(Photo via Instagram/F.R.Paquirri)
Francisco Rivera OrdÃ³Ã±ez is one of Spain’s most renowned bullfighters, but it looks like the famous matador may have taken “take your daughter to work day” a little bit too seriously, and now he’s catching heat from the Internet for posting a photo of himself fighting a full-grown bull with his bobble-hatted infant daughter tucked in his off hand.
“Carmen’s debut, she is the fifth generation which bullfights in our family,” he wrote on Instagram, according to CNN. “My grandfather was bullfighting like this with my father. My father was bullfighting like this with me, and I have done it with my daughters Cayetana and now with Carmen. #prideintheblood”
Unsurprisingly, the Internet’s opinions on OrdÃ³Ã±ez’s photo are about as divided as they are on the subject of bullfighting itself. Obviously it looks pretty dangerous. Bullfighting isn’t a spectator sport because it’s safe and gentle and there isn’t a chance of a person getting gored by a giant bull, after all. OrdÃ³Ã±ez knows what he’s doing and does not feel like it’s dangerous, and he certainly knows more about bullfighting than most of us do, but still, it’s pretty disconcerting to see a man holding a tiny baby near a giant horned animal that probably wants to stab him with its face.
But just because OrdÃ³Ã±ez is a good bullfighter does not mean the ring is an appropriate place to be toting a baby. Plenty of people cannot take infants to their places of work, as Spain’s Equality Minister Maria Jose Sanchez said: “A fireman wouldn’t dream of taking a child to put out a fire nor would a football player run around with a child in their arms during a match.”
Even if being in the bullfighting ring is not dangerous, which OrdÃ³Ã±ez asserts, this photo is also pretty gory. The poor bull appears to have a nasty, bloody gash in its back, and it’s not like bullfighting is gentle. Eating meat is one thing, but slowly toying with animals while killing them just seems cruel and unusual. We no longer look kindly on bear-baiting or dog fighting, and fox hunts seem to be falling out of favor as well.
Spain’s Bullfighters’ Union has thrown its support behind OrdÃ³Ã±ez, and other bullfighters have rallied behind him by posting photos of themselves fighting bulls while carrying their infants and small children. Several of the bullfighters even had photos of their fathers carrying them around the bulls when they were babies. OrdÃ³Ã±ez’s photo may have ignited the controversy, but matadors fighting bulls while carrying babies has apparently been going on for decades.