José Luis Martínez-Almeida, mayor of Madrid, thought it was a good idea to start an interview mocking the law that aims to protect us women from sexual assaults. He found it funny to flout the law against sexual violence while fooling around with a journalist when he worked. We can call Martínez-Almeida macho, lord or cretin but I think the despicable gesture of the mayor deserves a reflection. With pain, in this country we learned that a democracy does not admit terrorism. And we also learned that the unanimous, continuous and forceful rejection against violence is key to promoting social changes. Political speeches are messages to citizens and a message of pure political makeup is sent when one puts on a tie on November 25 and disparages the fight against sexist violence in the summer.
Almeida’s contempt for the need for consent of women in sexual relations is no regrettable exception. With the approval of the Organic Law Project for the comprehensive guarantee of sexual freedom, the jokes have returned about whether we will have to sign a contract before going to bed. Some say that it is impossible to know when a woman is consenting to sexual intercourse. Imagine how exciting and suggestive such crude and misogynistic comments can be to women. I would not give it importance if I did not know that these ideas take shape in those who make up our bodies and security forces, in those who have to administer justice, in those who represent citizens in public institutions and in those who have the responsibility of generating opinion through Of the media.
In Spain, a rape is reported every five hours but the dimension of the problem is much greater since, according to experts in sexual violence, between 70% and 80% of sexual assaults are not reported. 2.2% of all women in Spain have been raped at some time in their life according to the Macro-survey on Violence against Women (2019). Behind the coldness of the percentages are the lives of women. Perhaps whoever reads me can remember sometime that it did not end well, that in the end she allowed herself to be done to end it and leave her alone, that she agreed to do something out of fear that she would get angry or that she had sex simply because she was playing. If you are a male, imagine yourself being chased by a mob that is going to penetrate you anally against your will. It also doesn’t hurt, if you prefer, to ask the women around you carefully and affectionately if at some point in their life they have had a bad experience. Listen carefully.
The Law of ‘only yes is yes’ will go forward like all feminist laws in this country: with the opposition of machismo and the push of women. The sexual violence that women suffer has multiple forms such as harassment, exhibitionism, sexual exploitation or non-consensual pornography and this law will offer specialized attention to all victims. It is a law that clearly states that if there is no mutual consent in a sexual relationship, what is taking place is rape. It will be a law to feel pride of country.
A decent society cannot afford to make women’s lives worth less. A dignified society cannot allow security, that women’s sexual freedom, to be mocked. However, there we have them. We are a society where the mayor of Madrid and spokesman for the main opposition party can disregard the law that will protect women from sexual assaults with little response. Martínez-Almeida is not remembered by any measure in more than two years as head of the Madrid city council. Just because of Mayor Majete’s humorless jokes.