Barcelona Sexual Harassment; Coño = Pussy

Hey girl what a booty — Barcelona city government awareness campaign..

In May 2015 the electorate of Barcelona chose as their mayor a woman with whom I had protested and campaigned on anarchist and alternative left platforms through my 15 years in this city. Her first acts as mayor of a world city and motor economy of the European Union included visits to homeless shelters, announcing a salary cut to average wage, renouncing official vehicle transport, accepting the resignation of a police chief with grace & pledging her unwavering commitment (and that of the alliance which had been elected to represent as leader) to combating sexism, gender violence and prejudice and so on, so forth, et cetera in our society.

Last year 56 women lost their lives to the men who were closest to them. 56 husbands or boyfriends, partners, so on, so forth, et cetera, murdered women in the Spanish state.

This year in Barcelona only one woman has lost her life to the man in her life. She was shot by her police officer husband who had been afforded the privilege of carrying his standard issue 9mm side arm home with him after his shifts so that he and his family might be safe.

We have seen public information campaigns bring a focus all the forms of domestic and gender violence and abuse in this last year. Yet at the same time we have seen an increase in what is considered to be low level sexual harassment in the city.

Throughout Europe right wing and crypto-fascist elements use shocking news stories which have been luridly reported by commercial media of attacks on women and young girls at public celebrations, swimming pools and on the streets at night. The culpable are invariably identified as migrants or refugees. Those whose skin have more melanin and those whose origins are hotter climes. Those whose problems have come to roost in our homes.

In the last month Maria Rovira a member of the Barcelona city government, a well known activist belonging to the far-left anarcho formation dedicated first to Catalan independence unlike the governing faction to which I owe more loyalty perhaps which looks in a perhaps a purer anarchist tradition to class conflict before nation/statehood issues. Whatever, so far, so forth, et cetera, the woman who belongs to a fellow travelling political organization experienced an assault. She suffered sexual agression. It is no more important whether she was anarchist or a neo-liberal economist. To put this in the terms of the readership of this website, in “american english” it does not matter if she was a Republican or Democrat, what matters is the sexual assault. & for what it is worth in my opinion any assault on personal dignity which impinges or derides gender or sexuality is a sexual assualt which is why I described yesterday in this blog space how I as a young male was groped by an older male.

She was walking home through the city as she does every day. Along one of the wide boulevards which boast high end fashion shops. The safe part of town just after midnight a man grabbed her from behind and groped what she termed in the press conference she later called her Coño. I believe the American English is Pussy.

She did not call a press conference to tell the world about how a man who she later chased and failed to catch grabbed her body. She called the conference to denounce the reaction of the Catalan police when she reported the incident. The male officers despite or perhaps because of recognising her and knowing her role in shaping feminist policy in our city failed to follow standard protocol and procedure. There was no suggestion of therapy groups, no mention of after care. I wonder did they reach their conclusions after considering the assailant was not described as being a migrant or refugee. Indeed they dismissed the criminal as someone who was probably a bit mad. Thus did they dismiss the crime and demean the victim. It was simply locker room chat. Boys will be boys. These are the very words used by the English nationalist anti EU politician Nicholas Farage who led the Brexit referendum and now advises Donald J Trump to excuse that vile man as an “alpha”.

lead by example

Nicholas Farage shocked many in Europe by using a photograph of refugee Syrian men waiting at the Hungarian border with an implied subtext that refugees would bring rapine and unbridled lust to England unless England left the EU. Neither the Scottish nor northern Irish voted to leave the EU. A slim lajority of English voters chose Brexit. Since Brexit attacks on LGBTQ communities have sky rocketed and sexual harassment of muslim women has too. The culprits are not outsiders. They are locals. They are men with certain beliefs and conceits. They are our problem demograph. & in the form of Trump they have a leader.

examples are followed

My girlfriend and partner, my love and wife, my peer & companion is Norwegian. She belongs to a generation which she jokingly describes as being of socialist and feminist boot camps. This year her state under its new right wing government has begun to the derision of many of her contemporaries an obligatory program of education on Norwegian social mores and norms.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/aug/01/norway-muslim-immigrants-classes-western-attitudes-women-video

My girlfriend and all her female coworkers have reported over this summer incidents of verbal sexual harassment and threats where drunken men stand in front of their bikes as they make their way to the office on a Saturday or Sunday morning in the Barcelona financial district. The corporation they work for has listened to their concerns and rescheduled start times for its female employees at weekends.

When she works nights she asks that I meet her at the shared bicycle drop off point so that she be accompanied past a group of adolescents who like lurking young wolves harass every woman who passes by. They are jobless teenagers displaced from the Maghreb as some of us Europeans call north Africa. One of the little thugs calls me a Maricón I believe the American English is Fag now that he has noticed I accompany her home. I fancy he thinks he understand his insult. I doubt he imagines that I also understand his Arabic and how he calls her a whore. How he calls every woman who passes him by a whore. Perhaps I am more worldly than he? Maybe I am a product of a different culture and values as a northern European. A few Norwegians seem to think that such values may be taught. I realise that the problem demographic do not attend classes. Nor did they before.

But I also know that every woman I hold as friend has suffered an incident of such nature in the last year. Despite our collective and political actions to curb such behaviour it seems to have become worse.

25 years ago trans woman was murdered in ornamental park where the Catalan parliament and Barcelona zoo are found. In the last year we renamed the band stand i that park in her memory and honour so that residentrs and visitors alike could read how we as a society reject crimes of hatred and crimes of a sexual hature and shall always uphold human rights. Today I read in a Spanish newspaper how one of the suspects in that murder 25 years ago, a known neo-nazi had been arrested and then released after he punched a pregnant woman in her belly in our city this summer. She was not trans. He has moved on. She was muslim wearing a niqab. http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2016/10/11/catalunya/1476213736_005659.html

This evening I meet a local imam after my alternative anarchist walkabout which daily discusses and highlights such issues and the anarchist and muslim cleric will design simple posters in simple Arabic to leave in the places where the street urchins and troubled adolescents loiter. We shall outreach them and so trump their behaviour.

But and this is the big BUT -

Many of the low level verbal harassment cases which have been brought to my attention by friends have been perpetrated not by “darker skin migrants” or “Muslims” or “refugees”… but other outsiders. Yes — the tourists. Most recently a friend of a friend was followed from a gay bar in the LGBTQ haven which is the village of Sitges near BCN. He was beaten to a pulp and left on the train tracks. What could have been murder is a hate crime which has quickly been dealt with. Again the culprits were young. Again they were outsiders. No they were not migrants or refugees. They were tourists.

Those who come to our city to enjoy themselves and perhaps disappointed that reputation does not match their expectations. Perhaps if they were celebrities and rich, famous and powerful they could stay at home and exercise their droit de seigneur. But they go mostly unmolested in their behaviour. Whilst the blame is cast all too often in the wrong place. Although in this short text I hope I have shown there are problems which the left-wing be it traditional social democratic or the new alternative anarchist need address. If we do not deal with these problems. The right and its alt right shall.

I have no more words to put forward my disgust.

It sticks still like throttling bile in my throat.