A crowded discotheque. / R.C.

Fear of needles

There now appears to be a third motive for injecting women and it may be the most dangerous of all: the aim is to make them afraid

IVÁN GELIBTER

I find it very difficult to imagine the thoughts that must go through the mind of each and every woman who decides to go out for a drink in the evening, or to dance in a disco or to enjoy a festival of some type.

It's true that it doesn't seem to be a problem in Malaga, for the moment, anyway, but reports of 'needle spiking', in which the victims are injected with a substance while enjoying a night out, are a reminder that gender violence exists: chauvinistic violence exercised against women just because that's what they are, by men who have different motives but are all protected by the umbrella of those who insist on denying that the problem even exists.

Some far-right luminary scoffed a few days ago that after the needle spiking incidents there were no traces of any substance to indicate that these were cases of chemical submission, as if that meant they were less serious and nothing to get bothered about.

For normal people (which includes most of us, fortunately), the fact that not all the needles had poison in them isn't a reason to feel encouraged. Quite the opposite, in fact.

For years, there have been two motives for chemical submission, which generally occurs when drinks are spiked with substances: sexual aggression or robbery.

What is concerning about this new and worrying phenomenon is that there is now a third motive for injecting women and it may be the most dangerous of all: the aim is to make them afraid.

Despite years of feminist battles, women still have to be alert in dark streets and places where there are no other people about and now there is the worry that someone might inject them with some toxic substance as well.

While one part of Spain prefers a more equal society, a minority of men seem to counter-attack for fear of losing the power they held for centuries. They use different ways of doing it: they complain on social media, vote in favour of discrimination and now they are using needles to attack women. The malevolence remains the same. It's just the strategies that are new.