An interview with Lucia Fernandez. Topic: “Gender roles”. During our walk in the Erasmuspark in Amsterdam West, Lucia talked to us about gender roles, the historicity of being female and decluttering her brain from outdated convictions. It was a fresh evening, the air was absolutely crisp and the colors of the sunset made for a perfect backdrop to our talk. Enjoy the read and as usual – Stay Mango!
What do you think you’d experience if you were a man for a day?
Can you please elaborate on what you mean?
Well, I would probably experiment with the power it gives me professionally speaking.
Do you feel that you are being treated differently in professional contexts because you are female?
Yes. Absolutely. I carry the historicity of my gender and the social connotations and assumptions. And that alone just with gender, not even going into details with more specific appearances.
Could you give us an example of assumptions made about you or your female colleagues?
For example, because I’m a girl, I’d be too sensitive for a certain situation. Or the comment “you are on those days”. Or that I would, of course, be organized and clean, that I’m ok with multitasking or that at some point soon I’d wanna be pregnant, start a family and settle down of course. All of that obviously also happens to men as well, but it’s somehow never taken into account as a reason for (not doing) something. Like as a woman your life stops at that point and with men, it can co-exist.
Isn’t that surprising considering that you work in the world of performing arts which supposedly is very much into gender equality gender fluidity and generally questioning gender stereotypes?
Yes but social constructions are stronger than we hope.
That it happens even within more open-minded environments. These limitations (to call it something) exist. Even amongst women. I guess that there is such thing as a biological clock but I truly believe that peer pressure is even stronger. And to be more specific on the gender discourse in the arts: I feel that there is a lot of talking about talking about gender equality rather than a true integration of new paradigms.
Isn’t the public discussion about gender norms and the attempt of creating true equality a farce then?
I wouldn’t call it a farce, but its a trend. Like any trend, it has holes and incoherencies. But at the end of the day, I’d rather have that as a trend. At least it creates dialogue on the matter and makes it more accessible for different people.
Do you see ways for really integrating new paradigms as you say?
I’m working on it! I am decolonizing my brain but generally, it’s hard to undo what you have been submerged into since birth.
Can you be more specific about what you are decolonizing there?
My mental mechanisms of what is expected of me – socially and also in my one to one human relations. Less polarized thinking and less gender-based thinkings, too.
Which expectations towards you as a female are you mostly concerned and annoyed by in one to one human relations as you say?
Well, consciously I see that – this is very basic – it is somehow expected from me to look good, to be aesthetically pleasing, also to be independent but not too much because that’s frightening. If you are too intellectual you are not approachable, if you talk about serious matters you are too obnoxious. Those are things I encounter frequently and concretely. And subconsciously I know there is the whole motherhood topic.
Do you think that some form of activism is a way to go to improve and clarify these ideas and convictions on a larger scale?
Yes most definitely. There are amazing people dedicating their lives to reach larger groups. But I am too selfish for that I guess. So I keep my activism on a tiny scale trying to be as reflective as possible and being open to exchange with my micro-surroundings.
Place of Birth: Zürich, CH
Parents: Monica Santoro and Roberto Fernandez Rosso
Siblings: Elias Matteo Fernandez Santoro
Learned profession: Dancer
Nationality: French/ Argentinian
Relationship status: Single
Romantic or realistic? Sarcastic
How many Facebook friends do you have? 906
Adventure or Stability? Both
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
My favorite spot in Amsterdam: The part of the Herengracht where the FOAM Museum is located
If I were a bitterbal I’d be filled with … avocado and something spicy
Sitting on a mango tree feels like… a summer breeze!