Discriminations between men and women (4th interview)
We are now starting the 4th interview and with us today are Ms Anna Lebaniou and Mr. Peter Antonoglou both residents of Halki to talk to us about discrimination nowdays.
- So Peter, concerning discriminations between men and women, were there any differences back in your time let’s say?
In our times there were no such discriminations. Men respected women very much and looked after them. Entertainment events were held always in the presence of women. Jobs for women did not exist, but they were helping their men acting as farmers, and livestock farmers, to harvest their crops, etc. The men worked hard in farming, fishing, sponge fishing, agriculture and had help from their wives, in collecting cereals, olives, lentils etc.
Halki is cultivated throughout the island’s surface. And practically this was occuring even in two regions, the upper and the lower seed, which was was the so-called allaxospora (change of planting). Each time people changed the area they were feeding their animals onto, to another one available , so there was always food for the animals and the harvest was greater. This way the ground was going through a phase of resting.
- Anna: Today a woman has more opportunities than a man does. There is nothing more to cultivate or to do something similar. Halki is now a tourist destination island, the island becomes alive about six months per year from tourism only. There are few fishermen and in this type of job women do not work, but in other occupations women work and most men do not.
Women suffer much while men usually do not work. They wash, work, earn wages while men do not even want to find work.
The old fishermen suffered too. Today we have nice boats and tools, but people tend to choose the easy profits, without much fatigue.
- Another kind of distinction that there maybe exists? Any kind of racism that is evident?
Anna: No, we are not racists. I work in the cafeteria, I do not see any kind of racism. Beyond that, however, there is a micro-racism because they are many more of us. This hurts me. Men do not leave their wives to work, although they work longer while the Greek men will not go to do this job. Men prefer to send their wives to work.
Relationships are very good. Some do go out together. There are no fights among us.
- Peter: There is no racism. These people have good and bad characters.
They do all the work, we pay them, we need them. And their women are working seasonally as well, while we do not have such working women. So there is a necessity for such jobs.
Previously seasonal work was done by people that came from Tilos, both women and men, Greeks they were, they gathered buns, washed our backyards, they were carrying water. We had good relations with them.
- Is there any social or age discrimination at all?
I think not. If a 50 year old asks for a job … I do not think that can happen. If a fifty year-old woman asks for a job she will find one, like it happened last week. There is a kind of discrimination by the locals here for the person that lives in Halki and comes from Athens or Rhodes. Usually they are looking at us ironically, jokingly. Mostly we respect them, generally much more than they respect us.
- Peter: Our co-patriots, when they are asked why you do not come often in Halki, they often ask back “with whom to hang out here?”
- Anna: When you call your peers to come from Rhodes and all they reply is, what is there to do in the islet? Of course there is social racism, but upside down, not by us.
- Peter: I want to add that Halki was always a hospitable island. There was life, 238 children in the 6 grade Elementary School and another school with around 30 children in the old village. The school was closed after the release from the Germans and all the children except me who I had financial difficulty, went to Rhodes to continue.