Mass College Catcalling in Spain: What Does This Say About Our Generation?

Claire Sloniewsky, Staff Writer

In the Elias Ahuja college, an all-men’s school under the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, over 100 students organized a mass catcalling against women living in the all-women’s Colegio Mayor Santa Mónica dorm. In the video clip of the incident that was shared on Twitter, dozens of windows open all at once, revealing young men shouting obscenities and sexist insults at female students in a neighboring block. These chants, although they are obscene, are seen as a “tradition and a ritual” for newcomers to the college.

The most sever punishment was the expulsion of a student, perceived as the leader of the event. The rest of the students were forced to take a class on gender equality. It is unclear whether or not this will have an impact on their future behavior. Spain’s outlawing of catcalling, in a move to help protect women’s rights, appears to contain serious repercussions for these men. Elias Ahuja college is hoping to put an end to this  inappropriate “tradition” and ensure the safety of women. 

After these traumatizing events, a number of female students have been seen protesting outside of both colleges, in an attempt to prevent this from occurring again. The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchaz, called the men’s behavior, “macho, inexplicable, [and] unjustified” (Insider). 

Many questions have arisen about changes that need to be made in our culture as this situation has served as a reminder of how misogyny and sexism continue to plague our society. Although we have made much progress, the coming generation will continue to be affected by this “street” harassment.