Portrait of Emilia Pardo Bazán painted by Joaquín Sorolla in 1913. THE COUNTRY
The two shores of the world by Emilia Pardo Bazán
So that later they say that the essential thing is the work and that life does not matter. In the case of Emilia Pardo Bazán, one thing cannot be understood without another because her stubborn will to live at her own pace and dedication to literature were the result of the same passionate character. What admires me most about this great intellectual was the magnanimity with which she dealt with her own contradictions. He did not seem to suffer for them, he allowed them. Her biographer Isabel Burdiel often says that in order to write the life of such an intense woman, she had to face the fact that she was portraying a progressive and conservative writer at the same time. That complexity is what makes Doña Emilia a fascinating woman. Catholic without being blessed, angry Carlist in her youth, scandalous to reactionaries,feminist who could not bear the romanticism or the pedagogical manners to which female feathers were doomed. Lover of her lovers. How wonderful that changing relationship he had with Galdós. He would always defend her in progressive environments and she in conservative circles. What captivates us above all in this revitalization of her figure represented by the acts of her centenary is the bravery with which she always defended the equality of women. She was the product of an unusually liberal upbringing in which, especially her father, encouraged her to pursue her ambitions and not be intimidated by those who reserved a subordinate role for women. A substantial idea of our writer, which reveals courage and audacity, is based on not assuming motherhood as the event that underpins a woman's life:“All women conceive ideas, but not all conceive children. The human being is not a fruit tree that is only cultivated for the harvest ”. As it is easy to deduce, it was common to call her a bad mother, because she was also not very cute in the texts she dedicated to her children.
The courageous thoughts of Doña Emilia come to mind reading these days the alarm caused by the plummeting birth rate in Spain. In 2020, 21,411 fewer babies were born than in the previous one. I can understand this collective lack of enthusiasm to bring children into the world. We only need to remember the stupefied state in which so many of us were left on the day social activity was paralyzed and we were locked in our burrows. But the decline in the birth rate came from afar. It is curious to observe that we will be an aging country on a planet where there are too many people and there is a lack of resources. In line with this circumstance the debate arises. On the one hand, the idea that if a woman does not have offspring is incomplete, despite the retrograde that this sounds expressed in writing, remains valid; for another,the fear of becoming a country of retirees without youngsters who produce wealth forces us to include the issue in political programs, some with a stale whiff that reeks of old birth awards. It is clear that economic conditions do not encourage having children and that our system of child support is weak compared to countries like Germany, where work-life balance is favored. The State has to do its part, protect whoever wants to procreate, but we must also understand that women do not repopulate empty spaces. A childless young woman need not consider herself handicapped or frustrated. And that has nothing to do with selfishness or banality. We return to Pardo Bazán: we are not fruit trees. Doña Emilia said that she was a feminist and a Catholic, complex, as there are many of us, because, Mrs. Ayuso,Only those on the left do not have abortions, only the children on the left do not help a dignified death. Do not dehumanize the adversary by calling him insensitive or even a murderer, as his advisor Miguel Ángel Rodríguez did with Dr. Montes, and it was expensive.