Wednesday, November 30

Mónica Oltra: the gender stereotypes that wear down the leader of Compromís

The campaign launched by the right against the Valencian Vice President and Minister of Equality and Inclusive Policies, Mónica Oltra, on juvenile centers has brought aspects of her personal life to the fore as a mechanism to wear down her political projection.

The journalists Jordi Sarrión i Carbonell and Santiago García Cornejo have published a study in ‘Beers&Politics’ on gender stereotypes in the applied media. “His strong point is the credibility that is associated with his personal life at all times, as more and more stereotypes are generated in the media over time,” explains Jordi Sarrión.

The study analyzes several key moments in Oltra’s political career: his parliamentary activity in the opposition, the negotiation of the first government of the Pacte del Botànic in 2015 and the controversy over the management of the centers for minors supervised by the Generalitat Valenciana, after the Conviction of her ex-husband for sexual abuse. Thus, the authors analyze the process of celebration, which “has a lot to do with the loss of importance of the parties since 15M and the Valencian Spring”. “In parallel,” adds Sarrión, “populist speeches have reached the whole world.”

Celibrification turns the political leader into a symbol and “is associated with personal life and that nothing is hidden in that area.” The authors have synthesized several stereotypes applied to Oltra: the iron maiden, “with attributes contrary to femininity” and that associates her with “a woman hungry for power”.

“If it’s a man,” explains Jordi Sarrión, “when a politician has a lot of ambition, he’s said to be a statesman, but in the case of women, he’s associated with being a bad person and a conspirator.” The media, the study concludes, “try to make the personal something political.”

The campaign for juvenile centers has produced a kind of emergence of all these features. The authors have detected a certain “ambiguity”, something that “would not be done if it were a man”, explains Jordi Sarrión. “As Oltra is bad, they stigmatize the centers for minors of the Generalitat Valenciana”, putting their finger on the problem “personally and politically”.

“In a campaign to attack her personally, the political fact is very far away and it is also used to attack feminism,” says the author of the study. “The personal becomes a single important characteristic and with that we try to annul all the management of power,” he adds.

The journalist links this phenomenon to the projection of the figure of Oltra at the state level. “The objective is to wear her down and we will have to see if Oltra grows and becomes stronger,” he concludes.