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What IS Sexual Assault? - The Case of Luis Rubiales

On August 20th 2023, the Spanish national women's football team beat England 1-0 in the World Cup final in Sydney, Australia. In the jubilation that followed, Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales cupped player Jenni Hermoso's face and kissed her on the lips. On the team bus later on, Hermoso was filmed drinking champagne and smiling happily about what she clearly at that point thought was a joyous moment of celebration.

International media activists were less impressed, however, and within 24 hours Hermoso had complained that the kiss wasn't consensual. As British comedienne Cressida Wetton pointed out on GB News' Headliners, it was impossible for something so instantaneous and public to be 'consensual'. Lightning strikes, falling in love and slipping on ice are also non-consensual events, but are part of the natural world.

Media contagion ramped up under a perfect late-#MeToo story, this supposed dinosaur of the western Mediterranean being 'very unpopular' in his country due to his spontaneous actions (and possibly other locally relevant issues). Whatever professional/political matters Rubiales may have been facing, defenestrating him on the excuse of this sort of thing is craven and disingenuous. Play the ball, not the man: if you want to do him for some sort of corruption, do him on that basis, not on this. It's almost designed to prove the suspicion of slippery-slope scope-creep that is increasingly prevalent in culture.

If I were a Spanish football fan, I would be incensed that all attention over a major moment in my nation's sporting history had been eclipsed by such a minor indiscretion. Rubiales' elderly mother was so distressed that she (briefly) went on a hunger strike. Hunger strikes are undertaken when people feel absolutely desperate and with no other recourse. This is the state to which the international pile-on had reduced a proud, frustrated old Spanish lady. Clearly demonising Rubiales and his moment of carefree/careless joy, a sort of intimate love shown spontaneously to someone with whom he had been collaborating closely, was more important than the health of an elderly woman or a nation's sporting pride. The nature of 'consent' over a cultural behaviour was given the media-consensus permission to trump both national pride and a mother's love.

But what IS sexual assault nowadays? Is it really British politician Damien Green's alleged 'knee touch' from back in the day, on a spectrum running up to the actions of ex-Metropolitan police officer Wayne Couzens, given a whole life sentence for the rape and murder of Sarah Everard? New Labour's 2003 Sexual Offences Act blurred the lines between allegations of sexual assault to a point where their only real power lies in their media salaciousness.

There is not one spectrum of allegedly problematic sexual behaviour, but two: with intent and no intent. These are radically different, but increasingly men are being sent to prison for accidents, misunderstandings or sexual misadventure (see the case of Kevin Spacey, who narrowly avoided such a fate. The reputational stain remains). The power-feminists have been hypocritical in weaponising the instinct in men to protect women by supporting third-party reporting, and in the case of Rubiales and Hermoso whomever it was that persuaded her to press charges should be charged themselves with perversion of the course of justice (along with the officer in charge).

In school playgrounds across the land, for decades children have been shoving each other in the arm and saying 'that's assault, that is'. That same childlike instinct to outrage has been weaponised by 'all men are [potential] rapists' ideologues, in a multi-institution putsch that has run alongside the internationalist progressive movement. This movement cares not who makes the laws, as they are canny and sharp enough to find a way around them. They also know that 'perception is everything'. In that world, do we really want to see middle-aged, alpha male football leaders banged up for four or more years, for a moment of spontaneous joy? The bulk of the currently captured media apparently says yes.

By Sean Bw Parker

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