Camera, check. Chargers, check. Vagina, even if I try I can’t leave home without it, check. The feeling of traveling and learning about different cultures and environments is breathtaking. It is part of being alive and enjoy the world. But behind all of those emotions, experience and expectation, you might have a monster or a beauty waiting for you wherever your destination may be. I have discovered many wonderful things along my journey through different countries and a very meticulous ugly beast. It all comes down to what you are holding between your legs. Yup! How different your travel experience can be when you are carrying a vagina.
If you have a vagina or you are traveling with one (girlfriend, wife, daughter, mother or sister), there are precautions you should take to have a pleasant trip. It all depends on your destination, you could be treated as a goddess, as a specie in the verge of extinction, as a human being or as prostitute. I have to confess, I never thought having a vagina could be so complicated. I live in New York City, where we have a couple of disadvantages as females, maybe a salary difference or not enough women in leadership position, but we have the freedom to cover ourselves from head to toes or wear our beach clothes all year round and not be judge for it. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that when you are a female and traveling to other countries you have to be alert and extra cautious, even when visiting my birthplace, Dominican Republic.
Quisqueya: Peninsula of machos and “mamis”
In one of my visit to my homeland, where as a woman you should expect to receive a lot of attention from our fellows “tigueres.” Men usually hissing at the opposite sex, staring at them, and making sure to remind them how beautiful they are. It doesn’t matter, if you just woke up and stepped out of the house with your facial treatment mask and rolos on, you will always find a "caballero" that will try to lift your spirit for the opportunity to drop your pants. If you are not willing to have the attention from half the men in town dress conservatively, THAT was the rule that I was taught when growing up - Which I disagree with, a person shouldn't be judge for what they wear or what they have between their legs - What I didn’t know is, how much discrimination women face in the Dominicans’ labor force.
Because of an unwanted circumstance, I end up at the door steps of one of the biggest exportation company in the capital, Santo Domingo. I was there with my husband and two sisters-in-law on a pickup truck filled with green limes. We stopped at the gate and the security guard looked inside the car, he denied us the access to the facility. WHY? Because for the security guard my husband was importing three women and their vaginas are not allowed in the unloading zone of the company.
Tan tan tan taaaan!!!!!! I was disgusted by the whole situation. In my mind, I was thinking are they serious or is this part of a hoax. I was waiting for the famous Dominican TV show, "Te estan facturando" , cameras to come out and say “We got you”. My sister-in-law already knew the procedure and quickly replied "We are the owners and we are here to close a business deal." Without hesitation and no apologies, the security guards opened the gates and let us in. According to this company policy, women are a distraction for the men working and will slow down production. This incident has stuck with me ever since and it has changed the way I see things at home and when I visit other places.