The voice in off Question: "Is this the best thing that man can become?" Emotional music sounds They run children chasing others, a rapper and a dancer with little clothes. An actor slaps an actress in the ass set of television: "We can not continue taking it as a joke," the same voice replies. "… the best that man can become? ¿Really? " It's the never seen: a brand of blades shaving for men, Gillette, it is promoted with an announcement that appeals to MeToo movement, rejects sexual aggressions or toxic masculinity. It has been a milestone in Spain before its premiere on television. In 10 days add more than 25 million views on YouTube. And up. Under the video, thousands of comments from men who feel insulted and put all "in the same bag". Many threaten never to buy these products again. Others throw irony: "Thanks to this video I have stopped hitting my wife, my children and my neighbors. And I violate less often. " Welcome to the era of angry white men.
The sociologist Michael Kimmel coined that term (Angry White Men in English) and has studied its effects on society and politics: "They understand that the real victims are neither women, nor minorities, nor gays, but themselves," he explains to the telephone from the United States. After observing in recent years a new explosion of feminism, there are men who feel "vulnerable and scared" in a new scenario in which women gain ground, where they claim to occupy an equal share of power and ask for new rules of the game: "Everything they have learned about how to be a man Now it is questioned. The aristocracy has never liked meritocracy and that is just what happens to men who have always been up without anyone arguing, "explains Kimmel.
"Everything they have learned about how to be men is now in question," says Michael Kimmel. "And they feel victims"
Donald Trump He has agitated this group like nobody. The Angry White Men they have been decisive for his triumph, according to the analysis of the American sociologist. But neither is it a totally new phenomenon – Ronald Reagan was already addressing them – nor is it circumscribed to a single place. They are the same potential voters to whom Jair Bolsonaro appeals in Brazil, the extreme right in Hungary or France and, in Spain, especially the leaders of Vox. Do these men have reason to feel threatened?
"The frustration of men has become a common phenomenon in Western societies. See how mixed education expands. They obtain better grades and better results in the oppositions, they devastate in Medicine, in judicial careers ", reflects political scientist Andrés Ortega. "There has been a great cultural change, the clash now is not of civilizations but of genders, the woman wants a similar place and there is a part of the men who feel threatened".
It's never seen, the Gillette ad appeals to the MeToo movement to sell blades
In Spain, they have found their main loudspeaker political in Vox, with an electoral program plagued by measures against women's rights. They ask to repeal the laws of gender violence, endorsed by broad majorities and by the Constitutional Court and set in motion before a reality of 979 victims since there are records in 2003; They question free abortion or parity, clamor against subsidies for feminist groups that they accuse of mounting "Chiringuitos" without providing a single figure or a name. Their results in Andalusia have made them key to the change of Government that has allowed the PP and Citizens to oust the PSOE. Opposite, thousands of women who rallied throughout Spain on the 15th have been found shouting: "Feminism. Not a step back ", with the support and the impulse (implicit and explicit) of other parties like the PSOE, which in Seville chartered buses for the protests.
"Whenever feminism takes a step forward, machismo reacts in parallel. It's not a novelty, "says the philosopher Ana de Miguel
"Whenever feminism takes a step forward, machismo reacts in parallel. It is not a novelty, it is a widely contrasted reality that has been repeated over the last 200 years, "explains the philosopher and feminist Ana de Miguel. What's new, he adds, is that there are politicians and parties that speak directly to them. "They tell them: 'We know that you are fed up with the feminism, to which your daughters must vote and equal rights, champion at ease in news programs and associations and we will represent you," the philosopher says.
When the struggle of the suffragettes for the right to vote in the 19th century they found allies and many voices that questioned their struggle. Queen Victoria of England spoke of the "perverse madness of women's rights and all their associated horrors … If women desexualized themselves by affirming equality with men they would become the most hateful, pagan and unpleasant beings and surely they would perish without male protection ".
"Of course there are parents who feel threatened by the application of the gender violence law", explains Vicente Rodrigo (Asepadi)
Then, as now, there were women aligned with men. "To be a better woman, I do not have to be a feminist", Declared this newspaper Isabel Díaz-Ayuso, candidate of the PP to the Community of Madrid. Two days before the mobilization of March 8, 2018 in Spain, with a feminist strike and an unprecedented mobilization whose images went around the world, a group of women published a manifesto in EL PAÍS. Its titled We are not born victims and defends that "the vast majority of women in Spain are free to choose career, work and lifestyle." The Vox program for Andalusia refers to that very thing: "Equal rights have been guaranteed in Spain for decades".
