PP candidate on consent: 'Do you really say yes, yes, yes until the end?'
Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo's comments during election debate spark widespread outrage
The People's Party's (PP) top candidate in Catalonia, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, sparked outrage with her comments on sexual consent during a TV election debate.
Álvarez de Toledo attacked the Socialist Party manifesto, which pledges a law stating that a sexual act will be a crime unless a woman does not give explicit consent.
"Will you really guarantee that? Is silence for you the same as 'no'? And one question: do you really say 'yes, yes, yes' until the end?" she asked her Socialist counterpart.
Her comments were sharply addressed by the Socialists' finance minister María Jesús Montero. "No means no, above all for women's consent."
Pro-independence Esquerra's No.2 candidate, Gabriel Rufián, called Álvarez de Toledo's remarks "very serious" and urged her to "reconsider".
Podemos clashes with Álvarez de Toledo
Left-wing Podemos' high-profile politician, Irene Montero, also expressed her indignation at the PP candidate.
"If the right governs, we can already see what will happen. When a woman wants to abort, they will tell her, 'you should have thought about it earlier,'" she said. "And when you are raped, a woman like Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo will come to tell you, 'well, my dear, it's not that serious, I don't say 'yes' all the time, I don't say 'yes' until the end."
The People's Party candidate threatened her Podemos counterpart with filing a lawsuit against her. "Are you saying that I am justifying rape?".
Ciudadanos maintains silence
While the Basque Nationalist Party representative also called out the PP on the issue, unionist Ciudadanos candidate, Inés Arrimadas, remained silent.
Ministry of Feminism
Leftist En Comú Podem candidate Jaume Asens accused Álvarez de Toledo of "trivializing such a sensitive issue" and waging a gender war allegedly designed to divide the feminist movement.
Asens added that her remarks confirmed the need for a ministry of feminism for "breaking stereotypes", a proposal intended to ensure all policies take gender equality into account.