Controversy in Asturias as bullfight fans defend the naming of bulls after their maternal blood lines
The Mayoress of Gijón, the largest city in the northern Spanish region of Asturias, has announced that the annual bullfights which are held during the Feria de Begoña will not be continued next year, with the organization contract not being renewed and no new contract to be put out to tender.
Ana González announced the decision citing the growing number of people demanding that the ancient tradition of bullfighting be removed from the agenda of the Feria, but she also clarified that it related to the fact that two of the bulls killed in the ring at this year’s events were provocatively named “Feminista” and “Nigeriano”. (No translation seems necessary, but it is worth clarifying that these words mean “feminist” and “Nigerian” and have no other connotations in Spanish).
In referring to these names Sra González states that the organizers “crossed various lines”, adding that in a city which holds dear the values of integration and equality between men and women this cannot be permitted. The use of these names, she says, is propagation of an ideology with no respect for human rights and cannot be tolerated.
However, the organizers of the bullfights are not taking the decision lying down, and confidently expect that if the PP regains control of the Town Hall the events will be reinstated. The Unión de Criadores de Lidia – the breeders of the bulls – explain that the names are derived from those of their mothers and previous generations of the same families, a custom enshrined in the rules which are established by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food, and that this tradition helps to ensure genealogical traceability.
The bulls at the centre of this controversy were fourth-generation descendants of two females named Feminista and Nigeriana which were acquired by breeder Daniel Ruiz in 1986, hence the Independence of their names from any current social or political context.
In general there has been a tendency throughout Spain in recent years for the more barbaric bull-related festivities to be toned down or scrapped, as is the case with the infamous annual Toro de la Vega festivity in Tordesillas, but the arguments have become highly politicized. The PSOE socialist party is far more inclined to ban bullfighting, while right-wing parties PP and Vox are more supportive of the tradition.
Images: Circuitos Taurinos, Unión de Criadores de Lidia
Source: Murcia Today