It is not enough to remove the leader. The Madrid Student Union took to the streets on Monday to request the expulsion from the University of all the schoolboys who took part in the chauvinist chants of the Elías Ahuja Residence Hall. “These people don’t behave one way at their college, and differently when they get to class. You have to send a very clear message so that they reflect on what they have done. And the fact is that machismo is no joke”, explained Coral Latorre (26 years old), an English language student and member of the union.
Young men from a college harass university students from another center: “Bitches, come out of your burrows like rabbits”
Under the slogans of “Sexists out of the university”, “Enough of herds” and “Major schools of sexists and oppressors”, the Madrid Student Union and the feminist group Pan y Rosas have called joint protest actions at the entrances from various campuses in the capital. The main one, in which about forty people participated, took place at the mouth of the Ciudad Universitaria metro station, the Madrid campus where the Elías Ahuja residence hall is located.
The broadcast of the video in which the Elías Ahuja students shouted sexist slogans at the residents of the Colegio Mayor Santa Mónica – “Bitches, come out of your burrows like rabbits. You are nymphomaniac whores, I promise you that you are all going to fuck in the capea”– unleashed the rejection of the university community and the political class from the first moment. From the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, to the leader of the Popular Party, Alberto Núñez Feijóo. Only the Madrid president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, downplayed it, refusing to condemn the sexist chants.
“When I saw the video on Twitter, I thought it was fake. I could’nt believe it. It is not normal for these things to happen in 2022,” says Patricia Muñoz (27 years old), an environmental geology student. Despite having classes in the afternoon, she decided to get up early to get to Ciudad Universitaria on time and demonstrate with her classmates.
Shortly after the video went viral, the college management announced that the student who had started the sexist chants on Sunday night had been expelled the next day. In addition, the more than 100 involved publicly apologized to the victims of the chauvinist chants, the residents of the Colegio Mayor Santa Mónica, and will have to participate in cycles of awareness-raising conferences and volunteer activities.
However, the Student Union does not consider the corrective measures to be sufficient. In addition to the expulsion of all the participants, they ask that the Complutense immediately terminate the contract with the college involved, as well as the implementation of a sexual education subject in the educational system. “If the Santa Monica girls weren’t offended, better for them. But 99.9% of the people who saw this video, especially young girls, have felt attacked. And now we are very afraid of knowing that we share spaces with these madmen”, says Latorre.
Last Thursday, a group of Santa Monica schoolgirls released a statement through social networks justifying what happened in the name of “tradition.” In addition to supporting their “partners” from Elías Ahuja, they denounced that a “viralized video without understanding the context is easy to misunderstand.” They also consider that an image of “hatred and machismo that is very far from reality” is transferred because they know well “the principles and values” of the schoolboys, in many cases family members.
The biggest problem, according to the Pan y Rosa collective, is that it is not an isolated case. “They released a shameful statement, in which they crossed out the episode as punctual. We all know it’s a lie, that these things happen every year. Things cannot go on like this”, says Jase Tristan (21 years old), a philosophy student at the Complutense University and a member of the group. For this reason, they ask for a restructuring of the colleges, so that they pass to the public administration and stop being attached to religious orders, as is the case of Elías Ahuja.
Across the street, a group of 20 young men in sweaters and loafers watched the scene while drinking beers and energy drinks. Only the two girls in the group agreed to explain what they are doing there as a group, while ironically commenting on the students’ protest. “It seems fatal to me. They are disrespecting us in the name of feminism. I am Catholic, and they are saying that they are going to burn down the episcopal conference”, says Inés Gil (18 years old). “I am a feminist, of course. But not this type, ”adds her friend who accompanies her, María Perojo. Neither of them agreed to comment on the Elías Ahúja episode.