The stuff of...
Just a week ago we published an extensive report that has generated a strong social debate and protests from students and has led to the resignation of the management team of the Institut del Teatre.
Two journalists, Albert Llimós and Núria Juanico, culminated the work of a year during which they have listened gently, patiently and without the slightest pressure, to hundreds of people, mostly girls, who had decided to explain the humiliations of some teachers, the psychological pressures and sexual abuse they had experienced to varying degrees. The work of selecting the complaints has been done in a rigorous and demanding way, looking for patterns and repetition of similar behaviors for years and with dozens of people in each case. Without dozens of complaints to journalists, with those affected willing, if necessary, to take a step forward judicially, no names were published. We knew we had to give voice to the allegations but we also knew that if the girls had not been believed, if a toxic and destructive environment had been downplayed for so many years, there would also be an attempt to cast doubt on the accuracy and importance of journalistic work. We knew we were fighting against what we will call "magma". What is magma? Well, it is that way of acting, often a sum of actions and above all of omissions, that allows injustice or abuse to prevail and silence to cover it all up, minimizing the importance of humiliation and accusing the victim of exaggeration, of having put her or himself in a reckless or risky position. Magma allows what is a secret in the public domain not to come to light, to abuse youth, shyness, ambition or weakness of character, to turn groping steps into hell.
In fact, part of the determination to publish stems from a phrase often repeated when one wants to downplay abuses of any kind: "You know, this is so and so's stuff..." This time it was Joan's stuff and the shared secret enabled it to be downplayed.
Times have changed and it's time we all took note of the new rules, especially the older ones and especially the men who have never asked themselves if their way of acting is offensive to those who are not used to dictating the rules but having to follow them.
The issue of consent, the relationship between men and women, has taken a generational tumble. A change that in this case has forced a management that did not have the tools to put an end to a toxic and intimidating environment to resign en bloc for failing to stop "abusive and authoritarian behaviour".
In no way is this a puritanical crusade, as some have tried to insinuate in order to diminish its depth. Individual freedom has nothing to do with disrespect or humiliation. A classroom or any professional context demands the utmost respect for the other, and this is not a gratuitous precision, nor is it unimportant, it is not a truism. Human relationships in any field are complex and only mutual respect can make them less harmful or richer.
The theme of the IT applies to our entire society and its civic quality. It also appeals to the usefulness of the press to put an end to the magma. It is necessary to understand, and to impose in practice, that power is not a safe-conduct. On the contrary, it is responsibility - and not impunity.
From the denunciation of the anonymous of those who have been abused by their teachers to the less anonymous of the power abusers over their citizens. Someone else who has managed to live in the magma of impunity and silence shared by a type of courtly press that has kept quiet in exchange for the social and economic perks that obedience entails.
The news says that King Juan Carlos has paid 4,395,901.96 euros to the Treasury to avoid the consequences of a tax crime. He would not have paid taxes for expenses of approximately 8.2 million euros. The 4 million are in addition to the payment in December of 678,393 euros more. The money would have come from passing the plate to a group of friends. It seems that he has closed personal loans that would be transferable by inheritance. It is obvious that Juan Carlos will not be able to repay the loans, unless new fortunes emerge in new havens, and that nothing is for free. Spaniards have the right to know who has paid, and who will return this money and how - whether in cash or in contracts.
The make-up operation of the figure of Juan Carlos I this week in the Spanish Parliament for the anniversary of 23-F is not fooling anyone. Well, there are times when it seems that it does fool the PSOE, but Felipe VI has to know that many citizens in Catalonia are not willing to participate in the fog, in the magma that until now has silenced everything.