Despite many debates, it seems we are still unclear on what constitutes sexual harassment and what doesn’t. This confusion is understandable, considering the decades of practices that have been waved off as just “some fun”. Now that the conversation is finally open, it’s time to re-evaluate many seemingly innocent gestures that we’ve been doing. And this applies to both genders. Yes, historically speaking, women have primarily been the victims of sexual violence. But, that doesn’t or shouldn’t, act as a universal bail for women.
And one main point in the sexual harassment debate is consent. Something that a lot of sports fans, evidently forget in the heat and excitement of the game. In the last 2 months, 2 such cases have come out where fans have taken liberty with female sports reporters and faced instant retribution for it.
A similar case has surfaced on the Internet now, but this time, the tables have turned. A video doing the rounds on social media, shows two women kissing a male reporter on his cheek while he reports on the game.
According to BBC, the reporter is Jeon Gwang-ryeol on channel MBN, who was in Russia on June 28th reporting on the ongoing FIFA Worldcup.
Though Jeon laughs off the kisses in the video clip, he does look visibly embarrassed.
Watch the video here:
The video clip has sparked a debate on social media, with many questioning why no one had come forward with claims of sexual harassment in this case:
1. Consent, people. Why is it so hard to wrap our heads around this simple idea?
This is sexual harassment?
Jeon Gwang-ryeol, a reporter for South Korean TV channel MBN, was delivering a report in Russia last week when a female Russian fan ran up to him and kissed him on the cheek. pic.twitter.com/3n2XgI7Nk6
— Cecilia Fedorova (@CeciliaFedorova) July 5, 2018
2. Feminism isn’t just for women. It’s about equal treatment, for both men and women.
Korean reporter in Russia. Cute right?
Now swap genders. pic.twitter.com/webiDOHVYj
— Pre Malone (@__TheMerc) July 6, 2018
3. Harassment is harassment, be it by a man or a woman.
The male #Korean reporter "tried to laugh the kisses off but looked embarrassed after the incident, which occurred days after male supporters were criticised for trying to #kiss a female reporter live on TV." #diversity #men #women #harassment https://t.co/PHGv6exepO
— DouglasTodd (@DouglasTodd) July 4, 2018
4. Consent goes both ways.
South Korean TV reporter gets kissed and hugged twice live on TV at #worldcup
— Russian Market (@russian_market) July 4, 2018
While the women’s actions are deplorable, some of the other responses by a few men to this incident seem to think otherwise:
harassment my ass pic.twitter.com/40JDj3DUlX
— MutexLock (@Mutex_Lock) July 5, 2018
I want 😁
— Rizky P. Pratama (@calonseniman) July 5, 2018
The debate still continues, with many condemning feminists for not speaking out in this incident and others claiming there is no reason to make such a big issue out of this as according to them, the reporter clearly enjoyed it.
While this debate may never be resolved, can we all just accept that taking consent first is the safer and respectable option?