Kiss and yell: A dreadfully familiar story, from Spain

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL September 1, 2023

Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso

The hot mess that ensued after Spain won the football World Cup underlines the unique problems of female sport in the context of the fight for gender parity. Joseph Conrad, a white male novelist as it happens, said it well, albeit in a different context: “Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.”

Right since their grand win, all that the Spanish champions have gotten is a lousy, unedifying, ongoing row over a kiss on the lips from a senior male official. In India of course, women wrestlers are pursuing a case against former wrestling federation chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for inappropriate touching and sexual harassment.

For much of European womanhood, the Spanish kiss has been a metaphysical shock. In the soap opera playing out around that kiss, so much is so dreadful, so familiar and so dreadfully familiar, six years after the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and misconduct.

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Originally published at on September 1, 2023