When Being Necia Doesn't Feel Enough by Jessica Diaz-Hurtado
When being Necia doesn't feel enough is when you are trying to do your job, express yourself creatively, or just do you---and then patriarchy comes in the way and says "No!" It's when it tries to snatch your moment, take your light or smother your expression. When being Necia doesn't feel enough is when patriarchy continues to come back and tell you no, over and over and over again. It is when sexism brings you down so low, that you gotta find new ways to get back up.
And for those of you who don't know what being Necia is, it's being a xingona, badass truthteller, creator, lover and fighter.
I brought the idea of Necia to my co-founders because after I directed and produced my first documentary series in Brazil two years ago, I knew I needed a space for women to share stories on their experiences on media, especially WOC. I knew I wasn't the only one being undermined, being hit on, and being harassed while trying to work. I knew that I wasn't the only mujer reaching out to other mujeres, random or friends, seeking advice on the field. Now that I am back in South America getting my feet wet in the freelancing world, I am grounded on the purpose of this collective more than ever.
In America Latina, I have been sexually harassed, hit on and continuously undermined while trying to work and be creative. It honestly it doesn't matter what I'm wearing or not wearing. I'm tired of it. And I know this ain't nothing new, but damn it's exhausting. It's exhausting when I'm one of the only women photographers at an event taking place at night time. It's exhausting when I'm covering an event and some rando creep tries to grab me. It's exhausting AF when people steady thinking that my media projects are all of my boyfriend's ideas. I mean, my boo is an amazing man with hella great ideas. But when I bring up my ideas in a conversation with men and my partner is around, they immediately start talking to him about it instead of me.
It's getting to a point where sometimes I'm like "Yo maybe I'm not cut out to do this. I can't be constantly be on defense mode, I can't constantly fight a dude who put his hands where he shouldn't while trying take photos. I can't be hit on during interviews anymore". Pero this is why Necia is necessary. In these moments, I realize that I gotta be necia and keep on hustlin. I know DJ's be going through messed up stuff too. Se que mis hermanas in grad school feel me tambien. And I for sure know that mujeres in organizing spaces be going through some complex patriarchal issues as well.
My mother used to tell me that when I face challenges, I need to pick myself up and keep going. And no doubt- I have. But I gotta do it with a team. It's like, yo, we gotta organize. We gotta take self defense classes for us mujeres out there trying to do this work. We gotta create, idk, some type of union where we are compensated for the BS on the job. As mujeres and mujeres of color. (Feel free to correct me mujeres in the labor organizing field, but yall know what I mean).
We need to create more and more digital and physical spaces for us. This is why when I keep seeing other WOC media collectives pop up, I'm like yaaasss! Let's work together. Lets keep sharing our stories. Let's support each other. Let's be like Cookie when Viola Davis wins an Emmy Award. Lowkey we all need a Cookie in our lives.
Pero like forreal, I love all the Necias out there. I keep reading yall's stories on the site, and I am amazed by all of your talent. Necia Media Collective to me is more than just a content based collective, we are a group of warriors. I just look back at yalls work and then I do feel enough.
I would love to connect with yall more and hope to meet every one of you one day <3
con muchisimo amor,
La Co-Founder Jessica
More on Jessica:
Jessica Diaz-Hurtado is a freelancer currently based in Latin America. When she isn't writing or taking photos or thinking up of podcast ideas, she is twerking and/or salsa dancing on the dance floor or in her room. She is a lover of cheese and chocolate, but not mixed, obvio. And her heroes are the strong badass mujeres in her family.