The Glimmering, Shimmering Power of Using Glitter as a Weapon Against Abuse

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This is not a campaign to promote My Little Pony, a new eyeshadow palette or LGBTQ+ rights; This is how women in Mexico City riot against brutality. Protesters sprinkled pink glitter on Security Minister Jesús Orta Martínez after four police officers were accused of raping two innocent teenage girls on August 10. 

According to the BBC, one of the victims, 17-year-old said the four policemen raped her in their patrol car, while the 16-year-old who said a policeman raped her in a museum. 

Cultura Colectiva reported that 300 hundred demonstrators dressed as cops, marched, shouted at the officers, compared cops to pigs by hanging the animal’s head around light posts and douse them with glitter. 

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Muchos me dicen “no te ha pasado a ti, no tengas miedo, no te preocupes” pero la verdad es que sí, si me preocupo por las que ya no están, me preocupo por las que han sufrido este tipo cosas, me preocupo por las que día a día están con el miedo de ser las próximas. Y no solo me da tristeza, me da impotencia y enojo, quiero hacer algo para que ya no pase, pero ¿cómo? La única manera de hacer entender a la gente es con castigos, con qué cada día anuncien a las víctimas de feminicidios y desaparecidas, no solo para hacer conciencia, sino también para mantener su recuerdo… pero, por qué no lo hacen? La respuesta es porque es normal en este país. Qué triste! #niunamenos #vivasselasllevaron #vivaslasqueremos #niunamas #nomecuidanmeviolan #feminismo #mexico #cdmx #ayudaayudando #sevaacaer

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Using the hashtag #Nomecuidanmeviolan (“they don’t protect me, they rape me”) the protesters continued the conversation that became viral on social media. We stand with our sisters from Mexico,” wrote Ana Barbosa adding the quote “I am not free while any woman is unfree” from Audre Lorde. 

Mexico City’s first elected female mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, described the protest as a “provocation,” reportedly saying that “They wanted the government to respond with violence. But we’re not going to do that.” Soon after her statement the hashtag “#diamantinaprovocadora” (“provocative glitter”) went viral on the Internet. 

Mexicans said Sheinbaum comments were cold, heartless and triggered fury, especially because from 2016 to 2019 sexual abuse of minors increased a 39 percent from the 2081 cases registered in 2015. The United Nations estimates nine women are killed every day in the country and reported that Mexico is Latin America’s second-most dangerous country for women, after Brazil. 

After the outrage, in a video posted on Twitter, she announced they suspended six police officers and one officer was arrested. “There won’t be impunity nor any fabrication of guilt,” she said. “Violence against women and girls is inadmissible. In this government I’m not willing to tolerate it,” she added.

“I’ll meet with some women so that the city’s Attorney General make the case known to them. I have also sent a letter to the Human Rights Commission, asking for their intervention. I’m always open for dialogue,” said the mayor.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised to expand women’s rights, but instead, he rolled back federal policies designed to protect Mexican women. López Obrador said families should send their kids to a daycare or pay “a sister, an aunt or a grandma.” After his statement, civil groups said his measure “strengthen gender stereotypes” and “encourages stereotypes and gender inequality.”