When Spanish Women Wax – Notes from Spain Podcast 70


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Why does no one wear shorts in the street? Will Carme Chacón, the new Defense minister, change the lot of Spanish women forever? Is there a housing crisis in Spain? And is Marina going to have to get the police onto the neighbours? Listen and find out!

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18 thoughts on “When Spanish Women Wax – Notes from Spain Podcast 70

  1. Andrew

    Oh lord, I nearly went out in my shorts earlier because my jeans were SO hot – it was 28c! Oh my, what a faux pas I could have comitted…right in the middle of Madrid!

  2. Ray

    The fact that 9-1-1 was established as the nationwide standard for emergency calls was not lost on the Al-Queda operatives who piloted the planes into the Twin Towers.
    Even prior to “Nine-Eleven” the phrase “nine-eleven” was universally recognized by ‘Americans’ to mean an emergency situation.
    HOWEVER, it was and is much, much more frequently said “nine-one-one” especially now that “nine-eleven” will be first assumed to be referring to September Eleventh.

  3. Ray

    I really appreciate your great podcast, and I can’t imagine the energy and perseverance it requires to keep recording, and coming up with interesting things to talk about.
    One thing that struck me about a year ago, upon coming to Spain to live. For the first while we lived in Madrid, and it was the first place that I saw woman wearing business suits, shirts and sometimes ties, while walking down the streets of the city (I assume they were coming and going to work in offices and at interesting European jobs downtown.
    Okay, I’ve seen plenty of that in cities in the States. The thing that was truly NEW to me was the matching, knee or calf-length shorts that they wore with their suits.
    Since I don’t know what you call this type of business-suit-with-shorts, or even if it has a ‘name’ yet. Also my (Spaniard) wife was out of the loop, as far as Spanish fashion goes, so she doesn’t know, which makes it difficult to lookup online, since “pantalones cortos con traje de vestir” doesn’t give the results I’m looking for in Google.

  4. luke

    So many subjects in 20 mins…all of them were spot on. I got my wife to listen to it with the headphones and she was talking to the ipod like it was a phone. Most of her responses were affirmative, getting louder and more passionate as it went on.
    On the subject of violence against women, I find it quite a culture shock in trying to understand male/female relations in Spain. So often I meet people who view relationships as a kind of war or game between couples. When I got married one of my Spanish in-laws advised me (in a jocular fashion) to beat my wife down on the first day, otherwise I’ll have problems in the future. Although that was a joke, there is a vague belief in Spain that a Spanish wife will dominate you given half a chance. A couple of days ago, I was hearing the same point of view from Ecuadorian male friends of mine. Perhaps this isn’t limited to Spain but my middle-class English background didn’t prepare me for this…

  5. Ben Post author

    @Andrew, just wait til it’s 36 degrees!

    @VS and Ray, thanks for the 911, I suppose I must have know that from the movies!

    @Luke, I’m glad your wife thought we were going in the right direction! As for women in Spain, I think there is a split occurring between those that continue to take abuse and be put upon in their relationships, and the new, professional young woman who takes no shxt from anyone. I hope the latter is becoming the norm, where the Spanish woman and her ‘caracter’ is no match for any violent, retarded male.

  6. BrianA

    Large sign in a local estate agent today in Pego “Flats from 89,000€”. That’s about 30,000 less than this time last year. Also many new blocks around now with for sale signs in 1/3rd of the flats and an article in the paper about the number of developers that are filing for insolvency. Unfortunately this translates into many thousands of workers jobs lost eventually.
    One of the reasons for rising food prices seems to be the more profitable sale of food crops to make bio-diesel. Another fine mess you’ve got us into …..

  7. Parubin

    Did you actually know that violence against wives/girlfriends/exes in Spain is lower that in any other country in the world.

    The number of women dead as a result of beatings from husbands or exes is 2.4 per 1.000.000 living women in Spain, whereas in the UK is 4.4, in Germany 3.6, in Finland 8.7, Norway 6.6…

    In Spain there is an enormous sensitivity towards this type of crime, and every ‘domestic murder’ makes the headlines and so it seems that the problem in Spain is a lot bigger than in the neighbouring countries, but it is quite the opposite.

