What happened in Cologne sounds like a nightmare: A group of about a thousand men sexually assaulted women at the city's central railway station. According to witnesses, these men were of "Arab or North African appearance."
What happened in Cologne is horrible. The perpetrators need to be prosecuted, and authorities need to make sure this doesn't happen again.
Yet this is the perfect moment to point out the hypocrisy dominating the current discussion. Yes, you read it right. Hypocrisy.
On Facebook, one woman posted: "Germany is already fighting a war against its own people, starting with its women."
Yes, there is a war against women in Germany that has long been going on.
The people who are currently the most vocal about the New Year's Eve attacks make life difficult for women in Germany 364 days of the year. It's almost ridiculous how they are now pretending to champion women's rights and blabbering on about cultures with "patriarchal structures." Because for years, they have been stirring up hatred against women.
"If you think that women should get raped, you lose any right to be outraged when it actually happens."
This latent misogyny comes from men as well as from women. Yes, in Germany there are many women who hate other women.
However, you're not allowed to talk about it without receiving a nasty label. On top of that, nobody wants to hear it.
At the bottom of every article about sexism or rape (written by Western men), you'll find dozens of comments that sound something like this: "Well, if girls wear nothing but leotards or really thin tights and a top that ends where the bum begins, this really can be considered 'normal!'"
"15 years-olds are well aware of the impact they have on the opposite gender. So, these little girlies aren't that innocent after all!"
"If this woman was indeed raped, I feel really sorry for her. But where does rape begin?"
"One serious question: Why do I NEVER read anything about male victims of rape?"
Pegida and AfD followers are the worst. They are now using the incidents in Cologne for their propaganda. And mocking and insulting female journalists and politicians who disagree with their opinions is their favorite pastime.
They describe them as "leftist goody-two-shoes-hippie-sluts" and "frigid bra burners" who just need a "good screw."
Countless psychopaths have made offensive comments to me; some have said that they wish for me to be raped by Muslims-- maybe then I would learn my lesson. One of them sent me the following message on Twitter: "I hope you will be savaged by hordes of Mussulmans. Then you'd go crying to those who want to defend German people."
If you think that women should get raped, you lose any right to be outraged when it actually happens. I wonder: Are people who wish others will suffer any better than people who actually inflict the suffering?
"Advancing women's rights doesn't only involve protection against sexual assault."
These people are up in arms against the supposedly archaic and demeaning perception of women in Islam. And like the right-wing populist Akif Pirinçci, they constantly point out gender when their opponent is a woman.
As if this was something worth mentioning at all or remotely related to their political opinion. Do they speak of men the same way? Have they ever said: "Well, after all, he's a man?"
Those people cheer on Eva Herman, who asks women to "keep quiet and cook." And even now, in the 21st century, they can't tolerate that a woman might speak her mind in public-- especially if it goes against their own opinions.
Dear indignant and concerned people:
Whenever the media reports the gruesome fate of refugees, you ask: "What about the German children, the poor and women?" Exactly: What about German women?
Let's take a look at how women are doing in modern, open-minded Germany. Here we go:
- These days, "feminist" is practically considered a swearword. When a woman publicly demands more equality or speaks out about sexism, in your opinion she only does it because she's "fat" or "ugly" and "isn't getting any."
- When prostitutes or young women in the porn industry are abused and exploited, all you read on Facebook are comments such as: "Oh, I am tearing up. Blame yourself!" or: "Men have their needs" and one of them is to "blow off steam."
- To you, it's normal and harmless if women are stared at or catcalled in public. Nowadays, people find the topic of sexism annoying.
Is it only exciting when it involves "hordes of asylum seekers" or Muslims?
I would like to emphasize (because I can predict the looming accusations) that I DON'T wish to undermine the severity of the crimes that took place in Cologne. I don't want to diminish or understate them.
What I do want to do is raise the topic of misogyny in Germany, a topic that is usually overlooked or shoved aside. Perhaps more people will now be open to addressing this problem.
Advancing women's rights doesn't only involve protection against sexual assault. It also requires ensuring that we aren't judged, belittled or ridiculed because of our gender. And in this aspect, Germany has a lot of catching up to do.
And now, get cracking on your misogynist insults, because every single comment you make will be another argument in favor of my hypothesis.
This post was originally published on HuffPost Germany. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.
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