Marta Rodriguez on Spanish football's #MeToo reckoning

I've never liked football. 

I remember that when I was a child, football used to colonize the playground. However, girls weren't invited to participate. Instead, we had to settle for a corner where we could "play like girls" by jumping rope, playing hide and seek or statues. Never football. Besides, I never saw a women's football match on TV.

A week after Spain's Women's World Cup triumph, which set a record for television viewership in Spain, the focus turned to one man: Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). 

But this spotlight isn't for praise. Instead, his non-consensual congratulatory kiss on the player Jennifer Hermoso's lips has sparked a conversation about appropriate workplace behaviour, resulting in strong pressure for his resignation.

Amidst thunderous applause from an overwhelmingly male audience, Rubiales vehemently declared, "Should I resign? Well, let me tell you something. I will not resign." 

To better understand why the applause was so deafening: the Spanish Football Federation is governed by an assembly of 140 members, of which only 6 are women. 

Many have compared this scene to the satirical Spanish film series "Torrente," whose main character is utterly misogynistic and objectifies women whenever possible. 

He said it was she who approached his body and that he kissed her as if she were his daughter. “There was no desire,” he added. She said she felt vulnerable and a victim of aggression.

But let's set aside the she said/he said formula. Rubiales just doesn’t get it. From my perspective, he has failed to grasp that your boss planting a kiss on your lips constitutes an abuse of power, coupled with a heavy dose of paternalism. It has nothing to do with desire.  

And women are all too accustomed to this. I had a boss who used to say "thank you, darling" when I did something well. And this is just one of the many stories women have shared in the last week.

Yet, the players of the Spanish national team have said “enough is enough” and have unanimously resigned until Rubiales steps down as president. 

This is Spain's #MeToo moment, and now I have to admit that I'm starting to like football.