Video Of Mexican Mayor Lifting Women's Dress Up In Public Has Incited Anger, As Well It Should
On Saturday, Mayor Hilario Ramirez Villanueva of San Blas, Mexico, threw a grand party for his 44th birthday celebration. He's now coming under fire for crass behavior; footage of the party caught the mayor lifting a woman's dress while dancing, angering the public. In a now-viral video posted online — which, I have to caution, is incredibly cringe-worthy — Ramirez is seen dancing closely with the woman on stage by a live band. The mayor abruptly lifts her dress up, seemingly to the woman's shock, exposing her underwear to some 50,000 guests in attendance, at two separate times.
The backlash he has since received elicited what sounds like a halfhearted attempt at remorse for his tasteless actions. According to AFP, taking to a local TV show on Tuesday, Ramirez said that he was "moved by the emotion of the party," adding:
When one is happy, and the women are happy, one doesn’t calculate. It’s not an excuse, but I do ask for forgiveness from my friend Rosita. Now that I see myself in the media, cabron [damn], it’s not good. I am sorry. I know it’s a great offense for women because I come from a woman, I have a mother, sisters, daughters.
In Congress this week, Mexican lawmaker Martha Lucia Micher addressed the controversy with strong words for Ramirez:
This man dares to lift a woman’s dress twice to sexually abuse her. We won’t allow it. This man shouldn’t be mayor and [we should] demand a public apology for her and all women in the country.
The mayor was also criticized for the lavishness of the affair, which reportedly cost about 15 million pesos (or almost $100,000). The mustachioed Ramirez told AFP that he did not know how much was spent, but insisted that no public funds were used, saying:
It could have been more, or it could have been less. ... I don’t ask how much this or that cost.
While his disregard for finances seems particularly irresponsible, considering he is the mayor of a town, Ramirez's lackadaisical attitude also made headlines in 2014 when he said he had pilfered "a little bit" from public funds at a campaign meeting. But San Blas seems to like the boorish mayor, despite his antics, having elected him to office twice.
AFP reported that Ramirez said he intends to redeem himself by throwing another party in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8. Careful to show his arms held stiff by his sides, he said:
It’s a bash. You give presents. You dance — but with hands like this.