Stories of Girls’ Resistance
Sofía, Mexico


“…my mother always told me not to believe anything and question everything, you know? Always, always, and that to me was as if it got stuck on me, and always when I spoke with her I had this kind of feedback to question things, so it was very complicated in the sense that I was dealing with an unattended depression that then it triggered in more harmful things for myself. And at the same time, I was being aware of my being in the world…”

Sofía’s Story

I enter the classroom while Sofia is finishing the workship she was giving to my six grade students and I hear her tell them: “You own something special between your hands. You have that sparkle for life that, many times, we lose whn we grow. You own it and you have exceptional power at this moment. That special power is creativity and the energy to do things. You girls are super powerful. I love you!”

Once Sofia’s workshop was finished, I approached her to thank her for her presence. I asked my students to leave for the patio of the school to attend their physical education class. Once I was alone with my guest, I asked her how the session went, and told her that I hoped this wouldn’t be her last time visiting us. I shared that it caught my attention, how she had finished the session, and the trust she had shown towards the kids because I have never heard someone else talk to the students in the way she did. I even confess to her that it was expected that my colleagues would direct that the kids from this generation were apathetic and that they compromised with nothing.

Sofía looked at me and said: “When I was little, the school system that I went to caused me a lot of trouble because they always told me what I couldnt do. And, when I would wonder about all the problems, and what I could do? I felt anguish because I was aware of them, and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. We must understand that boys and girls feel anguish about social problems because they can’t find any tools to act against them. It is our responsibility as adults to help them trust in themselves and in their capacity to achieve their goals.”

Listening to her made me feel connected and excited in our shared belief in boys’ and girls’ potential. Sofia kindly accepted to hold a couple of extra workshops for my group and other sixth graders. On the day of her last workshop, I invited her for dinner to thank her for he work. I also wanted to learn more about her passion.

Sofia lived with her grandparents and developed an episode of depression at six. This lead her to be alone at home, only in the company of her grandmother. Sofia was a very conscious and sensible child who questioned the world. She lived in anguish. She felt that she count count on her mother, who as she said, was always the little voice beside her talking and saying; “don’t trust anything and question everything.”

Sofía shared that her mother talked to her about sexuality, sexual abuse end even feminism. She became her first ally when she decided to become a vegan at 12. And took her to her first march against animal abuse. She also remembers that one time, while she was proudly telling her that her classmates were ignorant and didn’t know how to appreciate art, her mother stopped and reminded her of her privileges around art knowledge and the world. And for this reason, she was in no position to judge her classmates without knowing their particular circumstances.

Her mother and grandfather’s thoughts around government, racism, and politics fed her political and restless spirit. At the age of ten, Sofia understood the importance of questioning everything and having a stance. And at the age of 14 or 15, she got involved with  a feminist group during one of the many marches against Peña Nieto when he was a candidate to become president of Mexico.

Eventhought, her first experience wasn’t good as she experience adultism and rejection of her leadership, she recognises the lessons she gained about social movements. And the importance of creating and building networks. Sofia shared: “First, we need to understand what the girls want. How do they want it? And their motives to act or move? We need to create an initiative, mainly focusing on the girls and trusting them, being perfectly sensible to let them know that we trust them. From a feminist approach, the most important thing is that we should make them feel appreciated and respected. It is fundamental to make them feel that they are capable of doing things, so we could build trust in them to express their opinions and words.”