Pamela Palenciano, the controversial feminist ‘vigilante’ accused of “fomenting hatred” against men | Ideas

It will be because Newton’s third law is also fulfilled in social life, and each action corresponds to a reaction, but it would seem that the more feminist activism progresses in Spain, the more a reaction of rejection intensifies. “Now there are many disseminators of a very anti-feminist message heavy with more influence than me ”, says the actress and feminist Pamela Palenciano (Andújar, 39 years old) by telephone. His monologue Not only do the blows hurt, Designed to alert teens to gender-based violence, not to stop giving them an upset lately. She interprets him dressed in baggy pants and a hoodie, and she displays great doses of rage in him justice playing herself and her abusive former boyfriend.

In June he received a complaint, the third, but the first to be admitted for processing by a Madrid court. It was presented by the Association of Battered Men days after a Vox deputy in the Madrid Assembly uploaded to her Twitter account a link to a video of a performance by Palenciano in Linares, in March 2019. You can see how it looks faces three boys who, he claims, had been bothering for a long time, and who end up leaving. The activist follows them, imitating their gait, amid applause from the room. Palenciano exclaims then, assuming that they have not realized: “You have to be an asshole!” Phrase that she justifies like this: “My monologue is a pedagogical tool where I responded to the violent attitude of these three kids from my character, not as Pamela person.” The tweet went viral, and from there he received threats, criticism and some performance was canceled. Palenciano believes that it is not an attack against her, but against the feminist cause. That is why the lack of support from the movement hurts him, which he sees as very divided. It takes its toll, she believes, to be part of the “trans-inclusive” sector of feminism.

Meanwhile, Vox denounces his actions as “indoctrination” paid with public money. Palenciano proudly points out that since 2003 she has obtained both public and private contracts – she has been filling Madrid’s Teatro del Barrio for five years. “Many people charge public money; the police, with whom I do not agree, collect public money ”. What really happens, in his opinion, is that those of Vox are upset that he “questions the privileges of hegemonic masculinity”, that he has “a non-normative body”, that he vindicates the working class – from which he comes, underlines— and its Andalusian identity, in addition to proclaiming itself anarchist and anti-system.

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Palenciano lives in Madrid, but was born in Andújar (Jaén), and fondly remembers a childhood “with open doors and neighbors talking a lot, all the time, and a relationship between women that has been lost”. Her father was a bartender in a bar, and she was raised as an only child until she was 12, when her sister was born. It was precisely at that age that she began a disastrous courtship that traumatized her. After breaking that relationship, at the age of 18, she went to Malaga to study Audiovisual Communication – always, she clarifies, with scholarships – although on vacation she returned to Andújar to work as a waitress with her father or at pilgrimages and parties. He also made his first steps in Radio Elite de Arjona, before a providential psychologist showed him the path of art as the best way to overcome the anger he felt. He listened. In 2003 she organized an exhibition and then became involved in workshops for teens on intimate partner violence. An activism that took him to Central America in 2007, where he lived for eight years – his sentimental and professional partner is the Salvadoran Iván Larreynaga, father of his children, a 16-year-old teenager and a 7-year-old boy – and he returned to Spain in 2015 with his monologue, which he has been perfecting. Representing him in institutes and auditoriums has become, he confesses, the “mission” of his life.

“It is a provocative monologue, which stirs you, which generates emotions because it is precisely intended to make us ask ourselves things; transform ourselves a bit through an artistic form ”, says journalist Nuria Alabao, coordinator of the digital feminisms section Ctxt. That is why it does not leave you indifferent. When the popular City Council of Navalagamella (Madrid) canceled its performance in October, the news of this newspaper received an avalanche of comments on Facebook. Some very critical of the City Council, others with their work. “Kids feel more threatened than empathic when they hear it,” claimed one participant. The activist replies that, at the age of 14, boys are shaping their identity as men, and that she questions the hegemonic masculinity model in front of them. “They think I’m attacking them, and it’s not them, it’s the system, something that is explained very well in the monologue.” Data from the Youth and Gender Barometer 2021, from the Reina Sofía Center, suggest that hostility is increasing. One in five boys surveyed, twice the number four years ago, considers gender violence an “ideological invention”. Something that could discourage anyone, but not Palenciano. Values ​​his career positively. Not only because people tell him, which, he emphasizes, writes him every day, but because of the recognitions, awards, applause and hiring. If her work has been useful to young people, there is no doubt that it has also served her.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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