A member of the Spanish government recently caught the attention of the international community after she made controversial statements regarding children and sexual consent.
Irene Montero, the 34-year-old minister of equality in Spain, recently said in Spanish at a recent legislative meeting: “All girls, boys, childrenx in this country have the right to know their own body, to know that no adult can touch their body if they don’t want to and that is a form of violence, they have the right to know that they can love or have sexual relations with whoever they want, based on consent.”
A video of her comments went viral on social media.
— Campari (sheeeeeeeee/it) (@CampariWithSoda) September 22, 2022
The age of sexual consent in Spain is 16, and Montero later clarified that, with her statements, she was merely advocating for the right of children to receive comprehensive sex education “which allows them to have lives free of violence and that allows them in the future to freely live their sexuality.”
However, her critics, whom she called members of “the extreme right,” have argued that her comments have endangered children, and many have now called for her resignation as a result.
Irene Montero debe dimitir inmediatamente tras las barbaridades que vertió ayer, en nombre del Gobierno de España, sobre relaciones sexuales entre niños y adultos.
— Edmundo Bal (@BalEdmundo) September 22, 2022
Translation: “Irene Montero must resign immediately after the barbarities that she spilled yesterday, on behalf of the Government of Spain, about sexual relations between children and adults. It is reckless that the protection of the children of the Spaniards is in the hands of these people.”
Es urgente que esta señora dimita o sea cesada. Y que cierre ese ministerio totalitario al salir. ¡Quitad vuestras sucias manos de los niños! https://t.co/kjR4ZEFLzJ
— Santiago Abascal 🇪🇸 (@Santi_ABASCAL) September 22, 2022
Translation: “It is urgent that this lady resign or be dismissed. And shut down that totalitarian ministry when you leave. Get your dirty hands off the children!”
In addition to her ambivalent comments about sexual consent, Montero’s statement also indicates that she ascribes to the gender identity ideology propagated by many on the left. In the original Spanish, Montero refers to “las niñas, los niños, les niñes.” While “las niñas, los niños” is easily translated into English as “girls” and “boys,” “les niñes” is a recently developed word that attempts to denote children without gender or children whose gender is unknown. Some English translators have likened it to “Latinx” or “childrenx.”
Montero has held the position of minister of equality of Spain since January 2020. As a teenager, she reportedly joined the Communist Youth Union of Spain. It is unclear when or whether she left that organization. She is currently a member of the Podemos political party. In English, podemos translates to “we can.”