A kiss is, indeed, just a kiss, even in Spain

As the song famously sung by Dooley Wilson as Sam in Casablanca, goes, ‘You must remember this/ A kiss is just a kiss.’ Turns out, it’s not that simple. Pretty much all of Spain has reacted with outrage to a kiss. During the post-match ceremony of the Women’s World Cup final last weekend, Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales was caught on camera kissing winning Spanish forward Jenni Hermoso on the mouth. It was momentary, and for most of us sitting here, something Spanish culture is cool with. Nope, it isn’t.

To add to Rubiales’ woes, Hermoso herself had commented on a live stream that she ‘didn’t like it’. But that’s the thing about out-of-contextism. She didn’t sound outraged herself in the momentary clip about Rubiales’ ‘forwardness’ – surprised, rather than shocked. But that, too, may have been conjecture on our part. Until, that is, the purported ‘victim’ elaborated: ‘It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings… The president and I have a great relationship, his behaviour with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude.’ Goes to show what can be whipped up out of context. And also goes to show how an explanation can simmer things down. Remember, ‘A sigh is just a sigh/ The fundamental things apply/ As time goes by.’


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