• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Spanish police make Valentine joke. Internet gets very angry
Photo: Daniel Lobo/Flickr Creative Commons.

Spanish police make Valentine joke. Internet gets very angry

Emma Anderson · 15 Feb 2016, 12:52

Published: 15 Feb 2016 12:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Feb 2016 12:52 GMT+01:00

Spain's police force sent out a series of tweets at the weekend with messages on topics they deemed relevant for Valentine's day, such as sexting, homophobia, and violence against women.

But one message was interpreted by followers as promoting sexual harassment, rather than denouncing it.

"If someone 'steals' a kiss from you, it's not a crime. Happy Valentine's Day," the police wrote on Sunday, followed by a kiss emoji.

Though the message was liked more than 2,000 times, many wrote that they found it problematic, prompting the police to later clarify what they meant.

Some Twitter users argued that the message ignored the concept of consent and excused harassment of women.

"This joke should be illegal for advocacy of a crime," wrote user José Gallardo.

Even political party Izquierda Unida (United Left) weighed in on the discussion of the tweet.

"If someone steals a kiss from you, that is sexual harassment and you should act, not encourage it," United Left wrote. 

"Good strategy, police. Incentivizing sexual harassment so then you have more work," wrote another user.

"And if a woman reports that someone has kissed her without her consent, are you going to tell her that she shouldn't be bothered by a 'stolen' kiss?" wrote Twitter user Beatriz Gimeno.

The police later wrote another tweet that seemed to clarify the first one, saying "If YOUR love 'steals' a kiss by surprise, enjoy it! If someone steals a kiss without consent, #report it."

But this answer was still met with criticism from users who pointed out that the new message seemed to indicated that someone's "love" could do whatever they wanted. 

"Man, this kills me. Or that if 'your love' can do whatever they want, without thinking about what you want. Tremendous."

Others wrote that the first tweet did not need to be clarified and that the police were trying too hard to be politically correct.

"The dictatorship of political correctness is turning us into wimps."

Violence against women is a major topic of discussion in Spain as the country has fought to combat its "machista" reputation.

Last year, 56 women were killed in Spain because of domestic violence. Over one million cases of domestic violence have been dealt with by the Spanish courts since 2007 and judges have handed down jail sentences to 148,000 men. 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Emma Anderson (emma.anderson@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's top ten beaches 2016
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Europe's best beach. Photo:Photo: Ismail Mia/Flickr

Spain has five beaches in Europe's top ten. The Local gives you a tour.

Brexit
Spanish 'Laughing Man' is back in hilarious Brexit spoof
Screen grab: Armando Ferreira/YouTube.

Spain's Giggler is back and this time he's laughing about Brexit.

Brexit
Why Spain plays a crucial role in whether UK stays together
Photo: AFP

William McDougall, Lecturer in Politics at Glasgow Caledonian University explains why the UK's future may well depend on Spain.

Stalker held in Spain for death threats to Stephen Hawking

Police arrested a 41-year-old American woman who had threatened to kill the scientist as he attended a conference in Tenerife this week.

Spanish exodus at highest level since crisis began
Photo: tomy pelluz/Flickr

Record numbers of Spaniards left the country in 2015 and their favourite destination was the UK.

Brothers arrested in Spain for promoting Islamic State
The men used social media to promote Isis. Photo: AFP

Three brothers have been arrested in Catalonia on suspicion of promoting terrorism.

Del Bosque quits as Spain coach after poor Euro 2016
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque announced he is quitting. Photo: AFP

Vicente del Bosque said on Thursday that he has resigned as coach of Spain, just days after the reigning champions crashed out of Euro 2016.

Spain's Rajoy starts talks to form government after vote
Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy began talks on Thursday with other political parties to try to form a government.

First Lady 'proud' US might just elect a female president
Michelle Obama speaking in Madrid on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Michelle Obama said she was "proud" that a woman might be elected president of the United States this year, during a speech in Madrid.

What's on in Spain: July 2016
Red bandanas - a symbol of the San Fermin Festival. Photo: Oakland Native/Flickr.

From Pamplona's thrilling bull runs to Europe's biggest gay pride festival, there's no shortage of exciting events across Spain this summer.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
Seven burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
Six important things we learnt from Spain's repeat elections
Politics
Rajoy claims right to form government after poll win
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
International
Brexit limbo: What happens next for expat Brits in Spain?
Politics
Spanish elections: What are the possible outcomes?
International
Worried after Brexit? Here’s how to become Spanish
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
International
Brit expats in Spain stunned and fearful after Brexit win
Travel
The intern's guide to surviving a summer in Spain
National
The weird and wonderful ways Spain celebrates midsummer
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
International
Spain REALLY wants Britain to stay in EU and here's why
National
Don't jump! Officials in Spain warn against 'balconing' craze
National
Girl's best friend: Four-year-old finds comfort with a bull
Politics
Hilarious video pokes fun at expats in Spain over Brexit
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Spain knocked off top spot for world's best restaurant
International
Meet the Spaniard working as North Korea's secret weapon
National
Sheep invade Spanish city after shepherd takes a snooze
Features
Five brilliant ways to beat the crowds in Barcelona
National
Experts warn of jellyfish boom across Spain's beaches
Politics
Are these the weirdest political campaign ads ever?
3,409
jobs available