Tag Archives: gender-based violence Spain

“Gender-based violence is systematically being questioned throughout a fallacy”

miguel lorente

Forensic doctor, since 2008 Lorente is the delegate of the Spanish government for Gender-based Violence.

In an article of yours recently published in Pikara Magazine entitled “El posmachismo está aquí”( Post male-chauvinism is here) you state that “The critical reaction towards equality is not very different from those that took place before when trying to put an end to privileges of blood, religion or race”. What privileges do you think you have for being a man today in Spain?

I think I am a little different man in this sense. Since I was a child I was aware of the privileges that I had for being the son of a rural town doctor, but I did not want them because they did not depend on me. I wanted to be more myself in the sense of being one more, to be able to keep in touch with more people, to break the norms of behaviour that were supposed I would have followed for being the son of the doctor, for being a man.

Nevertheless men do have privileges, the fundamental of which is being a man in an unequal society. It is not the fact of obtaining certain things as much as that all of them are designed so that there are men who can benefit from them. This does not mean that all men do it, but we have an added value, especially as far as the concept of authority as a reference is regarded.

When I’ve talked about gender-based violence my words have had more weight and credibility than those of many women with more experience and knowledge. Not to mention that delegating certain elements of care and affection to the woman and profiting from this situation without ever questioning why something doesn’t work is an injustice that we cannot allow neither as a society nor as men. There should be no situation where a man doesn’t have to take responsibility for the simple fact of being one.

How do you deal with this in your private life?

I think we, as men, need to resign our privileges and to take on our responsibilities. From a personal point of view there is nothing my wife and I have in common that is not the responsibility of both of us.

Equality needs to be a value and not only an arithmetic operation. People are understanding that equality is equating, that is to adopt a similar position before a reference that, moreover, would be a masculine one. The evolution of society has tended to bring the women to the men’s place but not the other way around. This situation makes it easy for equality as a value to exist in similar circumstances, but if we don’t do a transfer in the contrary sense we are strengthening the male model and giving it legitimacy.

We need to transmit feminine references to men and to act in the name of equality.

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November 25 reflections

25 nov forum

The sentences in the drawing came out of a three days European and Spanish forum against gender-based violences that took place last weekend in Barcelona. I thought I would only dedicate this post to it so to have for this International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against women more data, rational analysis and facts to contribute to an understanding of the issue. Then I thought that maybe, if I really wanted –as I do- to do my small part to keep changing things- that for once I would also express my feelings, something ‘women’ are often not taken into account for doing and ‘men’ are better avoiding.

When do I myself feel I receive violence for being considered a woman?
Anytime I am scared to walk alone at night. Anytime I am treated as a possession, a doll to dress and undress, an everlasting kid or ‘condemned’ as a witch, a slut, and a hysterical if I rebel. Anytime I hear a male-chauvinist comment or someone calls me whistling in the streets like if I were a dog. Anytime I receive the message that I would do better hiding my intelligence. Anytime I see that in spite of the immense cultural, social, economic, sex and gender orientational factors (that make it impossible to reduce it all to men and women and least at a global level) the basic message of the patriarchy is one, common and mostly accepted and I don’t know how to fight against it. Anytime I hear some high school student I am working on gender issues through theatre with that it has always been like this and it will always be. Anytime my will of doing well my job and to have a child collide with a system that desperately need them both but doesn’t allow them to be possible unless I am willing to fight it all in an uneven game. Anytime I need a 25 November.
And I am undoubtedly a lucky woman.

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