Grotesque bullfighting tradition comes to light with matador’s death

Bad enough that a man should die of injuries sustained after being gored by a bull. Worse still, if that man is a bullfighter, is what happens not only to the bull, but the animal’s entire family as well:

A bullfighter, Ivan Fandiño, died on Saturday as the result of a severe goring by a bull in the French town of Aire sur l’Adour. The bull’s right horn entered the torero’s lower back at the level of the kidney, causing irreversible damages to his liver, kidney and lungs.

The bull, “Provechito”, who weighed 520 kilos and bore the number 53, belonged to the bull ranch of Baltasar Ibán. He was born in March of 2013 in Wellington cortijo, in the Escorial region. The animal was sacrificed in the ring. Later a team of mules dragged him to the slaughterhouse, where they cut off the ears, tail and tongue, as well as the bull’s eyes, according to bullfighting ritual.

Provechito’s death also has consequences for his family. According to bullfighting tradition, all of the family line of the animal responsible for the 36-year-old torero’s death must also be sacrificed.

And we ask ourselves: What fault do the mothers of bulls bear for acts inflicted by their sons? “All”, say bullfighting aficionados. The explanation is very simple: When a bull kills a bullfighter, the farmer is obliged to sacrifice the animal’s mother and all descendants, because while the physical characteristics of a bull are inherited from the father, the personality comes directly from the mother.

In other words, Provechito was an enormous bull thanks to his father, but the temper that tragically ended up killing Iván Fandiño was the fault of the mother who bore him.

And with the death of the cow, the line comes to an end.

Translation mine.

How’s that for machista sexism? Blame the mother for what goes wrong with the son, even if they’re cattle. No doubt the same basic premise holds true for people, too, under machista tradition. Women are held to be worth less than men. Where else would the Spanish language get such idioms as “la puta que te parió” (“the whore who bore you”)? The corrida is already openly hostile to women in the bullring…

Problem is, it’s not even bad science that leads to such conclusions. It’s not science at all. It’s that eternal, infernal bugbear of all reason, namely “tradition”. Tradition holds such and such, therefore it must be true.

Even if it is all, quite literally, bullshit.

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