The Bad Luck of Being Born a Woman

By Ammi

HAVANA TIMES – We are children of a patriarchal society, where gender violence, gender role abuse, and sexual abuse often pass unnoticed. Such happenings are painted over with stereotypes that focus on the wrong thing, always pointing fingers that severely damage the woman.

In these months of confinement, many women are living through a pandemic of violence within the pandemic. The backdrop includes a closure of schools, excess domestic work, the daily struggle for food and cleanliness. Together they produce an intolerant level of stress.

To this, women must then add physical, economic and psychological mistreatment from their partners and even their ex-husbands.

No shelters for women in Cuba

The year 2020 has seen tragic incidents of femicide that, according to the reports and files, have already claimed 12 mortal victims in Cuba. Macho violence persists unabated, and incredibly, there are still no shelters in Cuba to protect women.

A helpline isn’t enough to address such crises – priority attention is needed, with a social investigation that includes a door-to-door campaign.

One lost minute can be fatal. Civil society, the institutions, human rights activists, all of us will continue adding up the dead if the government fails to act. If the government doesn’t speak up and say “ENOUGH”.

On July 27, a woman died at the hands of her husband, together with her baby who was almost two. The press and the official media didn’t talk about this event. Up through today, they’ve said nothing. Shrouded in this atmosphere of complicity, the question echoes: “Could these deaths have been avoided?”

Meanwhile, in the deceased woman’s social media posts, three times you can read between the lines: “S.O.S”.


A related article to read: A Space for Women in Havana’s San Isidro Neighborhood


I’m a mother of four children who through perseverance, studies and improvement managed to improve her environment and I have learned that every effort is rewarded and knowledge is shared. For me there is nothing more important than freedom and especially that which is capable of breaking personal limits. I am considered a cheerful, enthusiastic, curious person, willing to learn from each new experience.

13 thoughts on “The Bad Luck of Being Born a Woman

  • Tom ,you’re a delusional and I believe a coward who thinks beating women and children are necessary ,anyone who thanks you for anything must be a fellow abuser or completely out of their mind.

  • So according to you Tom women desrve to be beaten,I can only imagine the Cuban woman you’re married to must be living in a hellish nightmare with you and is trapped by you because of economc issues.

  • Tom, you sound like an obvious failure with women, if a woman is inflicting paychological torture on you why don’t you just leave, is it because you won’t have anyone else to torment and abuse?

  • misogynist: a man who hates women
    adjective reflecting or inspired by a hatred of women: a misogynist attitude
    Oxford English Dictionary

    If the cap fits……………!

  • To Stephen, well said… however men are hesitant to write about their experiences as they will be branded as demonic by the leftist feminist movement that dominate this discourse!

    In everything being said here I still not have heard from a woman what is it they believe women do that make men snap and resort to violence..I note a lot of skirting around the subject but the women here are either gutless or so blind (likely the latter) to their own actions to point it out. Women need a massive mirror to find their Joharis Window! From my experience if women (especially white entitled North American women) are not fighting men, they are fighting each other. No wonder the men leave and find a lovely warm and always more attractive Latina / Asian. Ever seen a bunch of women in an office together…like angry cats in sack trying to escape… enough said!

    By the way the Singapore, Arab system of whipping works…I don’t see in the UAE or there a degenerate society like the USA that is sinking slowly but surely. Wait till your car in vandalised, or that young punk shoots up someone for a pair of shoes… You will say thank you Tom….

  • “He was whipped and will never do it again.” – that is opinion not necessarily fact! But – if they had taken him to the nearest tree and hung him, Tom’s view would be correct. Conclusion? Hang ’em high! Perhaps I think too deeply?

  • Let’s face facts. There is violence perpetrated by men towards women and equally so, there is violence perpetrated by women towards men. Usually in the media those crimes which garner the most headlines, sell the most newspapers, draw the most attention, are more often than not perpetrated by men towards women.

    Murders, rape, kidnapping, statistically are more often than not instigated and carried out by men towards women. Yes, men are also abused, verbally, physically however not to the same extreme as vice versa because of the nature of men’s physical advantage.

    I suppose what Ammi is alluding is why at this particular juncture in history are the consequences of being a women during a pandemic. She lists numerous situations where women are vulnerable being at home alone, not being able to venture outside as in the past, having a spouse, usually unemployed, at home most of the time and the insurmountable stress both men and women have to endure during this pandemic in Cuba.

    Many Cuban men either single or married are unemployed. That in itself is a major stressor. Many men must go out and seek sustenance for their families. This sustenance more often than not is unavailable or unaffordable causing the man to return home empty handed, stressed beyond control, and in no mood to hear why he has failed in his sojourn to empty stores. This is a recipe for one party to play out their frustration on a weaker party.

    So, any psychologist given the above facts will deduce that such a situation is a precursor to domestic violence. Whether the women lives in Cuba or Canada, women isolated at home will be at the mercy of their spouses. Even in Canada, Ammi’s article resonates very well because domestic violence (men violating women) has risen and psychologists are attributing the increase to the pandemic stress inflected on the family unit.

