• “This continues to be a very serious situation for women, adolescents and girls, with gang rapes by young people worryingly increasing in recent years”

Las Fallas celebrates the arrival of spring. It is a religious holiday during which, on 19 March, Valencians commemorate Saint José (the patron saint of carpentry).

In addition to many other extravaganzas, for many, the festival comes to a climax with the burning of the ninots, huge statues made of papier-mache, cardboard, wood, or plaster, usually extremely lifelike and with many depicting bawdy, satirical scenes and current events.

In Castellón, at Las Fallas de Burriana, feminist groups are outraged at the design of one ninot, which during the run up to the burning, has been sited in the middle of the town, in Calle l’Escorredor. So incensed are they that they have requested its immediate removal as “sexist”. Titled ‘Que bé viu Batiste el primitiu’ it shows a troglodyte about to impose himself on a woman.

On it’s Instagram account el Front Abolicionista del País Valencià published a statement demanding it’s immediate removal from the festival

“We are fed up that every year we come across ninots that blatantly reproduce sexist stereotypes, that objectify women and represent us as mere sexual objects, but this year’s 2022 Burriana L’escorredor failure, with the motto ‘Que bé viu Batiste el primitiu’ (the troglodyte) is the last straw, in which a terrible scene of sexist violence, more specifically sexual violence, is shown.

There is no justification for staging something as serious as the sexual violence that women suffer, much less praising the action (you just have to read the theme of the monument).

The presence of this fallero monument is intolerable. We demand it’s immediate withdrawal.”

For this reason, a  protest was called in front of the festive monument the the group saying that it is sending a strong message to the Fallera Board and to the local government (PSPV and Compromís) that such depictions are no longer acceptable.

The figure ‘Vita Activa’, shows a caricature of a naked woman

Just down the road in Valencia, the figure ‘Vita Activa’, showing a caricature of a naked woman, was awarded fourth prize by fallas judges but by the following day it had suffered an act of vandalism, with the area around her intimate parts destroyed.

The vandalism has has caused outrage on social networks and has been widely condemned in Valencia by, among others, the mayor of Valencia Joan Ribó.