DimWit Politics

In Russia, “Booty Slapping” Is a National Sport

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In Russia, “Booty Slapping” Is a National Sport

In Russia, “Booty Slapping” Is a National Sport
December 23
00:44 2019

Russian women — upset over a national sports competition in which Russian men take turns smacking each other in the face — have invented their own version of the contest.  It’s called “booty slapping.”

Instead of smacking each other on the facial cheeks, as men do, the women take turns smacking each other on the butt.  Whoever knocks the other over is declared the winner.

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The competition officially got underway last June.  Not surprisingly, it’s a huge hit with Russian audiences, men and women both.

But is it sexist — or at least demeaning — to promote such a competition, to begin with?

In America, it surely would be, but many would frown on the male version of the event, too.

Americans love boxing in which two pugilists seek to destroy each other physically in the ring, but somehow the idea of two people striking each other barehanded would likely be frowned upon, no matter where the blows were aimed.

Booty slapping of any kind has come under attack as a demeaning act toward women, whether the slapper is male or female

In the United States last week, the issue came to the fore when a male marathon runner smacked a live TV reporter on her butt as he passed by her during the race.

The outraged reporter said she felt humiliated and asked the police to investigate the incident as a sexual assault, which they did.

Her assaulter, a local minister, married with two kids, turned himself in to police. He was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery, and released on a $1,300 bond.

Was the charge excessive?  It depends on who you talk to.

Arguably, this was not a case of a group of men — or schoolboys — that set out to harass and grope a female for their pleasure.  Those scenarios exist and are rightly condemned as acts of aggression.

In this case, the butt slap was more of a spontaneous act of excessive exuberance, the kind one often witnesses during marathons and other sporting events — or at weddings, for that matter.

As a video of the incident makes clear, numerous runners were trying to inject themselves into the reporter’s live filming and several times she had to move out of the way to avoid them.

But she never saw her butt smacking minister coming.  And after the slap, she appeared genuinely shocked and humiliated by what others might interpret as a playful –if inappropriate — transgression.

The reaction on social media has ranged from mild amusement to a sense of outrage at the minister’s behavior.

It could be that the dawning of the #Me2 era has hardened our attitudes toward such incidents.  The space for mischievous behavior that falls short of traditional notions of what constitutes a “sexual assault” has become increasingly problematic

Even in Europe where sexual mores have tended toward the libertine, and modern notions of “political correctness” disparaged, behavioral standards may be evolving.

Last year, in a suburb outside Paris, an inebriated man on a public bus who smacked a female passenger on the butt was fined $350 — and jailed for three months — under the nation’s new “catcalling” law which punishes instances of sexual harassment, even if it’s strictly verbal.

Witnesses say the drunken man had verbally harassed the woman he slapped, making lewd comments about the size of her breasts and even calling her a “whore.”

In Italy earlier this year a well-known businessman and playboy, Gianluca Vacchi, posted a homemade dance video in which he cavorted with four young women clad in skimpy swimsuits and affectionately slapped them in succession on the rear end as they lay prostrate on his yacht.

Some viewers deplored the video as “sexist”.  But Vacchi dismissed the criticism.  “Learn to joke,” he admonished.

The main issue, of course, isn’t just the act of butt-slapping — it’s whether there’s consent involved.

In the sports competition and presumably in Vacchi’s video, all of the women are consenting to have their butts slapped.  In the case of the French bus passenger, the woman didn’t.

Apparently, public officials can also come in for criticism for excessive “handiness” with a woman’s derriere, even if the derriere in question is their wife’s.

During a visit by President Trump and his wife, Brigitte, French president Emmanuel Macron was seen giving her a quiet pat on the rear.  Was it an act of playful affection between loving marriage partners or had Macron actually taken public liberties with his own spouse?

Before #Me2, the issue likely would never be raised.

That there’s still room for debate, even among women, as illustrated by an incident involving American comedian Chelsea Handler during work on her documentary

When an African Ameican woman belted out a song early in production, Handler hugged the woman and gently tapped her on the butt signaling praise.  The woman later complained, and Handler was told to attend a sexual sensitivity training.

She was dumbfounded but agreed.   She also apologized to the woman who said Black women have received undue attention historically for their derriere.

Handler initially said the incident had “enlightened” her.  But at a meeting with studio executives, the irrepressible comedian felt compelled to ask if she could “still touch White people’s asses…Is this like a Black thing?”   The executives weren’t amused.

In the final analysis, the issue may be whether our world can still deal with the contextual ambiguity and nuance of meaning that often attaches itself to human expressions of a sensuality nature.  Unwanted touching may be aggressive and menacing or simply awkward and stupid, or in some cases — between athletes for, example — supremely affirming.

Do we still know the difference?

Is an act of inappropriate touching always a criminal offense?  Is a slap on the butt the same as a forced kiss or even more invasive groping?  When is a simple heartfelt apology a sufficient remedy?

The danger in our world today is losing all sense of proportion and intelligent discernment in our judgments of ourselves and others.  When we replace reason with pure emotion — or gender prejudice disguised as gender justice — we become even less able to trust each other, to heal and to forge a harmonious community.

About Author

Stewart L

Stewart L

Stewart Lawrence is a trained sociologist and political scientist and a regular columnist for the Washington Times and the Federalist. He is also a former feature contributor to Inside Philanthropy, Counterpunch and the Huffington Post. In 2012 and 2016, he covered the US presidential election campaign for the conservative news magazine Daily Caller. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor and Washington Post. He is currently working on a book about the politics of US immigration policy.

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