Mediator Case | Corrupt and prostitutes: it is not sex, but an exhibition of masculine power

A new corruption plot is uncovered, the Mediator case, and it transpires that the allegedly corrupt used the money from the bribes at parties with prostituted women. groups of men powerful partying, paying to access women’s bodies and even allowing himself to be photographed in those circumstances: this story that is repeated for the umpteenth time speaks of inequality, display of power and masculinity, but not of sex.

Neither sex nor fun, what underlies this behavior is a ostentation of powerthe demonstration of male domination over women and the reinforcement of patriarchal ties between men, the so-called “phratry”.

The researcher and professor of Sociology at the University of Vigo Silvia Pérez explains to EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA, from the Prensa Ibérica group, that “the values ​​of a still hegemonic masculinity in patriarchal societies like ours are linked to the contempt for the feminine and the display of this masculinity before the peer group, that is, other men”.

“Within this, prostitution represents a place where you can exercise this type of masculinity without restrictions, a place where women are sexual servantseminently, which is the relational position in which it is understood that we should be”, he emphasizes.

Power, inequality and violence

In the same sense, the international doctor in gender studies and feminist researcher Mónica Alario points out that prostitution is “a practice completely linked to power” and that the behaviors that have been known in the Mediator case are not “at all surprising” because they are located in a reality where many men consume prostitutionup to four out of ten.

Alario points out that the idea that comes up is that “they like sex and go to whores”, but clarifies that it is a wrong idea: “They like sexual violence and They have money to exercise it prior payment, What is different. It is still thought that when we talk about prostitution we are talking about something related to sex and not violence.”

“It is a display of power, whether it is done by men like these who have power in such a clear way or men who have the power of the patriarchy, without being politicians, or positions of great responsibility. We have to take into account that this access to women’s bodies is one of the foundational demonstrations of the power of patriarchy“, Add.

The professor at the University of Vigo also emphasizes that not only power groups resort to these practices. “Historically, the body of women has been patrimonialized by men and prostitution is a loophole of that appropriation. We must not decontextualize the fact that the purchase of sex has a gender and responds to certain cultural values, also from the market economy,” emphasizes Pérez.

without social reproach

While women are educated in giving comfort and empathy, men in “feeling power, eroticize with power” and even in the deactivation of empathy towards women, Alario emphasizes. That consumption of women’s bodies is, according to the researcher, a type of violence that is based on inequality.

Despite this, the social rejection of cases such as Mediator responds more to citizen outrage at corruption than to a rejection of whores.

“Corruption speaks of a misuse of public money, which is a terrible thing that must be denounced, but this goes further: it is corruption that is being used to violate the human rights of women. It is not an embezzlement, I am using this to rape prostituted women”, remarks Alario.

Even the language that is being used in the media to narrate the facts, highlights the researcher, dehumanizes to women in that drugs and prostituted women are compared as if they were both objects of consumption.

There is quite a division in Spanish society around prostitution. According to the CIS, only 32% of citizens are in favor of punishing whoremongers, while another 32% believe that paying for sex is unacceptable but should not be legally reproachable, and almost the same number, 28%, think that it is acceptable to exchange money for access to a woman’s body.

“We are all participants to some extent in a consenting society of the machismo that legitimizes the prostitution system”, points out the professor from the University of Vigo, who emphasizes how group practices with prostituted women, such as those that have emerged in the Mediator case, are also beginning to be common among the youngest .

Pérez relates how social research shows a “worrying trend”: young people are developing insensitivity to sexual violence Added to this is the general lack of knowledge regarding sexuality and equality.

The homosociability

Accessing the body of prostituted women as a group has to do, Pérez maintains, with “homosociability”, which is the “stage in which the practice of hegemonic masculinity is exhibited and displayed.” It is built in relation to their congeners and not with the relationship that is maintained with women.

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Alario affirms that in this way the ties of the phratry are reinforced: men with privileges and power to say and do what they want to a prostituted woman.

“All together, we are going to show each other that we are macho guys who say or do things to that aunt to make it clear that we are above her,” he denounces.