Category Archives: The New European

Feminism moves too fast for football

Spanish women greeted the overdue resignation of Luis Rubiales as head of the Spanish FA with a weary nod of approval. Even women attending a feminist monologue in one of the most progressive neighbourhoods in central Madrid, Lavapiés, were tired of talking about him grabbing and kissing Jennifer Hermoso after last month’s World Cup win. “It’s too bad we’re talking about this instead of the World Cup victory,” says Cristina, 33, a civil servant. She had just been to see a performance of No solo duelen los golpes at the Teatro del Barrio.

The show, whose title means “It’s not just the hitting that hurts,” is a one-hander by the actor Pamela Palenciano about a controlling relationship and the sexist structures across society. One of Cristina’s companions at the show that night, Irene, a 35-year-old architect, told me that the kiss, which Hermoso says was not consensual, was inappropriate, and that “ten years ago, this wouldn’t have been news”. The difference, Irene said, was that Spain’s women have progressed. “The big change hasn’t been in men,” she said.

Continue reading Feminism moves too fast for football

Racism: The shame of Spain

In Madrid, a few years ago, two teams of kids were playing football. A young boy scored a goal and set off in celebration, but then something odd happened – the opposing team’s managers asked the referee to stop the game. The boy, they argued, was too old to be on the pitch.

Dolores Galindo, the president of the Dragones de Lavapiés football club, was there. Lavapiés is one of Madrid’s melting-pot neighbourhoods, and it was one of her players who scored the goal. The boy wasn’t too old, she says. He was entitled to play. But on the other hand, she says, he did have darker skin.

Continue reading Racism: The shame of Spain