Having dinner the other night the inevitable came up: what did everyone think of the sexual aggression/ “beso”(kiss) / “piquito” (peck) at the Women’s World Cup Final (depending on your opinion, the word lessens in severity)? Among the general condemnation, I noticed looks, wry smiles and a poignant silence from some around the table.
In Spain, some men (and women) are sick of the “Feminazis running the country”, as recent elections can corroborate. This coven of probably hairy, radical harridans has apparently taken over the legislative bodies and systematically imposes “woke” doctrines on poor, downtrodden men. If these lobbies had their way, women would be given unfair advantages, advancement based on gender and a disproportionate voice in society - shocking!
One has to say, looking round at the government, judicial system and general positions of power here, they don’t seem to be doing a very good job of it. I, personally, haven’t noticed a cohort of females pushing through the glass ceiling and taking over the world. Secondly, if they were doing this, wouldn’t it just be compensating the existing system which already gives all these privileges to men?
There are people who are openly hostile to the feminist movement, however what also seems prevalent is the view that these feminists are a bunch of sourpuss party-poopers who can’t take a joke. Lewd comments, obscene gestures, unwanted advances etc. are all a bit of a laugh and anyone who doesn’t understand/approve of these needs to get a sense of humour. When the same people are asked whether they would like to be on the receiving end, you usually receive a wolfish smirk, a wink and a reply similar to “I’d love it”. Surprisingly, when you ask whether they would be so keen on having the same innocent and jocular attention lavished on their 15-year-old child, the grin disappears.
Going back to the unacceptable actions at the World Cup, the fact that this all took place on an international stage shows that this kind of Neanderthal conduct is common. Rubiales’s ensuing press conference with the standing ovation from his fellow football-federation cronies, while portraying himself as the victim and refusing to resign, compounds the idea that Spanish football is a man’s world where women are tolerated as long as they know their place. The media and political response has been categorical and unrelenting; but one wonders if Spain hadn’t won the World Cup, whether the matter would have ever been brought into the public domain? If this is how the top-level football bosses behave, what must it be like at a more amateur level? One can only hope that we have finally understood that this is not a bit of male horseplay and is a serious structural cancer which permeates through all levels of society. “Al andar se hace el camino...” - Antonio Machado.