A man from Rubí has been arrested this week for having shared, with other men, images of sexual assaults on girls between 7 and 12 years old. He did it from his work computer, where he had installed an application specifically to be able to pass on this material. He was a man with a job in a multinational company.
The singer Lady Gaga explains in an interview that she had a psychotic break long after she was raped and became pregnant at the age of 19. The attacker was a music producer. On the same show, host Oprah Winfrey says that, between the age of 9 and 14, she was raped by family members until she became pregnant with a baby, who died two weeks after birth.
On social networks a woman explains how a man masturbated in front of her on public transport, another narrates a conversation with a man who questions her ability to do her job and a girl writes that while she was returning home at night a group of boys started to say things to her and she got really scared.
In 2020 there were 814 reports of sexual assaults in Catalonia. More than half of these assaults take place at home. It is then when the home loses all sense of shelter to become a hell. The year 2020 was for many people the year of confinement. For many women, it was the year of terror. They were unable to escape their attackers. It is estimated that the cases that are reported are only between 10% and 20% of those that occur. In the first quarter of this year, the number of complaints has already reached 209. They are not numbers. They are women's lives.
In the state, in one week, six men have murdered six women and a child. Shot, stabbed, suffocated and beaten. Some had denounced their attackers, others had not. They were all left unprotected in the hands of their murderers. The tools and protocols fail because society as a whole fails. Because male violence is normalised. We have accepted as inevitable that a woman's life can end in the hands of a man when he decides to end it. We have decided that women are victims but also responsible if a man ends up killing or raping them. We have agreed that they must have done something. We have not stopped to think that the balance has been unbalanced for many, many years by their absolute power, by their competitive and aesthetic canons, by their imposition on the public and private sphere, by their reason and by their unreason. We have not yet decided, and I do not know what we are waiting for, that this is an issue that affects everyone and that men cannot look the other way while we women mobilise to put an end to this scourge.
Violence against women or talk about sexist terrorism in the institutions do not make the news. It is not November 25th. Nor March 8th. It is not news. Women murdered by their partners or ex-partners began to be counted at the beginning of the 21st century. In 2021 we are still being murdered. But then they say the problem is inclusive language. The structural machismo that makes us invisible, ridicules us, despises us, objectifies us and relegates us to being permanent second-class citizens is the seed that makes these dismal statistics grow. Machismo perpetuates economic, psychological, sexual and institutional violence against women. A violence legitimised by people on the right and people on the left who walk around with weak and anachronistic arguments because they have forgotten analysis and empathy. If it were not as serious as it is, we could say that we are surrounded by deeply corrosive and grotesque individuals. But it's much worse, still. Because it is extremely grave.
Natza Farré is a journalist