There was a woman who had nothing but her hands to earn her daily bread.
Owners of their work, when factories were invented, women lent their hands, fast as swallows, so that the threads could be woven with pleasure.
Very soon, however, they discovered that factories were not the places they expected. They were rather gloomy, gray places, where breathing and laughter were oppressed by the ticking of an endless clock. Then, almost breathless and without joy, the women realized that they were becoming invisible. They began to notice it because one seemed like a mirror of the other: each day it was more difficult to see their silhouettes, even in the light of the skylights of the workshops.
When they returned home, the women barely had the breath to sing lullabies to their children. They weren't even the masters of darning that they used to be, not even the old songs lit their eyes and their cheeks turned hopelessly pale.
When they were about to be completely invisible, one whispered in the other's ear:
-You have realized? We are almost invisible now, but we still have a voice. "We have a voice ... We have a voice," they said to each other, like news of hope. Giggles clenched in the hands were heard here and there, like early spring shoots.
And the garden flourished with their voices: "Reduced working hours!" To equal work, equal salary! And a shy but firm voice added: "Bread and roses." "Bread and roses! ... Bread and roses!" Echoed the beating heart of more than twenty thousand voices united.
And the voices were heard in Lawrence, Chicago, Boston, New York ... but it was not an easy battle. The more the women's voices were heard, the louder the whistles, pistons and boilers of the factories sounded, accompanied by the voices of their powerful owners. "If you don't like the conditions, there are a thousand others behind your post." You will starve if you do not accept our conditions. But the women were not silent: "Reduction in working hours!" To equal work, equal salary! Bread and roses!
They resisted for eleven weeks, until they not only ceased to be invisible, but they illuminated the darkness of those days like a single red and rebellious flame.
In 1911 in New York City, 123 textile workers of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company were killed in a terrible arson. This terrible event forced decisive changes in laws and labor rights around the world. Every March 8th International Women's Day is commemorated in honor of all those who dreamed of bread and roses on our tables.
Taken from the book Once upon a womanby Vera Carvajal
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The book "Once upon a woman"From the authorVera Carvajal, proposes a journey through different times and geographies of humanity in the hands of intense, powerful, entirely beautiful women, capable of turning pain into hope; to tame the bloody with the word; to resist and transform; to ask and answer; to raise life in love; to change paradigms of being, of knowing, of loving, of doing.
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