A virtual youth forum conducted on Zoom to mark the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women got a nasty surprise Tuesday when a group of young men quickly hijacked the event, making insulting sexist comments and then masturbating on camera.
Paulina Monreal Castillo, a Durango city councilor who participated in the event — the topic of which was gender equality and feminist empowerment, denounced the incident and the young men involved, calling it an act of “political gender violence,” saying the young men had had no intention of participating in good faith.
“We began to talk, but in the chat room, which we could all see, various young men began to address me, saying, “Why are you talking?” and other such things. Someone in the forum then pointed out that one of [the young men] was projecting images from a pornographic movie and that another was masturbating.”
The act apparently emboldened two others, who also began to masturbate on camera.
Forum participant Ana Luz Sánchez Soto also criticized the young men’s behavior, pointing out that it happened in a space created to discuss violence against women.
“How ironic,” she said on Twitter Tuesday. “We were putting on a forum about violence against women, and various men began calling us whores and masturbating on camera. This is what it’s like to be a woman in Mexico.”
The event had been created by Youth in Movement, a political youth organization connected with Mexico’s Citizens Movement political party, which is hosting events this week related to the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women. Organizers had put out a public call for participants in the forum, which was how the young men had been able to join it.
Organizers said the four youths have yet to be identified although they were kicked out of the forum’s online platform fairly quickly. Nevertheless, said Monreal, the young men’s “obscene attitudes” cast a pall over the rest of the event.
State cybersecurity authorities were informed of the incident and are investigating, she said.
In a video she posted on Twitter, Monreal lamented the fact that women had to confront sexist stereotypes and attitudes that they can’t be political, but she also said that this was a moment to remind women and girls that they are not alone.
“The women who decide to better our environment via politics deserve respect … We’re tired and fed up with [men] considering themselves superior and that they have the right to reclaim their spaces from us,” she said.
Source: Milenio (sp)