He had a traumatic experience as a young man. When did you become aware that your boyfriend raped you?
The first time he raped me when I was 13, but I realized it when I was 21, when Maricarmen, my psychologist, asked me to write a letter-story telling "my first time" and the headline was: My boyfriend raped me with all his love of the world. She was key to understanding that what had happened to me was not because I was very young, because I was from a town in Jaén or because I came from a working-class family, but because I was a woman. In fact, the part of the monologue that breaks my voice the most is when I talk about the rape. Not because I remember mine —on a therapeutic level it has its place— but because I get messages daily from girls raped by their partners and multiple times.
Why did you decide to tell about your experience on stage and take your play to schools?
Because one day I suffered an attack of brutal rage. Why hadn't they told me this before in high school? Maricarmen suggested that I do it through a photographic exhibition and, at the University of Malaga, a high school teacher asked me to go see her students. I was embarrassed, but I presented myself in front of 30 teenagers. At 12 minutes I burst into tears and couldn't continue. Little by little, the project was transformed into a workshop. Later, in El Salvador, I discovered that with the theater I could tell my story without so much pain. In 2012, the workshop became a monologue and in 2019, the pedagogue Dario Vantancoli redirected me to the current version.
Your project will soon be 20 years old. In all this time, has the reaction of the public changed?
Very much! There are things in common in Cádiz, Navarra, El Salvador or Nicaragua, such as the fact that the girls tend to identify themselves at first and recognize the violence they are facing. The monologue makes them uncomfortable, but more than one gets it and understands that the masculinity they are building is harmful. I have witnessed an upward trend and now I see how it is going down.
Why is it going down?
People believe that Vox is solely responsible because it sows the doubt that feminism is a beach bar that does not have to exist and affirms that we are discriminating against men, but anti-feminism does not only come from the extreme right because there are not that many. Many who believe themselves to be progressive and antispeciesist are antifeminists. How do you eat that? There are autonomous communities that have had programs for the prevention of gender violence for a long time and that discourse is also penetrating there. A month ago, a girl stood up and yelled at me, "You're indoctrinating me."
Who feels more upset seeing her adopt the roles of the abuser and the abused?
The theatrical convention that I establish is discomfort because it dismantled the discourse of a system in which it seems natural that the biological differences between men and women become inequalities. The most uncomfortable are the boys. I attack hegemonic masculinity and in adolescence they make an effort to dress, walk, talk and behave like the model that I say kills, rapes, humiliates and hurts them because it prevents them from being vulnerable. I'm not saying how they should be, but think how they shouldn't be. I'm surprised you only see an attack on the male model when I also rip the female model to shreds. I make fools of the aunts and none of them have been angry. That's a good thermometer.
As a result of a performance in Linares, in 2019, where three boys ended up leaving the auditorium, he received a complaint from the Association of Abused Men and on September 15 he had to testify in court. How did you feel?
I had to defend 18 years of work. There have never been any complaints about that monologue. The teachers congratulated me for the pedagogical skill of inviting them to leave the auditorium and the Linares Women's Department congratulated me. Why has that video gone viral on TikTok? Because on May 25, the Vox deputy Alicia Rubio took it out of context to tell Ayuso that there is "ideological garbage" in Madrid. That fragment was a political target between Vox and the PP.
They have also threatened her, even with death, on social networks. He is afraid?
The threats were concentrated between May 25 and September 15, 2021, which was when I received the complaint in court. After that they stopped harassing me. You don't have to be very smart to see where they came from. I'm calmer now, but I've been terrified. I have lived eight years in a country like El Salvador and I have never felt the terror that I have here. Not because they were going to kill me, but because the hate speech has grown so much that on any given day they punch you in the street, run away and nothing happens. But this campaign is not going to go well for them. They won't shut me up.
"I attack hegemonic masculinity, but I also shatter the female model"
Have you considered stopping representing Not only do blows hurt?
Not now, but during the time I was afraid I thought about going back to El Salvador, quitting the monologue all at once or working on other things, but months went by and I told myself that I would quit when I decided. Now, will it be a reason to make a decision? Yes, because the level of damage caused to me and my family leads you to think that it is not worth working like this. I don't want to be a martyr or a heroine for any cause.
There are those who reproach him for an excess of indoctrination that should not be given in public educational centers. What does it tell them?
That I am not indoctrinating anyone, I am dismantling the doctrine that exists! Mathematics or history teachers have ideology. Objectivity does not exist. In a classroom I even make them question me and feminism, if they want. I try to make them open their minds and think, to question themselves, their families, the youtubers and tiktokers they follow, to have real critical thinking.
Would you say that values education has been neglected?
Yes. Since the 2004 gender violence law we have managed to empower girls, and now there is a lack of references for men who cry, who care, who are not alpha males. You have to disempower them with strategy. When I talk about gang rapes in the classroom, I tell them that I have a 7-year-old son whom I intend to educate lovingly but firmly so that he never rapes anyone.
What is your vision of feminism? What is the priority for you?
Feminism in Spain is fragmented from within. When I came to feminism, I was struck by the fact that there were no dogmas but rather a plurality of voices that converged on common goals. What you cannot do on November 25, the day against sexist violence, is talk about the abolition of gender. I don't feel like talking about the trans law, I'm very sorry. The priority objective is that they continue to kill us, the numbers continue to rise and there is no social scandal as an answer