It is almost beautiful that the most extensive, detailed and protectionist bill on family policy in memory in Spain has come from the representatives of an ideological tradition that considered the family as an oppressive and execrable institution. It has not been the patriarchs who hand out cigars at baptisms, nor the bishops, nor the Opus numeraries, nor the young neocatechumenals who scream at the doors of abortion clinics. It has been Ione Belarra herself, from her ministerial position and acting leader of Unidas Podemos (the acting leader does so from a podcast, as he strives to make us notice on a daily basis), who brought Bill 121 to Congress last week, on the Protection of Families. It is a very long text of 70 pages that contains 67 articles and 31 provisions and that, instead of abolishing the family —as the founders of socialism dreamed of in the 19th century—, it extends it everywhere. What is family?, asks the law in its first title. And the norm itself responds to future legislation: family is you.
The future law is not only a sign of reformist maturity and an indisputable advance in social rights, but the verification that the family can no longer be the flag of cheesy and unkempt people. The left to the left stages the parable of the prodigal son and, by vindicating a pluralistic and open family, steals the monopoly from Alberto Closas and Amparo Soler Leal. I celebrate it, as I celebrate any improvement that makes life easier for people with children, but after reading the project, I have some doubts, since it leaves conciliation in the hands of the State, hardly involving companies.
If the text is approved as it is, the “unfavorable treatment” of parents who exercise their conciliation rights will be considered “discrimination based on sex.” Pressuring a mother to organize the day to get to school will be discrimination, although it remains to be seen how those oppressions, as subtle and daily as they are difficult to demonstrate, will be punished, which embitter the lives of so many women to the point of pushing them to the limit. I do not believe that this law can protect mothers from the lewd bite of their bosses, from the insidiousness of the coffee machine or from the deaf violence that seeks to make them feel guilty. The State is never present when an employer sarcastically comments: “Wow, another day you leave 10 minutes early.” In return, that mother will receive new discounts at Port Aventura. I don’t know if she compensates.
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