It was like something out of an old Hollywood film. The mysterious leading man finally makes his move on the damsel, and the two embrace in a passionate kiss.

The viral news smackaroo between an Irish lad, Jack Ring, and a young Canadian girl, Gillian McKeown, was distinctly modern but contained all of the elements of a classic romance. The scene unfolded as McKeown walked her dog through a park, not unlike Holly Golightly searching for her lost ‘cat’ in the rain. Ring approached McKeown as she was being interviewed by a local news outlet about coronavirus, clasped her head with both hands, and planted a wet one right on her mouth. Her blushing response to the kiss — ‘he’s so hot’ —may very well be the 2020 version of ‘we’ll always have Paris.’

Twitter lit up with allegations that Ring had engaged in sexual assault by kissing a stranger without her explicit permission. The video reveals, however, that there was an established mutual attraction between the pair: they had talked before McKeown started the interview and she had given Ring her phone number. Requiring any further expression of consent reveals the way in which modern feminism has stripped all of the life out of romance. Men now have to avoid engaging in surprise expressions of affection for fear of being labeled a predator. But an unwanted kiss or hug is hardly as traumatizing as an actual assault, and such gestures like the one made by Ring are not intended to be a show of force but rather a revelation that the woman is worth the risk of rejection. That’s part of the beauty of the human romantic experience — feeling the elation when a shot pays off or the crushing blow when it fails.

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Twenty, maybe even 10 years ago, a woman would respond to an unwanted kiss by giving a slap across the face, or merely turning her head so the lips landed on the cheek. Now, women are encouraged to be spineless victims that are completely incapable of communicating their desires. In order to protect these fragile creatures, men who suspect a woman may be interested must ask the dreadfully unromantic question: ‘may I kiss you?’ Successfully reading a woman without being so explicit used to be a badge of honor, a sign that one has mastered the delicate dance between the sexes. Men who failed were expected to take their loss and move on, and were hardly considered criminals for their efforts.

Lucky for him, Ring’s kiss paid off. McKeown was clearly elated and flustered by his show of affection; certainly more than she would’ve been had it not been an epic surprise. Ring summed up his attitude on taking risks when asked if he was worried about catching COVID: ‘The kiss was worth it.’

This one beautiful moment was infinitely more real than the big box stores reminding us ‘we’re all in this together’ or the New Yorkers banging pots on their balconies to prove to their woke neighbors that they support health care workers. It’s a good reminder for all of us during the quarantine that we should stop taking everything so seriously and return to embracing the simple things that make us human.