A PODEMOS councillor has received backlash after complaining that the air conditioning during a routine plenary meeting was ‘sexist.’
Vanessa Romero, leader of the Alicante branch of the left wing party, made the remark during a plenary meeting of the city council.
Romero was complaining that the area of the room she was seated in was too cold and called the temperature of the air conditioning ‘micromachismo’.
“We are getting cold over here, we are experiencing a micro-machismo and we are here to talk about equality,” Romero told Alicante mayor Luis Barcala.
When Barcala asked Romero to repeat her remark, he said: “I suppose this is a joke!”
Romero was insinuating that the air conditioning was set to comfort models of between 24-27C, a standard that was established in the 1960s and based on the comforts of the average man aged between 40 and 70 years old.
And Romero’s complaints are backed by scientific research.
The University of Utah published a study that showed that the female metabolic rate is 35% higher than a man’s, meaning they often feel colder in certain situations.
They discovered that a woman’s hands are often colder than a man’s too, 30.6C compared to 32C, leading to an increase in conditions such as Raynaud’s Disease.
The issue of workplace temperatures has often been a hot topic.
An article published by the New York Times elaborated on struggles that women experience in the workplace with ambient temperatures.
They quoted studies that showed that in cooler temperatures, men performed cognitive tasks much better but as the temperatures rose, women began outperforming men significantly.
Since her outburst, Romero has received a barrage of abuse online and on social media, many calling her stance ‘ridiculous.’
Barcala dismissed her remark, saying, ‘maybe we turn off the a/c and we can all sweat together.’
“You can find anything on the internet, that’s the problem, and that does not mean that everything on the Internet is justified,” said Barcala.
“If it is made as a joke then we all laugh, but if you are serious, then we will have to reprimand the janitors for their ‘micromachismo’ when turning the air conditioning on.”