16/10/2021

Young people for whom gender-based violence does not exist

2 min

A few days ago a study was presented that provided some extremely worrying data: in Spain, one in five men between 15 and 29 years old considers that gender-based violence does not exist, and that it is only an "ideological invention". The FAD barometer on youth and gender, prepared by Centro Reina Sofía, points out that this figure has doubled in the last four years.

What has happened? The data show that the denialist discourse that drives, feeds and sustains the extreme right is taking hold and that certain ideas are becoming naturalised, despite the obvious paradox that today more than ever we have full access to sources of information and rigorous analysis that support with sufficient evidence that one of the great pandemics that we live as a society does exist.

Therefore, today the excuse of misinformation or ignorance is no longer valid: it is clear that there is a whole reactionary machinery in operation, which is belligerent with the advances of feminism. This factory of fallacies creates and viralises content that denies reality -in a clear attack on the rights and freedoms of women-, in order to sustain situations of oppression and to maintain the status quo. In fact, some followers of these theses do not identify themselves as voters or followers of the extreme right, but they assume the negationist discourse and publicise it because they feel attacked. In this sense, the survey data provide very interesting details on the ideological bias in the disparagement of male chauvinism that appears more clearly among right-wing youth: 32.3% of boys and girls from this ideological space consider that male violence does not exist and only 55% consider it to be a serious problem, compared to left-wing youth, 77.9% of whom affirm that it is a serious problem.

It is clear that there is a clear political bias in the denial of equality, and that it is fed by political and media references with clear interests: to attack feminism as a movement that poses a threat to the patriarchy and to those parties and individuals who want to keep power in their hands. The attacks against feminist proposals are increasingly virulent. The patriarchy feels more and more trapped. But they know how to hold on to power very well. In fact, the sexist discourses that feed it are hidden under very attractive, current and viral forms. They slip through any crack they find, in the form of a series, a film, song lyrics, media references or influencers, among others. And, if not, just ask the youth.

In fact, despite the fact that in the last four years important advances have been made in the fight for gender equality among young people (the number of men who consider themselves feminists has gone from 23.6% in 2017 to 32.8% in 2021), there are still 26.4% men who believe that feminisms are not necessary and of these 24% believe that the movement seeks to harm men. It is one of the big hits of the patriarchy, and one of the most effective, because it hides the fact that feminisms are a social, emotional, economic, environmental proposal... Which offers the basis for a better life that ends up reverting to all citizens. The regression manifested by these data is extremely worrying because it shows once again that this is not only a women's issue, but that the resistance to change of a very important part of men, clinging to their privileges, is the most dangerous obstacle of patriarchy itself.