Labour Minister Calls Out Systemic Male Chauvinism in Spain After Soccer Incident
On Monday, Yolanda Diaz, Spain's Labour Minister, emphasized the deeply rooted nature of male chauvinism within the country. She addressed a recent incident where Luis Rubiales, the head of the national soccer federation, had physically grabbed and kissed Jenni Hermoso, a player in the World Cup, on the lips. This incident, according to Diaz, epitomized the most severe manifestation of systemic male chauvinism in Spain.
Yolanda Diaz, a prominent figure not only as the Labour Minister but also as the deputy prime minister and leader of the far-left Sumar coalition, used this incident as a call to action. She urged for a transformation in social attitudes across Spain, aiming for a shift away from the prevailing chauvinistic mindset. She advocated for a more robust system of protection for victims of sexual harassment and violence, highlighting the need to prioritize their safety and well-being.
Diaz's comments emerged in response to the defiant stance taken by Luis Rubiales, who, on Friday, rejected calls for his resignation as the president of Spain's soccer federation. Rubiales denounced what he termed "false feminists" attempting to undermine him in the aftermath of the incident. This incident, which sparked nationwide outrage, overshadowed the triumphant victory of the women's national team in the World Cup.
In the wake of a meeting with the leaders of the FUTPRO players' union representing Jenni Hermoso, Diaz spoke to reporters. She lamented the behavior witnessed on Friday, portraying it as a reflection of the deeply ingrained structural machismo prevalent in Spanish society. She criticized the individuals who not only failed to protect Hermoso as mandated by sports law but also subjected her to humiliation and ridicule. Diaz underlined the resulting harm and distress inflicted on Hermoso due to this response.
Despite the disturbing incident, Diaz contended that Spain, at its core, was largely a "feminist" society, a beacon of progress in the global landscape. However, it was precisely this backdrop of relative progress that made such regressive behaviors all the more shocking and unacceptable.