Friday, January 22, 2016

After Cologne is feminism dead?

...There was something about the events in Cologne that seemed to send Laurie Penny stark raving mad. From her Harvard redoubt---with the depth and breadth of the Atlantic Ocean between her and reality---the true, ideological nature of the crisis facing Europe suddenly became terribly clear. In a New Statesman piece with the urgent title “After Cologne We Can’t Let The Bigots Steal Feminism”, we learned from Laurie that the whole sorry situation wasn’t about the myopic stupidity of governments importing (and importing wholesale) a hyper-masculine, misogynistic, patriarchal, unassimilable culture into Europe; instead it was about “the theft of feminist rhetoric by imperialism and racism.”

Laurie also reminded those of us who thought we were appalled by events in Cologne that we’re not really appalled by events in Cologne: We’re only pretending to be appalled by events in Cologne so that we can indulge in a spot of good old-fashioned Muslim-bashing. “White supremacist patriarchy only concerns itself with women’s safety when rape and sexual assault can be pinned on cultural outsiders” she thundered, while also speculating (in curiously feverish language) that not a few white people who claim to be opposed to Islamic sexual violence are secretly turned on by the idea of savage brown men doing unspeakable things to helpless white women. To be fair, and in the same article, Laurie graciously concludes (doubtless after long and hard consideration) that rape is never excusable — not even when the perpetrators “are really angry and disenfranchised” (which sounds a bit like an excuse to me).

We could go on. We could mention Deborah Orr in the Guardian, who somehow managed to link events in Cologne to the historical failings of European (and British) criminal justice systems; or Gaby Hinsliff (also, coincidentally enough, in the Guardian) who contrasted the “expensive smartphones” of the assaulted German women with the miserable lives of “young male migrants…scraping by at the bottom of Europe’s social and economic food chain” (query: what’s the Arabic for “with that iPhone she was asking for it”?). 

Suffice to say that to endure the Krakatoa-like eruption of cognitive dissonance from the feminist left in the aftermath of the obscenity of Cologne was to have a whole new dimension of unpleasantness added to what was an already thoroughly unpleasant ordeal...

See also this, this, this, and this.

Thanks to Harry's Place.

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