The XX Factor

Spanish Mayor Accuses Women of Framing Men for Rape. Citizens Respond With Bras.

Photo by BasPhoto/Shutterstock

Ashifa Kassam of the Guardian reports that the city of Valladolid in Spain was covered in bras earlier this week, hung by protesters who are demanding the resignation of their mayor, Francisco Javier León de la Riva. Riva recently went on a Spanish radio show and mistook it for Reddit. “I have qualms about getting into an elevator,” said the conservative mayor. “Imagine you get into an elevator and there is a girl who is out to get you, she enters with you, tears off her bra or skirt and flees shouting that you have tried to assault her. Beware this sort of thing.” 

During the same interview, he also said, “You can’t have a police officer in every park,” and therefore, “At 6 in the morning, a young woman should be careful of where she goes.”

Besides being horrible, Riva’s comments are also illogical. Why should a woman be careful in the park if she is actually the aggressor, ready to rip off her undergarments at any moment to frame a man for rape? Riva switches from blaming victims for their own rapes to suggesting that the rapes aren’t even happening seamlessly, I’ll give him that. 

When people reasonably pointed out that it is some next level woman-hating to believe that this elevator scenario happens ever, much less so often that you have to assume it’s a real risk, Riva offered a nonapology apology: “I am sorry that statements taken out of context have had such repercussions.” He added, “To anyone who was offended, I have no problem offering an apology.” 

Understandably, many citizens of Valladolid don’t think that telling people you’re sorry they’re not capable of understanding context doesn’t constitute a real apology, thus the protests involving the item of clothing Riva fears women tear off in their zeal for false accusations. Here is a picture of one bra installation hung by protesters, shared on Twitter, with a caption that roughly translates as, “Macho mayor get out of my sight.”