Association for Feminist Anthropology
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Love and respect are at the center of Nahua society (Guerrero State, Mexico), and it is expected that these sentiments should pervade and guide every relationship, in what is now known as “Good Living”. Yet violence, and especially gender violence, is a daily reality both inside and outside the community. In their struggle against violence, and in the absence of external support, Nahua women have developed over the centuries a savoir-faire deeply embedded in cultural practices and concepts. This traditional knowledge, emerging from precarious lives (Butler 2004), rest on the Nahua concepts of empathy and strength. Properly managed by both women and men, empathy and strength are said to mitigate or even eradicate the effects and occurrences of violence, in order to possibly restore love and respect. In recent years, this knowledge has been extended to apprehend the violence associated with the rising narcotrafficking in the region. The results presented here are based on fifteen years of research and collaboration with Nahua women, in their own language (Nahuatl). What can teach us this female philosophy of non-victimization, created in the midst of crossfire?