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Feminism debate fires up as Spanish bus ad features HITLER in make-up

Feminism debate fires up as Spanish bus ad features HITLER in make-up
A bus ad campaign against radical feminism that features an image of Adolf Hitler wearing blush and lipstick has sparked uproar among Spanish social media users.

The Nazi dictator appeared on buses in Madrid wearing make-up and sporting a feminist symbol on his military cap, along with the hashtag “#StopFeminazis.” The ad quickly made headlines after being spotted on the streets of the Spanish capital.

The eyebrow-raising advertising campaign was launched by the local ultraconservative Catholic movement Hazte Oir (“Make Yourself Heard”) to protest against the local gender violence law, which it considers discriminatory against men.

“It’s not gender violence, it’s domestic violence,” the main slogan painted on the bus says, referring to a 2004 law specifically cracking down on crimes against women. The second slogan calls for local right-wing politicians to repeal the legislation.

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Spain’s gender violence law established special courts dealing with cruelty against women, as well as setting up designated rehab centers, and was praised by women’s rights associations. However, the legislation is held in low esteem by conservative activists. Campaign spokesman Luis Losada Pescador said it “only serves to generate gender bars, while feminist supremacism is plugged into the budget.”

The appeal was slammed online, however, as many people considered the analogy of the infamous Nazi leader inappropriate and disturbing.

“You can defend the devil and reject the laws you want, but nobody will take you seriously with an Adolf Hitler [image] with painted lips,” one user wrote on Twitter, calling the whole idea “offensive, despicable and depressing.”

Many people defended the country’s gender violence law, which attracted criticism from conservatives. One person said it “saved lives,” adding that the activists are “making fool of themselves” with this “macho bus.” One furious Twitter user went even further by calling the ad “an insult to the murdered women,” blaming the campaigners for hate speech.

There were also voices in favor of the controversial ad, with one person saying that the Hitler image was the perfect match for the situation. And another one claimed that the current gender violence law “confronts men and women, making them enemies” and “promotes the image of man as murderer.”

The bus depicting Hitler is expected to travel through Madrid and several other Spanish cities until International Women’s Day on March 8, when women’s rights rallies are held. Meanwhile, the mayor of Valencia said that local authorities might ban the dubious campaign in the city if experts find elements of hate speech in its message.

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The “Make Yourself Heard” conservative group first entered the public eye in 2017 – after running another bus campaign, this time focusing on the transgender community. The ad’s key message claimed that a person can’t change their sex and continue to be either a man or a woman because “boys have penises, girls have vulvas.”