There is a meme on the internet that makes fun of the feminist motto “we are granddaughters of the witches you couldn’t burn.” The meme is something like: “come on, your grandmother was an evangelical housewife.” It is particularly funny because neo-pentecostalism, reactionary and cartoonish as it has always been, is growing fast in Brazil, and it contrasts very strongly with feminism in general. Thus, there is a real chance that the grandmothers of those who say this phrase are in fact evangelical. And that has nothing to do with feminism and the phrase’s symbolism, of course. It’s just funny.
That reminds me of a time, back in 2014, when I was doing strength training at the gym. I had to squat three times a week, with very heavy loads (for me). Squatting is a horrible business, and doing it with heavy loads is even worse.
Many times, before going to the gym, I was discouraged. I would think to myself, “oh, I don’t need this, I don’t need to be lifting these heavy things, I wasn’t born for that.”
However, funny as it may seem, I was born precisely for that. We all were.
Every human being alive today descended from fearless mammoth hunters. Our grandparents 17,000 years ago were strong, courageous and motivated (and artistic), and they went out in the morning, no matter if it was sunny or rainy, together with companions they loved and honored, to hunt animals more than 250 times heavier than a person. With stone spears.
And then, I went to squat. After all, how difficult is it to go up and down with a bar on your back compared to killing a 20-ton animal? If they can do it, I can do it. After all, I am them.
And the best thing about it is that my two grandparents were farmers, who raised their children and made a living working the land. One of them died violently and the other one died from a venereal disease, the one that causes fibrosis in the heart. He had a hard, stone heart. Highly honored.
And they were not evangelical. It would not be a problem if they were, of course. Not at all. But they were not.
Anyway, here we are. We are the grandchildren of the mammoth hunters that no one has managed to burn.