Jenni didn’t like it, neither did we | Women’s Soccer World Cup 2023

“But what are you doing?” they ask. Disbelief for response. “And what did you say?”, they insist. “Well, okay,” she replies. The assumption of the facts. As if nothing could remedy it. A stolen kiss is not always a wanted kiss. That happened in romantic comedies with goofy protagonists who in no way resemble these wow women, with legs of steel and boots that are worth gold, those who from now on will wear a star on the chest of their red T-shirt. A stolen kiss doesn’t have to be a pleasant surprise. The other way around. It is an intrusion. More or less annoying, but intrusion nonetheless. An invasion of one’s own space. Without consent. An aggression.

The spike that the president of the Spanish Federation, Luis Rubiales, planted in the nose of Jenni Hermoso, one of the best Spanish soccer players, recently proclaimed world champion in Australia, is an attack on the 10 of Spain and all the women in the ones that this Sunday our hearts couldn’t fit in our chests when we shouted Olga Carmona’s goal at the top of our lungs. Also many men who would never dream of taking such liberties.

What a pity that such a beautiful day ends up tarnishing this Machirulismo seedy What little sensitivity. This Sunday in August we celebrated something more than a title. Especially us. The women, the girls, the girls of this country, we celebrated that our stubbornness had finally defeated machismo. Or, at the very least, he has won one of those matches that will be remembered for life with a breathtaking goal, like the one from Sevillian Carmona. We celebrated that the success of the 23 from Australia and New Zealand gives us arguments to argue with anyone that playing like a girl is neither a reason for ridicule nor exclusion. The girls of this country win games to delight: with the most exquisite football, the ball at Cata’s feet, who pampers the ball as much as the others, passes and more passes, touch and more touch, delicious changes of direction, racing gazelles like Salma; with football that carburizes Aitana’s head, Alexia’s heart suffers on the bench, and squanders Hermoso’s mastery (even with that penalty that did not enter).

The girls of this country, the character by flag, no longer swallow nonsense. “But I didn’t like it, huh?” Jenni insisted in a video broadcast live on social networks.

Rubiales may have been carried away by his misunderstood spontaneity. But you have to know how to be. There are many eyes watching. As many or more as there are girls today who admire Mariona and Ona, Paredes and Abelleira. Perhaps she wanted to show that there is no longer a worthwhile crisis or that stops the success of these unstoppable women. Perhaps he wanted to show that the soccer players whom one day he treated like spoiled girls — “the Federation will only have committed soccer players even if it has to play with youth players,” said that statement after the 15 o’clock riot — they appreciate him. That they don’t see him as an intruder in that locker room where he tells them that he is going to pay for a vacation in Ibiza. To him, who was in charge of talking about resentment when it was time to be a man, who stuck out his chest instead of assuming that this Cup is also for those soccer players, former teammates and friends of the 23, who made the decision not to apologize and left. They have stayed at home watching the World Cup on TV. His denunciation, his pulse on Rubiales and Vilda, explains part of the success of this team.

Rubiales’ kiss to Hermoso reminds us that the road traveled is long. But there is still a long way to go. Because women kiss who we want and when we want. Because a kiss on the mouth, by surprise, is an aggression. Even worse if the kiss comes from a superior. We are in 2023. And these gestures are unjustifiable.

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