Spanish prosecutors on Friday launched a hate crime investigation into male students who were recorded shouting misogynistic threats from their bedroom at a neighboring female university residence.
A video of the incident last weekend went viral on social media, although some female residents later downplayed it.
The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, told reporters in Prague that the images showed “macho, inexplicable, unjustified and absolutely disgusting behavior” that cannot be tolerated.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Community of Madrid reported in a statement that it has requested information from the police after a Spanish NGO, Movement Against Intolerance, filed a formal complaint against the residents of the Elías Ahuja student residence in Madrid for an alleged hate crime.
In the video, one of the male dorm students is seen yelling from a window at the nearby Santa Monica female dorm: “Bitches, come out of your rabbit holes, you nympho bitches.”
The insults were also followed by threats to subdue them at an upcoming party, after which dozens of fellow residents turned on their lights, went out to their windows and banged on the blinds emitting intimidating animal-like growls.
On the other hand, the largest student union in Spain announced a protest for Monday on the main campus of the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), to which both residences are attached, and demanded the expulsion of all those involved in the images. described as disgusting and sexist.
EASY TO MISINTERPRET
In a letter shared on social networks, some residents of the Santa Monica residence supported their male neighbors and accepted the apology.
“A video that has gone viral without understanding its context is easy to misunderstand,” they said. “An impression of hatred and machismo has been created that could not be further from reality”
Although the words used in the video were “totally inappropriate and disrespectful,” it represented a “long-standing practice” in student residences, which is not intended to spread hate speech or misogyny, they added.
In interviews, university students of both genders mostly shared that opinion, downplaying it, although some residents of Elías Ahuja expressed regret.