I cannot imagine what it would have been like for the mothers and sisters of the disappeared. The Madres to me is a prime example of why Latin America is not full of helpless people who cannot fight for themselves. Despite the fact that many of the Madres had never worked outside their homes, the fact that they openly defied the government on behalf of their families is admirable, especially in a time where “traditional family values” were being reinstated by Military rule.
I also can’t imagine how heartbreaking it is for people who are told to trust their governments only for their governments to be the ones kidnapping their family members. It must be so upsetting to know that the people who are supposed to be protecting you are killing you.
I think the ways in which the Madres fought their government is particularly potent when looked at with their “perceived place” in society. By knitting, they were displaying non-violence and the appearance of “decent folk”. The way they chose to dress is also reflective of this, by wearing “white headscarves”, they weren’t just representing purity but also modesty. These are traits expected of women and exacerbating these particular aspects of idealized motherhood was perfect in getting people to sympathize to their plight and believe that they were not stepping out of their social spheres in a “feminist-type agenda”. This was really important as people believed that. However, in spite of this, they were also openly defying their government, organising mass protests and mobilizing their communities and that to me is incredibly remarkable.