    This, of course, does not mean that the figures in Spain are something to be proud of. Each episode leaves a stain of shame.

    About ZP’s feminism, I think he sends good signals to Spanish society by trusting primarily on women, but this is as well a marketing measure. About positive discrimination laws (that would ensure a minimum quota for women on political lists or even on board of directors of private owned companies) I’m not sure about the convenience of it. I’m more inclined towards personal and individual freedom with little interference of the lawmakers on these issues. Let political parties to freely decide their representants (regardless of the gender) and people will as well decide freely the best of them. And let the owners of the companies to decide who is the best to run the business and increase the value of the investment basing this desition on a criteria of competence and not if it is a woman or a man in the board.

    Links to countries statistics of ‘domestic violence’ against women :

    EL MUNDO :
    http://www.elmundo.es/documentos/2004/06/sociedad/malostratos/cifras_03.html

    EL PAIS :
    http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/Solo/23/paises/saben/cuantas/mujeres/mueren/ano/violencia/machista/elpepusoc/20070602elpepisoc_3/Tes

  8. bill

    Thanks for your enlightening post Parubin. I agree that it’s very hard to get a balanced idea of the issues facing different countries because the media does indeed concentrate on certain issues, thus magnifying them.

    I saw an interesting article somewhere recently about how a large proportion of women in high flying executive careers often quit after a few years simply because they find it is not what they want to do. They decide they’d rather do something more rewarding but with lower pay, such as teaching, and feel they had been pressurised into pursuing more “glamorous” and “high flying” careers which they ultimately found unsatisfactory.

  9. Skip

    I always enjoy the podcast! maybe because they have not been as frequent, but I just enjoy hearing you and Marina discuss life and living in Span.

    Does Marina have rules about recording dinner/conversations ?

    -Cheers

  10. Edith

    That was a really interesting podcast! :-) Spain seems to have come a long way since the days of Franco, when women were truly ‘ciudadanas de segunda’.

    RE Parubin: I never fully trust statistics, wherever they come from, but I do believe Spain is far from unique as far as domestic violence against women is concerned. Perhaps it’s true, as you say, that ‘violencia de género’ receives more media coverage in Spain than in other countries.

    It may sound far-fetched, but in a way the recent incest case in Austria is also an example of machista violence against women. Even though this Fritzl character may be a very extreme case bordering on the insane, he does have something in common with all those wife-batterers and spouse-killers: a very low sense of self-esteem and a deep-seated fear of mature women. Cases like this tend to smear the reputation of an entire country. Thank goodness such a case has never come to light in Spain (yet). * knock on wood*

  11. Ben Post author

    @Skip – do you mean the stuff we talk about over dinner?

    @Edith – I only found out about the Austria case yesterday… insane indeed. I could not believe it.

  12. Edith

    @ Ben,

    Sometimes, missing out on the news is pure bliss as far as I’m concerned! ;-) Last week I was with some friends and after discussing this case we vented our feelings by making some very politically incorrect jokes about good old Fritzl which are not fit for print. :D But sometimes, you have to let off steam in order to deal with some of the things you see on the news.
    By the way, about the subject of your podcast: I believe Michelle Bachelet (president of Chile) used to be Minister of Defense for a while. According to Isabel Allende, this country is far more conservative than Spain, so there is still hope for (wo)mankind on this planet. ;-)

  13. Anna

    000 in Australia, if anyone is heading over here – fairly necessary given our inordinate number of deadly, snakes, spiders, sharks, jellyfish and drunk drivers.

  14. Kendra

    Immediately after listening to this statement about how it’s “not done” for the Spanish to wear shorts in the city, I went out shopping in Valencia, to the Aqua mall, and saw a couple of women wearing SHORT shorts (what we once called hot pants in the US).

  15. cindy

    i dont really care how much people laugh at me in shorts as long as i can laugh back at the men wearing their business shoes with jeans!

    do you use the same emergency number…112 to call the police?

    the banks i think are a little optimistic to think this will be over in one year. i believe it will be much more.

    ( much more? is that correct english? living here for 9 years has made me doubt my english!)

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