8-M: the political battle | Opinion by Vicente Vallés
The political parties in the United States were probably the first ones to warn, decades ago, that it would be convenient to divide the electorate into social sectors in order to carry out specific campaigns to attract votes. Thus, they divided them by age, social class, level of education, place of residence, profession, religion or sex. Once this differentiation was made, they crossed them. For example: middle-class retired men, Catholics, with average studies, living in the suburbs of large cities, and who were manual workers. What does someone like that ask for in an election campaign? In Spain, such sociological and political work is more recent, but it is already well established in the engine rooms of political parties, to target specific messages.
In this week of 8-M, the objective of the coalition government has been the vote of women, with the commitment to impose parity by law, although this regulation was already in the European order and had to be transposed into national legislation. But everything works when the political situation becomes complicatedand the president and his associates have had it very complicated in the last few weeks. Three years ago, in order to attract female support for PSOE and Unidas Podemos on the eve of another 8-M, the Ministry of Equality forced -and Moncloa accepted that it was forced- to accelerate the law of the ‘only yes is yes’. We now know the consequences of that haste, in the context of a new 8-M, with hundreds of sex offenders who have had their sentences reduced. – and even released from prison early – because of that rule.
The electoral competition of the two parties that make up the Government has caused great tensions between the women of both political forces and between the satellite feminist organizations of those parties. The exchange of insults has not been unusual when referring to this issue. They need to differentiate themselves, otherwise they would be one and the same. To differentiate, sometimes you have to exaggerate, and exaggerations tend to lead to virulent discussions.. It can be assumed that the things that one or the other says against their partners in the rallies will be very nuanced in the councils of ministers. The contrary would be highly worrisome.
Women’s rights are so essential that they do not deserve a spectacle such as the one that has been given from the high spheres of power in recent months. Electoral times, such as this year in Spain, do not facilitate a calm social debate far from partisanship.. But turning feminist demands into an exchange of disqualifications among feminists themselves does nothing to further the cause they are trying to defend.