INT: Is there a Women's Liberation movement in Argentina? Is there any kind of interaction between
it and lesbians involved in the movement?
ANA: You must understand. The only women I ever met
whose feelings were mine was an older woman
when I was 17. She had a reputation for seducing
boys and girls. Depend on it, she was not a nice
woman. After that one experience I needed to
love her but I never saw her again.
Lesbianism is not an issue in Argentina because it does not exist. It is a monstrosity
that only degenerates practice. A person caught
acquires a reputation that separates her from
the others, except from her closest friend. Here
in the United States television and the newspapers speak of it. In my country, hardly a word.
Here you can find a bar. But there is no place,
and if there were, the police would shut it down
immediately. The progressive people speak of it
as a sickness.
As for the women's movement: to be liberated
means something else in Argentina. Personal qualities and talent are qualities which separate
some women from others. Most women still fulfill
their duties, their traditional tasks inside the
home, regardless of their profession outside.
Men still determine the roles. Directing the
house affairs is still a woman's art.
INT: You mean, liberated women?
ANA: To be liberated means to go to the University,
to become a lawyer, a professional. There are
exceptions, very few exceptions, but to be
liberated is shown by your clothes, the car
you personally drive.
So there is no women's movement in Argentina?
Not properly speaking. Argentina is the most
progressive in South America. But the issue has
not been defined in the way I see it defined
here. Its goals are limited by a strong tradition. Women do not see themselves as a minority
or oppressed group. They see themselves as individuals within a class.
Do you agree with that or not?
Whether I agree or not is unimportant. There
in Argentina you see another reality than
what you see here. More important, much more
important, than whether you are woman or man,
is what your name is and your class. The lower class, the working class, is by internal
standards, relatively poor. The economic situation has improved the past two years. At one
time our country was considered to be the next
emerging superpower. But no more. The bottom
class will, never be anything more than what it
is today without a revolution. Much of the middle class can advance only so far, even with
an education. My fai.iily belongs to the professional strata within the upper middle class.
We are not rich nor powerful, but we are more
comfortable than most. Beyond that, the cntre-
peneurs, the "aristocracy."
A thousand things separate classes in Argentina. The way your pronounce words indicates
immediately to another person your class standing. There are other differences, numerous.
But being a member of a particular class means
you will be treated as such.
You cannot escape from your class. You will
be there for life, though in some cases, if you
are talented, you can separate yourself more or jj
less from the class of your birth. But even then i
you will be remembered for having come from a-
nother class. And it will be those above you who
determine your status.
But you *nu3t remember that history makes different things of different nations. The United
States has a different reality because it had
different circumstances. As economic conditions
improve women's status within classes will be
So the women's movement is uninportarit?
No, I do not say that. But in South America,
much more than Argentina, extreme disparities
of wealth united with the fundamental fact of
underdevelopment outweights women's rights.
Poverty means something entirely different
in South America. It means that you do not
eat, th^t you and your children live in a one-
room shack, that your children probably
suffer permanent brain damage as a result of
insistent malnutrition. It means absolutely
no health care, since public hsalth clinics
in many countries are considered socialistic.
And it means, inevitably, violence, repression, and military domination of all political life.