Twitter users hit back at sexists comments
Harvard PhD Elsa Artadi, possible successor to Puigdemont, is described as "yoga devotee" and "runaway bride" in press reports that focus on her not having children instead of her qualifications
Catalonia might have a female President –or not. But sexist comments about her are already flooding certain press articles and causing outrage in Twitter. Elsa Artadi, one of Carles Puigdemont's closest allies, could be installed as new Catalan President if plans to reinstate him do not succeed, according to some reports. Although she has repeatedly said she has no intention to become the next president, she is now in the eye of the media storm.
Artadi, 42, is a doctorate from Harvard, former teacher at the University Bocconi in Milan and worked as a consultant at the World Bank in Casablanca. She was advisor to the former Catalan Economy Minister and also Harvard doctorate Andreu Mas-Colell, and worked as Coordinator of Ministries at the Puigdemont's government, a high-ranking post that, however, kept her away from the cameras.
Despite this remarkable resume, and unlike what happens with male candidates, Elsa Artadi's profiles in the press tend to focus on her private life, her clothes, shoes or yoga classes rather than her qualifications. Even the leader of the conservative PP in Catalonia, Xavier García-Albiol, said that Artadi has "no political or institutional experience" and could "not aspire to so much." She being president would equate, he said, to the Catalan government institution "falling very low." García-Albiol was once already under fire for some sexist comments about the ballot boxes of the independence referendum: "They are similar to my wife's laundry basket," he said.
"Elsa Artadi has put her professional career ahead of having children, says 'La Vanguardia'. Would it say the same of a male politician?
Sonya Dowsett · Reuters correspondent in Spain
"Yoga devotee Elsa Artadi is favorite to lead Catalans," read the headline of a British newspaper profile on her, while Catalan 'La Vanguardia'ended up deleting a subtitle in which it said that Artadi "had decided to focus on her career instead of having children." The same article suggested that Artadi's first marriage "failed" because of her career ambitions. "Elsa Artadi has put her professional career ahead of having children, says 'La Vanguardia'. Would it say the same of a male politician?", said on Twitter Sonya Dowsett, a Reuters correspondent in Spain.
Leading members of her party hit back at the "sexist" comments, pointing out that nothing similar would be said of male politicians. "Thank you, Aitor. I have never say anything like this because it's simply not true," said Artadi herself on Twitter, after a user stressed that former Catalan presidents have had plenty of children and are all married, and no one said this could have hampered in any way their careers.
In another article, this time by Spanish daily 'El Mundo', Artadi was described as a "runaway bride", a "posh" girl coming "from a good family" or "a divorcee without children". "I'm surprised published profiles on Elsa Artadi do not highlight that if she becomes the new president, she will be the one with the best education, with a better CV and speaking more languages than any Catalan, Spanish or regional president in Spain," said Laia Forés, ARA's newspaper correspondent in Brussels.
"About the guys that could become president I do not know if they go to work with flip-flops or moccasins, but I know that Elsa Artadi is usually wearing sport shoes or ballerinas, and, sometimes, high-heels. Journalism," said ironically Oriol Solé, reporter at the 'Diario.es' newspaper.