[eng] Andrea Balart-Perrier - Variations for successfully reporting abusers

1. In music, a variation is each of the melodic imitations of the same theme. More generally, variation is a formal technique where the content of the composition is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve melody, rhythm, harmony, counterpoint, timbre, orchestration, or any of these combinations.

2. Without great music, I was lucky (I think) to have worked at UNICEF, and I was unlucky (I am sure) to have had Nicolás Espejo Yaksic as my boss, from 2009 to 2013, from shortly after turning my harmonics 28 years, to several months after turning my rhythmic 32 (years).

3. A year ago (May-June 2020), in the midst of a large orchestra, I filed a complaint at the UNICEF New York office against Nicolás Espejo Yaksic for sexual harassment and abuse of authority, in the midst of my composed 39 years (more than 10 years after some of the events I describe in my complaint).  

4. Before this, by bringing the facts to the attention of a Foundation that works for a world without abuse, I was aware of another complaint prior to mine, against Nicolás Espejo Yaksic, and after my complaint (and thanks to it), I had the opportunity to talk to other people and learn about other situations, and above all, how the person I mention makes people feel (bad). Sometimes very bad. Others very, very bad. And so on. The rhythm and intensity increases, like Bach's Goldberg variations. 

5. The theme, the same: an abuser. The melody, rhythm, harmony, counterpoint, timbre, orchestration, with some changes. In short: variations of an abuse. The variations of an abuser. Perhaps my complaint prevented new variations! (even if it was too late for others).

6. A couple of weeks ago, N(arcissus) Espejo Yaksic notes on his twitter a quote from Maya Angelou that goes as follows: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel" (did he discover emotions?). In my case, he made me feel bad (if it were only me and there were no variations). I have not thought about the individual in question for a long time now. What I do think is that the United Nations is not doing its job (just as it did not stop N(arcissus) Espejo while I worked in the institution).

7. As Claudia Ahumada and Malayah Harper said in Devex: “In matters of workplace sexual harassment, the U.N. investigates and reports to itself. By being both party and judge of the proceedings, establishing both the rules and their application, and failing to have the expertise to support survivors throughout the process, the internal U.N. justice system can hardly be called justice at all.”

8. They also said, “The U.N. is the custodian and standard setter for the human rights of women and girls. Yet, from the tired tagline of “zero tolerance” to assurances of “survivor-centered approaches,” the U.N. will continue to fall short of its own rhetoric until the international community holds it accountable publicly and unwaveringly.”

9. I saw yesterday, that N(arcissus) Espejo Yaksic displays again in his twitter description a United Nations flag. There are different variations. United Nations is aware and approves it. United Nations is not aware and does not approve it. N(arcissus) Espejo Yaksic is lying and he has no relationship with the United Nations and the United Nations does not know, but as soon as it finds out it will take action, because the perpetrator of the abuses (abuser), is eager to continue creating new variations.

10. N(arcissus) Espejo Yaksic and all his friends will continue to publish quotes from Maya Angelou, display flags and create new variations until the international community holds them accountable publicly and unwaveringly (the same as the United Nations and all institutions).

11. As Audre Lorde said, there are so many silences to be broken! And so many institutions and people to hold accountable. Investigate and report, you bastards! Do justice. Do your job. Courts, judge! Stop the decay and the variations.

12. As Simone de Beauvoir noted, human existence is an ambiguous game between transcendence and immanence, but men have had the privilege of expressing transcendence through projects, while women have been forced into the repetitive and uncreative life of immanence.

13. With time I realize that working at UNICEF (with N(arcissus) Espejo as my boss, moreover), was not only oppressive, but, above all, very boring. There is an appearance of movement and transcendence, which hides a desert of boredom and immanence. In the end, friendship, solidarity, complicity in work, cooperation, are much more creative and challenging than domination, hierarchy, discrimination and abuse. 

14. In short, feminism attracts, because it makes existence much more entertaining and interesting. And watch out, for everyone. Even if the boring ones cannot realize it, for the same reason. Patriarchy is not only oppressive, but also creatively infertile. Because creativity resides only in freedom (of all parties).

15. As Simone de Beauvoir said, perhaps one day posterity will wonder with the same astonishment [as for slavery] how bourgeois or popular democracies have maintained without scruple a radical inequality between the sexes. At times, although I can clearly see the reasons for this, I am amazed myself. In short, I used to think that the class struggle should come before the gender struggle. Now I believe that both must be fought together [...]: they must complement each other. Yes, the system crushes men and women and incites the latter to oppress the former: but each man takes it to his account and internalizes it; he will keep his prejudices, his pretensions, even if the system changes. 

16. The Journal Simone, for example, precisely feminist, literary and activist, is not appearance, it is movement and transcendence, because it interrupts the effects of domination through free creativity, through expression with sincerity, where there is a component of risk, without intermediaries. Like Simone de Beauvoir, it wants to exist in others by communicating to them, in the most direct way, a taste for (true) life: it has almost succeeded. It may eventually make solid enemies, but it has also found among its readers (above all) many friends. It has not wished for anything else. 

17. Maybe they have not heard, but: THESE ARE THE FEMINIST TIMES. They will not be able to forget how they have made us feel. And on the other hand, we will continue to be determined to make existence much more entertaining and interesting (for all of us). THERE IS NO REST. I attest, after one year, there is no need to be afraid (there is only transversal and unanimous support), publicly and unwaveringly: report! And on the other hand, I attest, existence in feminist times, is much more entertaining, challenging and interesting. Down with patriarchy: NOW.

[1] If you are interested in reading the complaint you can go to the following link:
Or read it, along with other related documents and texts, at the following link:

* Andrea Balart-Perrier is a writer and human rights lawyer. Feminist activist, co-founder, co-director and editor of Simone // Revista / Revue / Journal, and translator (fr-eng-esp). She was born in Santiago de Chile and lives in Lyon, France.

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