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Unwanted advances: consent researcher, feminist philosopher on Luis Rubiales

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Abby Kozlowski

Officials within the Royal Spanish Football Federation have asked Luis Rubiales to immediately resign over an unwanted kiss he gave to player Jenni Hermoso after Spain won the Women’s World Cup.

Vanessa Bohns

Professor of Organizational Behavior

Vanessa Bohns, social psychologist and professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University, says downplaying the position Rubiales put Hermoso in is consistent with previous research on consent.

Bohns says:

“Luis Rubiales follows in a long line of men who insist that their unwanted physical contact was consensual because a woman was so shocked, uncomfortable or frightened of retribution that she momentarily froze. 

“The ways in which Rubiales and others have subsequently downplayed the position he put Jenni Hermoso in is consistent with research by myself and others. We find that perpetrators and outside observers of unwanted advances underestimate the uncomfortable position targets of those advances find themselves in. This is particularly true when these unwanted advances come from someone in a position of power who has control over one’s professional future.” 

Kate Manne

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Kate Manne, associate professor of philosophy with a focus on feminist philosophy, is available to discuss the nuances of Rubiales’ actions and responses within the context of the #MeToo era. Her thoughts on entitlement and stolen glory can be found here.

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