This Monday marks one year since the sexist chants of those enrolled in the Elías Aruja senior school in Madrid that scandalized Spanish society: “Whores, come out of your burrows like rabbits, you are nymphomaniac whores, I promise you that you are all going to fuck in the capea! There was then a lot of intention for amendment, the leader was expelled for a few weeks (not forever, as announced), but the changes are being very slow. Many of the veterans who participated in La Granja – that is what the “rite” was called – have left the school with only a reprimand from the management team and the psychologists, but without the “mandatory participation in a cycle of conferences”, as promised. Elías Ahuja in a statement. They have not received training in “hazing, respect, equality and identity.” Last year, the possibility of them attending one of the workshops of the Equality Unit of the Complutense University, to which the center is attached, was considered. It didn’t set. This newspaper has attended two of the six days of the titled Masculinities: men facing equality, which looks like a suit cut for the ahujos. Catch.
On the first day of the 18-hour workshop at the UCM, almost all participants acknowledge having enrolled for the credit that is achieved if they attend – the course is generally organized into 240 credits – but it is also perceived in the boys’ and girls’ fortnight. a special sensitivity for gender equality. They come read from home. Perhaps they are, therefore, not the ideal audience. The psychologist Manuel Rodríguez, who energizes several of the days of the workshop – there is hardly any theory, those enrolled interact -, recognizes it: “Yes, of course, that happens when it is something optional. But there are always clueless people who don’t know what they’re signing up for and when it’s over they rethink many things.”
“The great struggle is to attract people who are not sensitive to these issues. And that is very difficult because you cannot force people to take a course. That is why it is so important that the gender perspective be introduced in all the subjects of the degree,” explains Isabel Tajahuerce, delegate of the rector for Equality at the Complutense. As long as this step is not taken, the unit offers a huge catalog of courses – harassment prevention, equality plan, self-care… – some in person and others not, divided by groups (students, teachers and administration and service staff). or by sex so that they are more comfortable.
Between December 2022 and February 2023, the management teams of Ahuja and Santa Mónica – the girls’ school to which the insults were uttered, also from the Augustinian fathers – attended a conflict mediation course run by the Equality Delegation. Sometimes the UCM organizes courses for schoolchildren, but the Ahuja, very conservative – it has hosted conferences by Vox leaders – has chosen to fulfill its public commitment with the support for now of two Psychology professors from the Francisco de Vitoria University, “administered” by the Legionaries of Christ, and guardian agents of the Municipal Police. The rookies have been the first to listen and the student protagonists will join in despite their regret last year.
Workshop on masculinity at the Complutense University, last Thursday. DAVID EXPÓSITO
Rodríguez, who is working on his thesis on masculinities and violence, welcomes the students in the basement of the Faculty of Biological and Geological Sciences with a huge smile and an illustrated booklet written by him and the professor of other sessions, Pablo Ramírez. It reviews the basic concepts of the subject in a few pages, includes a catalog of surprising data – women only feature in 5% of sports news or men are between three and six times more likely to commit suicide – and the culmination is 50 situations in which a sexist is well identified.
Among those enrolled in the UCM, no one doubts that violence is gendered, but Rodríguez detects many reluctance in his talks – which are mandatory – at the institutes. “That idea is becoming more and more common. “Teenagers ask a lot about false complaints and insist a lot that not all men are bad,” he says. At first it is difficult for him to break the ice, but then the university students start talking and there is no doubt that they have thought something about the issue before.
The three hours fly by. “See you Thursday,” the teacher says goodbye. The second day he dedicates to male references in cinema and sports. ― “Does anyone know what the Bechdel test is?” he asks. Mayte, who is studying third year law, raises her hand and explains: it was created to measure gender inequality in films. In no film that won the Oscar for best picture since 1929, have women talked more than men. Not even remotely. Again the students fail with their heads.
The Torrente saga sounds very distant to you. “The most disgusting film in the history of Spain. The stereotype of the slimy brother-in-law,” reflects Raúl, in his fourth year of Physics. They feel more comfortable talking about Barbie. Almost everyone has seen it. “Mattel was created by a woman, but then managers took it over. In the film they mock each other and that creates a precedent. What will they do now?” explains the teacher. Jackson, who is studying Political Science and Philosophy, is not going to remain in doubt and has a motive: a woman and nine men at the top. Debate settled.
―“What difference is there between sex and gender?”, says the teacher.
Not so long ago, twenty-somethings would have remained mute. Today, they do not hesitate. Why do they know the difference? They claim that they have not been taught it at home or at school. “In Internet”. The teacher briefly explains the concepts (hegemonic masculinity, intersectionality…) and encourages them to always debate current issues: “Could Bad Bunny be a new masculine reference? And Elon Musk?” Students are organized into groups of four to agree on 10 values associated with masculinity. Some are clear – strength, safety, practicality – but in other cases not. Entrepreneurs? Competitive?
There are no downtimes. The most viewed YouTube video is projected on the small screen if you write the word masculinity. It is titled The 4 Pillars of Masculinity that Every Man Should Cultivate and has received 261,000 visits in 10 months. The voice is robotic and the message – “Releasing your emotions in front of others will only harm you,” says the guru – does not convince anyone. General hilarity.
The Santa Monica schoolgirls excused their neighbors (“Poor things, it’s a tradition”) and it was not contemplated that they would also receive training in a course like this on masculinities. The websites of the sister schools show that nothing has changed. The Monicas, among their duties, have to “always keep the rooms clean and tidy” and “one day a week the bathroom will be cleaned”; while life smiles on the ahujos: “The room will be your personal space, so you can decorate it (…) we will take care of the cleaning and maintenance twice a week.”
You can follow EL PAÍS Education in Facebook and Xor sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits
#instructive #workshop #masculinity #Elías #Ahuja #schoolchildren