“Run With the Herd or Be Crushed by It”

The author of the passages quoted below writes poetry and novels in Havana.

(p. 7) Throughout my life, I’ve seen how powerless parents are in matters regarding their own children. Parents have no say over how their children should be raised, whether they will be conscripted or sent away to school in rural areas, and what dangers could befall them being so far from home and such a young age. They have no say over their children’s manners, religious teachings and political ideologies. There are only two choices: Run with the herd or be crushed by it.

As a teenager in the 1980s, I was taught in a “scientific communism” class that family was the heart of society. But from what I could see, that was no longer the case; organizations with mass followings like the Young Communist League had taken its place.

. . .

I was born and raised in a system that exerts control under the guise of paternalism — a system that caresses you as it beats you, that teaches you but also inhibits you, enlightens you and censures you. We are hostages to a government that behaves like an abusive, old-fashioned and sexist father, from whom we must seek consent and forgiveness.

For the full commentary, see:

Wendy Guerra. “Cuban Women Need a Revolution.” The New York Times, SundayReview Section (Sunday, October 13, 2019): 7.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Oct. 12, 2019, and has the title “‘Cuban Women Await Their #MeToo Moment.” The first paragraph quoted above is from the online version and differs in several respects from the equivalent paragraph in the print version.)

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