Luis Rubiales took the floor this Friday afternoon at the assembly of the Spanish Football Federation. The whole country was waiting for his resignation. Instead, we are witnessing a live performance that may serve to uniquely explain what constitutes the macho reaction and gentlemen’s pact that we witness so many times.
Step one: deny the facts or change them. “It was spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consensual,” Rubiales assured in his speech. It is difficult for the president of the federation to deny the incident, because it happened in front of millions of people who watched the final ceremony of the World Cup in the stadium or on television. So play with the facts. It happened, but it happened because we both wanted it to.
Moreover, Rubiales does not skimp on details. His story even attributes a good portion of the initiative to player Jenny Hermoso. “He lifted me off the ground. He grabbed me by the waist and legs. I don’t remember well. He lifted me from the ground, we almost fell, and when he left me on the ground, we hugged. He was the one who took me in his arms and brought me closer to his body. We will hug. And I said to him: “Forget the penalty, you were fantastic and we wouldn’t have won this World Cup without you.” He replied, “You’re a crackhead.” And I said, “A little bit?” And he told me: “Okay” – he tells us. This is the next step: not only did we both want it, he was very active in it.
The justification does not stop there, as Rubiales fills his speech with typical excuses to justify his behavior. Affection: “I have a great relationship with all the players, all the members of the expedition. We have been a family for more than a month. And we had very loving moments in this concentration. ” Euphoria: “If you buy a lottery ticket in the middle of the road with your neighbor and win 200 million euros, chances are that when you meet after the draw, you will do something outrageous, either pick yourself or hold each other’s hands. There is only one. And there is no sexual content. And to be a world champion, to be a world champion is the biggest thing in football.”
Skip the hierarchy. “There is no dominant position,” says the president of the federation, which makes decisions about the Spanish national team in which Jenny Hermoso plays. He asked a player who works in his team for “Pikito” and this request does not sound strange to him. A boss asking a player whose participation in the national team depends on him to kiss him on the mouth is, for Rubiales, a gesture without any connotation of power.
There is a chapter in the macho reaction handbook that repeats itself here: using women from the environment to justify oneself. For some, having daughters, mothers, sisters, girlfriends or friends rescues them from macho possibilities. Luis Rubiales took his daughters to the gathering and they heard their father speak in the audience. The president of the federation addressed them and even intervened when one of the girls started crying: “My child, don’t cry. You should be calm, happy and proud of who your father is. You should be proud of who your father is.”
Luis Rubiales talks about equality and his daughters. Luis Rubiales wants to believe that equality is important to him. “I want to say that I look at my daughters, that today they have to learn what equality is. Equality is not discriminating when there is meaning between what men say and what women say. You have to distinguish between truth and lies,” he said. How could a man with three daughters do anything bad to a woman, he seems to want to tell us. Others have a problem, others more so, but never him.
In the macho story there is always a disdain, at least implicit, for feminist knowledge and work. Many don’t reject feminism itself, they say, but blame what they describe as bad feminism, extremist feminism, or other terms they’ve coined. When Luis Rubiales allows himself to speak of “false feminism” and accuses the women who point out and condemn his behavior as “false feminists,” he seems to imply that there really is a good feminism that doesn’t ask for explanation. Certainly not from him or her. We don’t know, yes, what are the referents of that “good feminism” of Luis Rubiales.
From there to the next level: hunting, inquisition, nothing more can be said and done. “Fake feminists tearing people down,” she said. “False feminism does not seek justice, does not seek truth, does not care about people. I repeat, they are preparing the execution for placing the medal and they say that they are moving forward. But if we don’t move forward like that, it’s the other way around,” he continues. “This is social murder,” he says. It’s discrediting feminism by assimilating the movement into a kind of hyper-correctness in summary judgment that clearly exaggerates, clearly persecutes, enforces, and makes life impossible for men. Whatever the victim, Jenny Hermoso or any other woman, may feel, the effects this event has had on their lives are irrelevant to those trying to save themselves at all costs.
What is happening to Luis Rubiales and many others is that they do not understand, or do not want to understand, that society has changed: that Spain has gained awareness, that common sense is now different, that what used to be acceptable is now not. That women are speaking up, that the standards of behavior are different now, that people are vigilant, that the concept of “what is acceptable” has undergone a profound transformation due to the feminist wave that destroyed women’s bodies, machismo everyday life and sexual freedom. Debate Center.
His confusion in the new times is evident when Rubiales apologizes but downplays his behavior: “I have to apologize for the context in which it happened. I’m not outside of the world and I know I was wrong about that too. But do you think that this is the agony of hunting that I suffer? The President of the Federation points to the already traditional speech of the “excessive”. Beyond the inconsistency with which he presents himself in his story, Rubiales downplays his actions in order to focus on those who react and thus dismiss this reaction as excessive. He is the victim, the women his executioners: the perfect tandem for not taking responsibility for their actions.
Seek, with all this, the sympathy and complicity of others, nothing masculine in general. And he gets it. The applause—not unanimous, but loud enough—from the Assembly, an overwhelming majority of men who owe their office and salary to the President, is a fraternal applause. Thinker Rita Segato says, “Masculinity is like a title to be earned, a bond with a corporate structure that leads to obedience. It is necessary to try the members of this corporation. None of them raised a vote in the meeting to remove Rubiales. His resignation was requested only by the president of Navarre Federation. The gentlemen’s agreement has worked perfectly: there is no machismo without male complicity, without men who not only enforce but remain silent while others act.
Source: El Diario