    This unfortunate domestic violence is more pronounced in Cuba because of the massive amount of unemployed men, through no fault of their own, the inability to be a participant in the economy, the lack of money, the closure of schools causing added family stress, all these major stressors lead to family violence.

    Another paramount problem as Ammi points out is the lack of any shelters for abused women. Where do they go when violence begins but to another family member hopefully away from the perpetrator. But that is only a temporary solution and does not address the mitigating factors which lead to the initial violence.

    Even with shelters, women live in constant fear of retribution. Having a shelter helps but is certainly not a panacea for domestic abuse. Women in Canada have been known to be stalked, threatened, and even killed while living in shelters.

    What is the take away from this article. Increased family violence everywhere is a fact during this unprecedented global pandemic.

    Until a man writes a similar article espousing how men are being violently abused by women as Ammi’s article has done for women, we can assume women, unfortunately, must endure the brunt of family violence; therefore, it is bad luck to be born a women in Cuba.

  • Read my comments… where is the narrative on why men act like this and more to the point where is the narrative on women’s behavior to cause this. Men’s behavior has been studied endlessly.

    So start accepting it takes two hands to clap. And yes I do support whipping… look at that American teenager who vandalised cars in Singapore… He was whipped and will never do it again. Unlike the youth leading to the moral decay of the USA. Think deeply for a change instead of populist knee jerk reaction comments…

  • Thank you Anti-Imperialist. You may have noticed my repetitive use of the word reality. That reflects my knowledge of Cuba, Cubans and the reality of their plight. I was surprised to note that Tom has a partner – it is difficult to believe that the partner is a woman – but if so, she has a problem on her hands.

    I mentioned Nilsa Castro Espin – and described her as “deceased”. I did so, because when I wrote my book about Cuba, I understood that she was regarded as rebellious and following her life in Italy with an Italian husband with whom she had two sons, one of whom Ramon, lived in Miami and the other Augustin, in Madrid, that she moved back to Cuba where she had a common-law husband Julio Cesar Diaz Garrandes. He was jailed by Raul for corruption, in 2011. Her passing was rumored in 2014. But, there is now a dearth of information about Nilsa – who may possibly still be around, but being kept under the blanket? Failure to conform, is regarded as weakness of belief in the Marx/Engels/Lenin faith as interpreted by Stalin and adored by the Castro brothers.

    Nilsa was the second daughter, the eldest Deborah, married Luis Alberto Rodriguez Callejas, who used all his talents in securing her and was then said to give her beatings, but being in macho Cuba, was made a General and boss of GAESA by Raul. Their eldest son is Raul’s perpetual bodyguard and recently was given the former Spanish Ambassadors residence in the luxurious area known in Havana as El Laguito.

    Third daughter is Mariela was appointed a Diputado to the Poder Popular and is head of the National Centre for Sex Education.

    Fourth child is Alejandro who is Director General of Intelligence at MININT, heading Cuba’s security services including the CDR.

    In addition to his family with Vilma, Raul is said to have two sons from a liason in the 70’s and another producing a son Guillermo. In the 80’s, Raul had a liaison with Yadira Garcia Vera.

    For further information, perhaps refer to Tom’s “rear end”?

  • Tom, if you want to continue blaming the victims of male violence against women and femicides as their well-deserved punishment because of nagging the poor guys at least don’t start off with a false statement. As any of us who reads HT regularly knows, Carlyle is married to a Cuban and spends most of the year in eastern Cuba in their home. As to your implying that women deserve the violence, I imagine you are also a big supporter of violence against children because they don’t do what parents demand. Maybe you could also write on why bullying isn’t such a bad thing and that the victims are usually at fault. If this was other times you would probably support masters whipping their disobeying slaves because they didn’t do what they were told or because they stole some flour from the warehouse.

  • Carlyle unlike you I have lived in Cuba and have a Cuban partner. We get tired of people especially outsiders speaking out of the rear end. Address the issue stated why do men act like this… What is the root cause? Usually women’s nagging, women’s bs and inability to reason with logic and driven by emotions… driven by a feminist movement. The women are usually disgruntled and bitter and angry at the world.

  • Tom, although obviously a victim, does not comprehend the depth of machismo in Cuba. He speaks of “a feminist movement”, not comprehending that in Cuba any such such movements pursuing individual rights are banned.
    Ammi is correct when commenting upon the lack of women’s shelters in Cuba – which is has been controlled by a brothers of macho persuasion and practice for sixty years. (Older brother a succession of mistresses and children by five of them. younger brother with four known affairs and a possible fifth)
    No doubt sycophants will defend the Castros, by mention of Mariela Castro – but what about her sister the deceased Nilsa?

  • What about the psychological torment women inflict on men? Nothing is ever said of the root cause of all this and men are sick of hearing about it driven by a feminist movement who often conflate the issue. Violence is wrong acceptes but where is the discussion on women’s role in all this?

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