PSOE and Unidas Podemos stage their feminist divorce in a plenary session of Lorca descent

No substantive novelty, except for dramaturgy, in the debate in the Congress of Deputies on the consideration of the unilateral socialist reform of the government’s law on the Comprehensive Guarantee of Sexual Freedom. But the dramaturgy was pure Lorca: women consumed, confronted, harassed and subjugated by machismo, boycotting each other. Bernarda Alba’s house, in plenary version. The arguments of one and the other, worn out these months until they have lost their drawing and meaning, turned into slogans.

Arguments spent in a month in which there has not been the slightest attempt to negotiate an agreed exit between the government partners -or to hide it from their constituents-, nor from these with the progressive majority of the investiture. The result: bad faces, deputies throwing reproaches at each other and a first procedure of the missile against the norm that is the figurehead of surpassed government feminism, under the socialist auspices, with the help of all the territorial and state rights, including the neo-Francoist. A few days after March 8. The destruction for the feminist flank of the executive could not have been greater.

The most eloquent part of the session was listening to the deputies of Esquerra, Pilar Balañà, Ciudadanos, Sara Jiménez, and CUP, Mireia Vehí. They did not defend the same vote but rather the opposite – of the three groups, only Ciudadanos supported taking the reform into consideration – but the three of them turned to their government partners angrily and eloquently expressed the embarrassment of participating in such a debate so few hours after 8-M, the horror at the true fact that the Government, all of it, has allowed its internal disputes to have permeated the day of feminist celebration and combat.

“I don’t want to hear them talk about sorority again, allies… They have broken everything.” “We are witnessing how a government ministry violates a law from another ministry.” That’s how expressive the Republican deputy Pilar Balañá was. “Stay away from the low-rise policy to which we are getting used to every day, day in and day out, to talk about this law,” claimed Sara Jiménez.

Vehí was harsher and reproached the PSOE for allowing itself the luxury of “patrolling the borders of feminism”, and Podemos for trying to “patrimonialize feminism”. “This debate only serves to cover up the central issues of 8-M and not talk about what needs to be talked about,” he added. The speech by Bel Pozueta from EH-Bildu was not much kinder, who asked the partners for responsibility and warned “Don’t debate in the media and don’t use feminist forces.”

The presence of the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, in the debate was not foreseen, since she had to appear in the Senate, but a change in the agenda of the Upper House meant that she could appear in plenary session. Montero replied with her gestures to what was happening in the rostrum, but above all to the intervention of Nerea Fernández, PSOE secretary for feminism, in charge of defending the socialist initiative against the Equality law. And Fernández did not want to pass for lukewarm: “Ladies of United We Can, we want to know her proposals, we are tired of her rants.”

The intervention of United We Can was not far behind. Deputy Lucía Muñoz Dalda acted as spokesperson, who proclaimed a not passregarding consent, and launched the obvious reproach: “The PSOE has allied with the PP and Vox to ask us again if we close our legs.”

In the end, the numbers were clear: the PSOE achieved the support of two-thirds of the chamber – all the regional and state right-wing, and the far-right abstained – for taking it into consideration, and only 58 votes against. For government partners, the issue is actually worse: after contaminating 8-M with their battle, there is no indication that the parliamentary process will end in agreement.

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