Two centuries have passed and nobody questions the right to vote or the work of women, now what is in doubt is that there is still a need to combat discrimination. "Behind the Angry White Men or from Vox you will not necessarily find men who say that women are inferior, but rather that they question whether men have more privileges or that it is still necessary to fight for parity, "explains the political scientist at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) ) and editor of Politikon Berta Barbet. In Spain, the salary gap between men and women is 16% and the percentage of women in managerial positions is 27%.
"It has been wrong explained what was the problem, feminism can not make see that all men are bad", values the political scientist Berta Barbet
"I'm sick of being criminalized by men simply because we are," says José Carrol, a 34-year-old alarm installation team leader. "I feel undervalued," he adds, with arguments that are easy to hear also in other men who do not necessarily follow Vox's postulates or disregard the laws that specifically protect women. "There is a movement a bit radical that is putting us all in the same bag. Man is not given the credit he deserves. " Carrol repeats another idea that some men and women assume: they carry the loss in cases of separation.
Vox has attacked the alleged false allegations of women in cases of gender violence (0.01% of the total, according to data from the Attorney General's Office) or conflicts over the joint custody of the children. One in three divorces is resolved with shared custody, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), but there is no official statistics that reflects how many of those that ask for men are rejected.
Vicente Rodrigo is a lawyer of the Spanish Association of Divorced Parents (Asepadi), with more than 15 years of experience in this type of lawsuit. "Of course there are parents who feel threatened by this regulation and the application of the gender violence law," he explains.
"Our goal is not just to talk to men who call themselves feminists. We have to get to the bar and also to football, "says Pablo Llamas, Men for Equality
"They fear veiled threats from women who, when they say they are going to request joint custody, respond with a complaint of gender violence and end up in the dungeon. Submitting that complaint is a very effective mechanism. " Rodrigo assures that they are not generalized cases – most of the divorces are settled by mutual agreement – but that they develop without the requests of men being heard.
Barbet adds another reason to explain this possible feeling of helplessness: "Perhaps it has been wrong explained what was the problem, feminism should avoid saying that all men are bad, as happens sometimes. It seems a mistake to say that any man can be a rapist, "he says. Philosopher De Miguel, for her part, affirms that "you can not argue as you did 20 years ago, when it was falsely believed that feminists hated men. It is not worth turning feminism into a scapegoat. This is not a war of the sexes, it's a matter of justice. "
"It's a human rights issue, but it's also a good thing for us men," adds Pablo Llama, spokesperson for the Men's Association for Gender Equality (Ahige). The association, created in 2003 to deepen into other ways of understanding masculinity, has set itself a challenge: "Our goal is not just to talk to men who come and call themselves feminists. We have to get to the bar and also to football. "
There has been a cultural change, the clash now is not civilizations but gender, "says political scientist Andres Ortega
Ortega and Kimmel agree that in the coming years the discomfort of angry white men and the parties that appeal to this malaise can go further. In the case of Spain, according to Andrés Ortega, "there is a risk that they contaminate other parties, basically the PP".
In the medium term, however, Michael Kimmel sees little future for them. He explains that, between the 2016 and 2018 elections, Trump lost part of the support of white women voters precisely because of this discourse. And he looks at the next generations: "Children and young people are more comfortable with equality than I or my father was, whether it is equality between the sexes or racial. I see it in my own son. I believe that the future that awaits us is better. White men angry in the long term will disappear. They are very noisy on the Internet but I do not think they get too much power in the real world. "
Is Spain a macho country? Judging by the latest available data, the answer is no. The last report of the Center for Sociological Studies (CIS) on the perception of discrimination in Spain, of September 2016, points out that two out of every three people surveyed disapproved of the fact that, with equality of training and experience, a man was hired beforehand. woman. More than 60% were convinced that being a woman harms to be chosen to exercise a position of responsibility.
In a published survey in November for 40dB and Context, Feminism in Spain: reality or bubble?, more than half of the population claims to feel quite and very feminist, although few declare themselves activists. This percentage increases when it comes to women (58.6%) and decreases to 45% in the case of men.
Among the most feminist, the voters of Unidos Podemos (74.1%) or PSOE (56.7%). Among those less, those of Citizens (38.1) or PP (37.6).