-In Forms of Being Far Away (Galaxia Gutenberg) recounts an abuse that is perhaps the most common: low intensity, but constant.
-I consider that physical abuse and psychological abuse are equally serious. We have the infamous figure of 1,000 victims, but psychological abuse is very slippery: it has the quality of not being so obvious. And it is insidious: it can also destroy the victim. Psychological abuse is usually accompanied by a process of isolation, loss of anchors, and places the victim in a situation of extreme vulnerability that makes it even more difficult for him to react or verbalize the situation. For the person, it involves a very long process of wear and tear , and it is very difficult for him to get out of there and take energetic measures: divorce, restraining order.
-The novel presents, really, a whole conglomerate of (pernicious) power structures.
-These cases do not come out of nowhere: they usually obey a mechanism. The abuser profile that I draw does not have a pathology: he is a fairly normal guy, but he responds to a certain education. It seems that we have a very adapted progression, but we continue to reproduce inequalities of power, in which women are at the service of male desire for everything: maternity, distribution of work, care…
– “I just want a normal woman,” says Matty .
-The normal woman. The woman who responds to what is expected of her and, very importantly, knows how to sacrifice herself so that everyone else is happy, in a range that goes from the economic to the sexual. The fact that Alicia, my protagonist, has an academic profile is no coincidence: anyone can fall into this type of dynamic. The exceptional woman frightens a type of normativity, which is masculine, of what she should be a woman. We can be very feminist in theory and then have great difficulty adapting our daily behavior to ourselves, to practice feminism in our intimate or sentimental life. It is fighting against a social mandate that we have received since childhood.
“Gender abuse is a type of abuse that responds to a behavior and a social organization: it has its peculiarities”
-To what extent can you escape from the programming
has to be a conscious, continuous work, and it is very difficult. The first thing is to recognize that there is a high percentage of your affective formation that leads you to behave in a certain way, that the same is not correct. First, you have to enter into a process of self-criticism, explore your behavior and try to fill in the gaps you have and, many times, you need help for that. We are not aware of how decisive the contexts in which we are educated are.
-These are dynamics of violence that are difficult to decipher.
-It is such a normalized violence that we do not understand it as violence: that is why it is important to identify it, talk about it, bring it to light. Gender abuse is a type of abuse that responds to behavior and social organization: it has its peculiarities. To erase the causes of this violence under terms such as “domestic violence” is to say that it does not exist.
-The degree of objectification is striking, the behaviors that it describes, for example, on American campuses. It collides with that other image of a slightly more egalitarian society.
-In the United States there is a very strong discourse on the question of quota, of access to certain middle positions, which emerged and was consolidated after 1968. But, regarding the socio-cultural framework, the reality is not very different. If the most watched movies are romantic comedies! And,
“What kind of female role model do romantic comedies promote
Or totally dependent or looking to be rescued
or else, they plant you a model of a competent girl but who gives up everything for love, or something like that. And finally, wedding. If even in Sex in New York they end up normalized: Samantha, who threw everything, ends up in a couple; independent Miranda, living in Brooklyn, with her husband and one child. The discourse operates at all points of culture consumption, and the role of women remains the same. Another thing is that social values are different.
-Another conclusion: being a victim does not have to make you better.
-I have always been interested in how we represent the victim and the executioner, that idealized conception that we always give to the victim: we sanctify her; and we do the opposite with the executioner, who is always someone very different from us, an aberration: we could never do something like that! But, precisely because they have been a victim, a person can also disassociate himself from other cases of abuse that he sees, style: “I’m too busy with my nightmare.” It is, simply, something that I raise: and I hope that it is the readers who reach their own conclusions.
-Faced with examples of couples like the ones seen in the novel, the question is: why do you put up with it
And the answer, almost always, is: due to dependency.
-While I was writing the novel, I was very aware that we call love things that are not. In relationships, affective dependencies are created that, in many cases, are negative, harmful, but they are there. Faced with a separation, you have to deal with the fear of loneliness, with public failure, the old “what will they say”.
-All for photography.
-Exactly. When many times it is clear that it is a failed relationship, suffocating, but no one reacts. To make matters worse, in Spain there is the burden of Catholicism: until death do us part, thick and thin… In short, a very powerful social demand that ends up leading to behaviors like the ones I describe. All those dependencies that are disguised under the category of love, and that are not.