Spain’s Bans Dwarf Bullfighting
The Spanish Parliament announced on Thursday that they passed a law that banned comic bullfighting events that feature dwarves as either bullfighters or clowns. Firstpost stated that a law passed in the Spanish Parliament prohibits public shows or recreational activities where people with disabilities are used to provoke mockery or ridicule. According to the Associated Press, Spain had a long tradition of comic bullfighting events where dwarves dress up in costumes to chase young bulls at public events as humorous alternative to the more violent matador bullfights.
Jesus Martin, the director general of Spain’s royal board on Disabilities said ” We have overcome Spain of the past.” Martin continued to say that Spain in past mocked dwarves in public squares and it passed down a tradition that taught children to laugh at those who are different. Martin and supporters of the law believe that dwarf bullfighting promotes the humiliation and dehumanization of dwarves. In a DW documentary, Carolina Fuentes a dwarf who promotes equality for little people said” We didn’t come all this way earning society’s respect just for it to be trampled in a show.” Fuentes and her associates are strong proponents of getting dwarf fighting banned in cities throughout Spain.
According to the Associated Press, dwarf performers are protesting the new law. Daniel Cordon stated that people take for granted that dwarves are disrespected but people actually have great respect for them. Amusement for the Arena a Facebook group posted this”We are bullfighters, we are artists, enough prohibitions, we don’t want handouts.”
In a DW documentary, several dwarves express their disappointment at the new law and how much they love the profession. The performers in the DW documentary love bullfighting and are proud of their work. The Troup in the documentary was a proud group who lived with their medical condition and did not let it affect them. Daniel Calderon said, ” Who says you have to be a certain height to be a Comedian?” That sums up how many of the performers feel about Spain’s dwarf bullfighting ban.
While Spain banned dwarf bullfighting these comedic bullfighting troupes will continue to perform in other countries that allow them to perform. The discussion around the ban breaks down into two key perspectives: handicapped or not. The opponents of dwarf bullfighting see it as degrading to disabled people but the performers do not see themselves as disabled. The performers choose their careers because they love the type of work that they do.
It is tragic that the Spanish Parliament denied dwarves the ability to pursue a career that they clearly love doing because of the feelings and emotions of others. It is institutionalized discrimination to prevent Dwarves from performing in the bullfighting industry while normal-sized people can. These performers put their hearts into their art and they should be allowed to continue performing.