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Por Mariel Fiori
March 2022
Welcome (Bienvenides) everyone to the March issue of La Voz Magazine. What’s with the whole “e” thing (many still wonder). 

It is my way, as well as other millions of Spanish language speakers , to express various things, such as inclusion. And is it that “gender oppresses” some say out there. This thing about the masculine gender being the gender we use by default to supposedly refer to all of humanity is getting old. Some would prefer to change all the words that express gender in people to the “a”, stop saying, for example, in a job advertisement, “looking for a Director of…” and say instead “looking for a Director of…”. Of course, I support them. I support them because it is an obvious way of highlighting that what we took for granted, immovable as a natural law, it no longer runs, it bothers us. 

As I wrote more than once here, language shapes our way of thinking. So when we get tired of the patriarchy- which we breath it daily and it afflicts us all men, women, and non-binary people- we decide to take steps to get rid of those old-fashioned claws. Go on and look for books written in English or Spanish that are ten years old or older, and tell me how many times you find the word child to refer to both girls and boys in general (or boy instead of genderless child). 

What other phrases or expressions that erase half of humanity with a stroke of the pen are found out there? This is a good exercise to refresh our memory that everything changes, like Mercedes Sosa sings “changes the superficial, also changes the deep”. OK, Mariel, what about the “e”? The “e” is easy to pronounce, both written and read, unlike the “x”, which in English looks really good in the word Latinx rather than in Spanish, and even more to the people that don’t speak English, these are unpronounceable. Passing to the “a” to generalize I support it as well, but in this moment I think that the “e” helps to break with the defect and incidentally includes men, women, and non-binary people. In fact, for more precision, some people would rather express everything in groups of three: “todas, todos y todes”. Certainly it’s more precise, but less economical in terms of space. For that reason, I apologize in advance for not writing in triumvirates (perhaps I use it in oral language but less so in writing).

If someone is uncomfortable with this way of expressing themselves, I say two things: one that that is the point, to make us uncomfortable, to get us out of the drowsiness, to make us think. And the other is that our irrepressible addiction to fossil fuels, to gas, to oil, to plastic, to single-use plastic bottles, to imported products manufactured on the other side of the world, who knows under what conditions, transported across the ocean by gigantic ships that run on gasoline, just like the trucks that deliver them from distribution centers, unfairly located in the "poor" neighborhoods where we immigrants, Hispanics, blacks, “minorities”, who get sick from polluted air, but we continue and continue buying more plastics and more things. This addiction has to stop now. The Earth is already taking its toll on us, with the global ecological crisis, with the pandemic/endemic, and now with a war inUkraine that makes us sad. All of that makes me mad and uncomfortable. What are we doing about it? It is time to detox from this collective addiction.

I think I went off topic, although of course, everything has to do with everything. Whether you want it or not: we are all united. 

For now, I welcome you all, once again, to the March issue of La Voz. 

Come, read and share what you learn around here!

Mariel Fiori
Managin Editor

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La Voz, Cultura y noticias hispanas del Valle de Hudson



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