April 17, 2015

Welcome to Madrid #5 : The Spanish attitude

If you know Spaniards a little bit, you know they have their "actitud", the strong attitude of confidence. Which is a good thing. The ugly side turns when the confidence turns into aggresivity. That's why we are fed news about homicides and abuse of all kinds, all the time.

And sadly I sometimes see (mostly) emotional abuse around me, which may not be noticed as such.
Why not?
Because the everage mindset sees a mother or father disciplining their child, not violence.
Because they see a young couple's conversation, not a boy distressing his girlfriend with his ideas of how he owns her and how stupid she is for not wearing and doing what he wants her to.
Because they see schoolmates fooling around, not a bully intimidating his fellows, just because the bully is mistreated by his parent who is mistreated by his/her spouse who is mistreated by his/her boss and so on.

I am reminded how authoritative Spanish men are everytime I see a guy (of all ages) holding his spouse around her shoulders or around her neck while walking on the street. A neck !? It's like he's leading his slave. What happened to the holding around a waist or a butt at worst? Luckily I don't see it that often and I'm impressed how old couples keep holding hands in public, it's very sweet.

It's a kind of a thing happening within families, within close friends and relatives. I have never experienced any assault or threat of any kind in public here no matter how little I wear, where I walk alone, or at what night hour. The south of Madrid is pretty much one of the safest Madrid areas. But the real problem happens within those who are close to each other. Which keeps issues hidden. Unless of course you hear what you didn't want to hear because they are so damn loud. Spanish people have no sense of how loud they are and are completely careless if heard or seen.

What inspired me to write this particular opinion, was a page in a local newspaper I recently read, which is basically a violence awareness campaign. I saw this ad and similar others in public places before, but this time I had a chance to actually take a photo of it.
Here it is:

It says At the first sign of abuse... RUN AWAY. And there is a very peaceful-mooslem looking guy (Hey I said peaceful. Because they are peaceful aren't they...) with an evil look on his face. In my not-so-humble opinion they used a good image for that. And you can see the tiny font with the phone number 012 which is the helpline to contact. Knowing how to defend yourself is better than running, but not all are able to do that and running is the last option. So you see how bad it is when the campaign has to take it that far. The campaign is of course good, the situation is bad.
When will people respect each other? I don't mind starting from myself but why nobody joins up?

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