlson 1988).
As in the incredible and sad story of Candida Eréndira and her grandmother heartless by Gabriel Gárcia Márquez in 1972, when Erendira and her grandmother need money, one of the only available options is prostitution. Although this story was in Colombia, the situations for women in Argentina were similar.In fact, Argentina was a leader in Latin America in the work for women’s rights: the Argentine women’s movement began at the end of the 19th century, following the example of similar movements in other countries such as the United States and Europe in which Women organized and fought for the first time. Work to improve the lives of women, ultimately, for the betterment of society (Carlson 1988).Literature and especially, poetry, was an important factor in the struggle for equality. Alfonsina Storni was a very complex and interesting woman. She is originally from Switzerland where she was born in 1892, but soon after she moved to Argentina (Salgado 2003).
His poetry is undoubtedly contemporary and driven by feminism. Although Storni was only one of the many women who used literature to fuel the struggle for women’s rights, she won the title of “first feminist poet in Latin America.” His poem “Hombre pequeñito”, written in 1919, is a perfect example of why (Steenmeijer 2004).This poem is about a man who has his partner imprisoned, so she asks him to let her go.
The man does not let her “fly” because he has her imprisoned in their relationship. The relationship between the two does not work and the “little” man, as she calls it, holds her prisoner, that is, does not let her leave the relationship and controls her because she can not understand it. The “bird” that is the woman understands that no matter how much she tries to improve the relationship between both, nothing is going to change, and she does not really want to treat anything else. She simply wants freedom.
That is why he asks and pleads with him to please let her “fly”. She wants to continue with her life and follow her path, seek or try something new, because she understands that this relationship has no future.It is a very short poem that has three verses with four verses in each stanza, there is no rhyme or rhythm, and there is a critical and discontent tone. Use metaphors and repetitions, with the canary as the woman, and the repetition of “little man”.The main themes of this poem are freedom, equality of the sexes, and feminism. In the poem, the bird is a symbol of women in society, and because the bird is trapped in a cage, it is representative of the laws and treatment of women res for patriarchy. The bird simply wants man to let it fly, like women in society; They wanted men to recognize that women are equal to them and deserve the rights themselves.
The patriarchal society limits the ability of women to express themselves and exercise their unique voices. When Storni says, “I say little because you do not understand me, you will not understand me”, could be referring to how he does not try to work on their relationship and keeps it locked up as a property, as was the role of many women in Argentina before Eva Perón fought for suffrage later in the 20th century. The effect of Eva Perón on the condition of women in Argentina and their political life was decisive. A large number of women who cared little about women’s rights and the concerns of middle-class feminists got involved politically because of Eva (Lavrin 1995).
In all, the poem is very direct and to the point that men they should not have the ability to control the lives of women anymore. This idea can be seen in many of Storni’s famous works, and also from other feminist poets such as Sor Juana earlier. Although society in Argentina is not the same today, it is much more than in the past. Women have won rights such as voting, joint child custody, divorce, and more. Argentine women have fought, persevered and won small battles along the way, and I believe that collectively they have created an impressive story and worthwhile effort.
It is imperative, especially in today’s world, that women do not forget the contributions of those who preceded them. Like Alfonsina Storni, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Gabriel Gárcia Márquez and Eva Perón, women today need to act, no matter how big or small, to ensure and progress in our rights and realities in a patriarchal and macho society .Google Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorAbout Google TranslateCommunityMobile