Recently in Spain a sentence was issued regarding a trial for a gang rape of five young men to an 18-year-old girl. The sentence declares them guilty of sexual abuse. According to the judges there was no rape since they did not perceive violence or intimidation, so they refuse to condemn them for sexual assault and opt for the slightest criminal type of sexual abuse. A sentence that has sent tens of thousands of people out into the streets in a country that on March 8th experienced a historic feminist strike to say enough to violence, inequality and discrimination suffered by women. The sentence demonstrates that all the prejudices and gender stereotypes that occur in sexual violence are reproduced in the judicial system. There is an ideology behind it, a structure, the patriarchal system, which sneaks into all spaces of socialization.
Currently the Supreme Court in Spain consists of 12 judges, 10 men and 2 women. The Supreme Court’s Board of Directors is made up of 13 members. All men. The High Court is composed of 79 members, 68 men. As for the General Council of the Judiciary, of its 22 members, only 8 are women. The Penal Section of the General Codification Commission is composed entirely of men, whose average age exceeds 67 years.
This wall is a denunciation of the patriarchal justice of Spain. The “democratic Spain” started with a macho, catholic and classist legislation, historical heritage of an authoritarian and fascist regime that has never really been overcome, perceived by citizens as a conservative entity that is forceful or permissive depending on who it is applied to.