Mikaela Lauren kisses Cecilia Braekhus -- sexual assault?

If anyone is unfamiliar with the names, Ms. Braekhus is the current WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO World Welterweight champion. Ms. Lauren will be fighting Ms. Braekhus this Saturday. Braekhus is undefeated and one of her TKO wins, back in 2010, was against Ms. Lauren.

The two fighters had a traditional stare-down at the press conference promoting the fight, a stare-down which ended when Lauren leaned in and kissed Braekhus full on the lips. Braekhus pulled back, striking Lauren lightly with an open hand, and seemed simultaneously shocked and . . . well, not welcoming of the gesture, although she does break into surprised laughter a moment later.

Lauren smiles slightly and walks off stage right.

Was this sexual assault?

I say it was not. I assume in reaching this conclusion that the gesture was unrehearsed, and unwelcome by Braekhus. But even so, I think the term “sexual assault,” shouldn’t be applied to this sort of incidental contact.

There’s a fair amount of discussion now about what kinds of acts are sexual assault, though, so perhaps I am mistaken. (I certainly agree that if it should turn out that this was planned, it’s trivially not assault of any kind; I’d like to operate here in this thread under the assumption that the reactions from Braekhus are genuine and not feigned).

I have no problem calling it sexual assault. It’s not rape, which has its own definition, but it was an assault that is sexual in nature. What would be an act (not rape) that you would classify as sexual assault?

Providing that it wasn’t rehearsed, then I would say it was sexual assault. If you did that to a fellow employee at work in front of everyone, what do you think the result would be?

An act that I’d call sexual assault is one done with the intent to intent to sexually arouse or gratify someone, involving touching of breast, groin, or buttocks, or the clothing covering those areas.

I think I’d be subject to discipline or termination.

But so what? Up until the kiss, I think everyone agrees that the interaction between the two was expected and appropriate . . . and yet if I stood an inch away from a coworker, glaring at him or her menacingly, I think I’d be subject to discipline or termination. We thus see that we cannot judge the interaction between Mikaela Lauren and Cecilia Braekhus by the goofy standard you propose of “What would happen in my workplace?” since it is inapplicable here.

Even if the person intended to be gratified is the person doing the assault? I don’t think Lauren was trying to gratify or arouse Braekhus, if anyone was going to be aroused it would have been Lauren. Which appears to me to be sexual assault.

So what would you consider this interaction? Simple assault? It was apparently unwanted, non-accidental physical contact.

Well, it obviously would not arouse the victim, but perhaps the offender?

Forced kissing can be assault or battery, but there’s no sexual component in any jurisdiction I’m familiar with.

I don’t get the outrage. Everybody wants to see these two ladies beat each other to a pulp, but a kiss is just too far?

Is your point that “sexual assault” ought to require a degree to severity (for lack of a better term) to raise it above common battery? (“incidental contact” doesn’t seem right to me, because it was obviously deliberate).

Or that “sexual assault” requires some sort of sexual purpose and that this did not appear to have that?

I suppose I’m asking whether you have the same question if Lauren reached up and “honked” the other woman’s breasts. More serious conduct (I think), but still not motivated by sexual purpose.

Yes. Assault.

An unwanted kiss seems like sexual assault to me, even if it’s at the relatively minor end of the spectrum. Even if it was done for reasons other than gratification (in this case perhaps either for intimidation of an opponent, or for performance/spectacle reasons [i.e. give the crowd a good show]).

“Someone,” can be any person: the victim, the actor, or even a third party.

But I don’t agree this was done to arouse anyone. I think it was done to fluster and intimidate.

The second. And I agree that a breast “honk,” done in that context, may not be sexual assault either, depending on the intention of the honker.

So if I grab another employees breasts or crotch and wiggle those body parts around just to intimidate that employee, it’s not sexual assault?

Then it’s not sexual. It’s merely assault.

Just where do you work?

NM. I see Czarcasm asked the same question.

Do you work in show business?

Well, since we don’t have the ability to read minds, how can you tell one from another if the assaulter claims that the action was done just to intimidate the assaulted?