The decision by an Ecuadorian immigrant living in Valencia, Spain to put her virginity up for auction to help pay for medical care for her mother living back in Ecuador has caused a lot of controversy back in Ecuador. On May 10, Evelyn Dueñas placed the ad on two online auction sites, Quebarato.com and Milanuncios.com citing the need to raise money to help pay for the medical care for her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease in her hometown of Bahía de Caraquez in the Manabí Province. The ads were subsequently removed from the auction sites [es], but Dueñas has maintained that the auction will continue because of the family's need to care for their ailing mother.
The Ecuadorian National Secretariat for Migrants SENAMI [es], for its initials in Spanish has posted a bulletin saying that the Secretary is not ready to be part of this “media circus.” It also states that Ecuadorian State has no responsibility in this personal matter and it has let Dueñas know about what services are available to all emigrants.
These events have attracted strong reactions in blogs and in mainstream media from those criticizing Dueñas’ actions and also brought focus on the plight of immigrants in Spain. There are others that have looked to the role that the Ecuadorian government should play in this matter.
There is speculation on some blogs that the Ecuadorian government will eventually step in and provide the funds needed for the medical care so that Dueñas does not have to resort to such tactics. Some bloggers believe that Dueñas should not receive special attention, and is being harshly criticized by commenter Kojudo Mayor on the blog post by Guayaquil Insumiso [es] written by Yitux.
In addition to the criticism about the possible use of public funds to “save” the woman, Yitux is troubled by those who are judging Dueñas’ decision what to do with her own body:
De nuevo el ridículo moralismo interviene. Esa mujer optó por vender algo que es suyo, su cuerpo, su virginidad. ¿Dónde está lo malo? Es una noticia llamativa, es verdad, las miles de prostitutas que venden sus cuerpos día tras día ya no nos llaman la atención; en cambio esta chica vende a sus 28 años, su virginidad, y lo hace en subasta por Internet. ¡Claro que llama la atención! Pero es su cuerpo, es su desición, es su vida.
Lastimosamente como vivimos en la sociedad del qué dirán, ahora todo el mundo opina, piensa, juzga, analiza, etc.
Once again the ridiculous morality intervenes. This woman chose to sell something that is her own, her body, her virginity. What is wrong with that? It is news that grabs one's attention, honestly, news of the thousands of prostitutes that sell their bodies on a daily basis does not grab our attention, instead this woman who sells her virginity at 28 and does so on the internet. Of course it grabs one's attention! But, it is her body, her decision, it is her life.
Unfortunately, we live in a society of ‘what will they say?’ and now the entire country expresses its opinion, thinks, judges, analyzes, etc.
This story reminds many of the plight of some immigrants living in foreign lands. Rafael Mendez [es] says that meanwhile an immigrant woman has to auction her virginity in Spain, the Ecuadorian media makes money publishing those types of stories, than other information about emigrants abroad. He writes, “Can't the media, at least the national media, write about positive emigrant stories once in a while?”
He also posts an extract of his book ‘Que mi alma se la lleve el diablo’ (May the Devil Take my Soul Away) and transcribes one paragraph of his ‘Sudacas‘ a poem about Ecuadorians leaving their country:
Nada bueno hacen por allá/salvo morir trágicamente/andar en pandillas/puterías/conciertos de tecnocumbia/y ya que estamos hablando del asunto/aportar con el nosecuánto por ciento del PIB
This is not the first time that Ecuadorians have had to resort to such actions. There have been other incidents where Ecuadorians have sold organs such as kidneys, lungs, and bone marrow because they were experiencing serious economic problems in Spain.