ONE of Spain’s strangest singles events is drawing fire from women’s groups and a 10,000 signatory-strong petition, following accusations of sexist marketing.
Manuel Gozalo has run 260 ‘Caravans of Women’ over 20 years, taking coach-loads of single women out to rural areas, where collapsing populations have left farmers struggling to find love.
Women pay €20 for their weekend trip, while the men desperate to meet them pay €50 to take part. And it’s the marketing of the event to men that’s got Gozalo in hot water, with the Hotel Romero in Merida, Extremadura, where the next event is due to take place, reportedly promising that male attendees would be “guaranteed the company of a woman for lunch, dinner and a night of dancing.”
“People took it the wrong way,” Gozalo told the Guardian newspaper. “We’re just promising company. But it was understood as if the women were going to do more than that.”
The signatories to the petition have called for the event to be cancelled based on its sexist nature, but Gozalo contests that: “You can’t call it sexist because the women are under no obligation. If they meet someone interesting, they meet someone interesting and that’s it.”
Women’s groups disagree, with Marisa Tena of feminist association Malvaluna telling the British newspaper: “Every woman is free to do what they want, but this doesn’t make it right to hold an event that is negative for women and an insult to everyone else.”