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Beyond the Kiss: Reflecting on Harassment

How can we assess the impact of forced kissing in the final of the Women's World Cup, which shows the persistence of harassment of women? The act of forcibly kissing someone without consent is a violation of personal boundaries and could be construed as a form of sexual harassment.


A little story...

Once upon a time there were two friends: Maria and Madalena. Maria was a 14-year-old girl, advanced in school, who was already enrolled in a professional course in electrotechnics. Madalena was 16 at the time. It was the 70s, and her school was predominantly attended by male students, with only these two girls in the class. On a certain day at school, Madalena left the room, visibly upset and with a frightened expression. Although he did not reveal the reason for this discomfort, he began to refuse to leave Maria alone, always acting in a protective way. One day Maria was in the classroom, sitting at the last desk in the row, when the teacher sneaked in and started rubbing Maria's back. She managed to escape because Madalena came to her aid... Over time, Maria ended up discovering the reason behind her friend's behavior, as the 'so-called' teacher had kissed her by force, leaving her in a situation of great distress. . In the face of all this, Maria, indignant, wanted at all costs to denounce the teacher to the school board, but was prevented by Madalena, who was very afraid that they would be accused of being 'inventing' this story. Maria was very sad and disappointed with what happened, also very angry. Maria never forgot this episode in her life...

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Today's vintage reflection touches on a challenging subject that happened recently in the life of a female soccer player. Although the case of Maria and Madalena took place in the 1970s, the contemporary scenario of sport brought to light a very similar controversy, which revealed not only the lack of sensitivity, but also the persistence of inappropriate behavior towards women.


Recently, during the women's football World Cup final, the president of the Spanish Football Federation forcibly kissed a player in public, which raises fundamental questions about respect and gender equality.


The most peculiar thing about this story is the fact that he tries to minimize what happened with the declaration that it was a "spontaneous act of affection between friends". However, her attitude caused immediate discomfort in the affected player, who shared her experience on social media, highlighting the seriousness of what happened. What should have been a moment of sporting celebration has turned into a contemporary example of the persistent harassment women face in many situations.


In the past harassment was accepted as 'normal', has anything changed?


In the past, harassment was woefully normalized in society, from unwanted advances to sexual comments disguised as compliments. I remember walking down the street and hearing a series of nasty words, as if it were completely normal for a man to be able to say whatever he wanted to a woman. But what causes deep astonishment is this being repeated publicly these days, including using social networks as a protective shield against the lack of awareness about limits and the perpetuation of harmful gender norms for society. What can be interpreted as a simple 'kiss' is a significant reference to how women still need to climb levels to have their rights fully respected.


The fight for women's rights is still ongoing. Episodes such as the forced kiss highlight the persistence of patriarchal mentalities that diminish women and their autonomy. As vintage women, we have a responsibility to share our experiences, broaden the dialogue about past and present challenges, and join forces to challenge toxic norms.


The forced kiss episode at the Women's World Cup is not an isolated incident, but a reflection of a broader reality. The struggle for gender equality is constant and cannot stop until we have a society where awareness of limits and mutual respect are more equal.


We want to hear your thoughts on the article! Do you believe that the forced kiss during the women's World Cup final could be considered harassment? Share your insights in the comments and help expand this crucial discussion about gender equality and respect. If this article resonated with you, feel free to share so that more individuals can join the conversation.

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