Wednesday, October 20

Feminism as controversy

The real culprits always need a scapegoat. The ultra-rightist machismo has chosen as such the feminist actress and writer Pamela Palenciano. For a long time, they have personalized in Palenciano the target of their attacks, which is no other, like herself declares, than feminism itself. Every time they insult her in networks, every time they harass her at work, every time her physical integrity is threatened, every time they file a complaint against her for alleged incitement to hatred, they are insulting, harassing, threatening, hating feminism. Every time you are prevented from spreading your message against gender violence with your monologue Not only do the blows hurt. This is what happened this week in the Madrid town of Navalagamella, where Palenciano’s intervention has been censored by the mayor of the City Council that had hired her, Andrés Samperio.

The one from Navalagamella is mayor for the PP, which governs with an independent coalition that, according to people’s sources, is not Vox but as if it were. The Palenciano project had been approved and the City Council had, in fact, received a grant from the Federation of Municipalities and Provinces and the Ministry of Equality. On Saturday, October 9, the feminist activist would perform at the Anabel Ochoa Cultural Center, within the framework of the equality days that the municipality will celebrate, but the mayor canceled it with a side. He said that because he does not want “controversies.” What he doesn’t want is feminism. Because, according to the same sources, there have been many controversies in Navalagamella. For example, in the middle of the pandemic, the City Council decided to spend “a pasture” in placing a gigantic red-and-yellow flag in front of the church, adding to the patriotic, and expensive, fervor that sowed towns and cities of Spanish fabric.

There is another controversy in Navalagamella that has been active for a long time. It seems that this mayor, who considers the denunciation of sexist violence controversial, does not find any controversy in wanting to make in the town, very close to Brunete, a museum of the Spanish civil war, to which, they say, they even aspire to move the wagon of the train that in 1940 took Franco to shake hands with Hitler in Hendaye, a wagon that is now in a warehouse in Almazán, Soria. Samperio already inaugurated in 2019 the exhibition entitled ‘Entre fortines y trenches’, with the aim of “telling the true story of the Spanish civil war.” In short, to place ourselves in regards to controversies and Navalagamella, a town to which this same mayor named a street La Legión.

Such a scenario, in which the monologue has now been censored Not only do the blows hurtIt is not only a reflection of what is happening in that town but of the all-out war against feminism that the far right is waging at the national and global level. Pamela Palenciano, who inspires her monologue from her own experience as a victim of sexist violence, is her most visible and direct scapegoat. In 2017 and 2019, she was denounced for alleged apology for violence against men and for mistreatment of minors. Both complaints were shelved. The last complaint, against her and against her partner, the producer and writer Iván Larreynaga, was filed on June 4 by the Association of Battered Men, an organization related to Vox (which vetoed Palenciano in the Madrid Assembly), for promoting the “hatred towards men”. The denial of gender violence against feminism, which has intensified with the entry of Vox into political institutions. The worrying thing is that it has been admitted for processing by the Court of Instruction number 15 of Madrid, whose titular judge will investigate an alleged crime of “degrading treatment.”

Pamela Palenciano was a victim of violence from her partner when she was only a teenager. Now, he considers it “a life mission” to convey his experience, and his denunciation of sexist dynamics, to institutes, theaters and any public institution committed against that violence. “I wish in high school they had told me what I tell when I was a teenager,” she says. The life mission of the far right, however, is this harassment of feminism that exemplifies in the person and work of this activist. The harassment that she suffers is suffered by all women, as well as the LGTBIQ + collective, and it distances feminist discourse from spaces where it can reach young people. With the rise of the extreme right and the implementation of the ‘parental pin,’ denounces Palenciano, their interventions in institutes and classrooms have decreased. It is, therefore, a sustained and organized offensive against feminism, a movement that must become actively aware of the seriousness of the setback in the rights it claims and defends.

Very serious, and more painful, is that some feminisms turn their backs on an activist (which is not only censored but is threatened) under the accusation of supporting the queer community. That is controversial. Feminisms must now be at one. That one is called Pamela Palenciano. And we are all.

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