The events in Cologne on New Year’s eve have been a deeply troubling start to 2016, not just for the people of Germany, but for any thinking person involved in the subsequent conversation (to use a charitable term for the tepid dithering that followed).
The lack of media, government and police attention it initially received, while an insult to the rule of law and freedom of information, not to mention the victims of these disgusting premeditated acts, are at least contextualised (while not excused) by the sickly excuse for a response by government and the liberal media.
In the UK, The Guardian and The New Statesman, with great urgency and clamour rushed to condemn, not the attackers themselves nor the barbaric attitudes towards women that their home cultures have infected them with, but every other tangential or entirely irrelevant factor they could dream up.
Some cultures, ideologies and religions are inherently more misogynistic than others.
I’m astonished anyone pays any attention to Laurie Penny anymore but, let’s face it, she is employed by The New Statesman and they would employ an orangutan if it could scribble the word “systems” on a napkin in crayon. Along with the usual artificial levelling of the playing field which the left have sought to engineer since the news broke, that this is just one manifestation of a global rape culture which is not geographically, culturally or religiously variable, Ms Penny makes grandiose and clumsy claims that anyone deploring of the events from a women’s rights perspective who doesn’t happen to share her particular brand of privileged Western feminism, is in fact an opportunistic bigot simply co-opting feminism in order to justify racism. Now I have no doubt that racists and bigots of the Stormfront and Britain First strain have seized upon this as they do every horrible atrocity committed by non-white people, but the left are doing a fantastic job of ceding the argument to them by propagated a total whitewash of any necessary and precarious conversation about the significance of culture and dogma and tarnishing any deviation from this censorship as racism. So well done for doing the far right a big favour, Laurie.
With equal hypocrisy, she says:
“I stand with the many, many Muslim, Arab, Asian and immigrant feminists organising against sexism and misogyny within and beyond their own communities. Nobody seems to have thought to ask them how best to deal with systemic sexual violence”
Actually a lot sensible liberal voices would love to hear from women like this and actively seek out their voices, unfortunately, radical identity politicians have a nasty habit of preventing women from such cultures from speaking on campuses if they have anything critical to say about Islam, lest they should say something that might violate a safe space. You only have to look at the shameful treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the recent harassment of Maryam Namazie at Goldsmiths (which the Goldsmiths feminist society had the hypocritical audacity to side with).
She then goes on to a defense of her orthodoxy with a condescending lecture on logical fallacies, claiming not to be deploying a false dichotomy by implying rape culture is the same everywhere while failing not to do that and, with a total lack of self-awareness, deploying strawmen left, right and centre to defame her detractors.
The crux of this being, “misogyny knows no colour or creed.” Ms Penny succinctly expresses the regressive leftist confusion between race and culture as a central thesis of her article. No, misogyny does not know colour but it obviously knows creed. Some cultures, ideologies and religions are inherently more misogynistic than others, to suggest otherwise is a flat-out denial of reality. How else do you explain the fact the local authorities in Germany are issuing guidelines for women to follow to avoid being sexually assaulted? Or that Norway and parts of Germany (and possibly Denmark imminently) are offering classes to migrant men on how to treat women in European cultures? This is a quote from an Eritrean (a nationality that constitutes a significant proportion of the current migration wave to Europe) attendee of one such class:
“[in Eritrea] if someone wants a lady he can just take her and he will not be punished,”
To take such a statement at face value is nothing to do with racism or bigotry. I myself spent two years in the Middle Eastern country of Oman and I look back fondly on that period of my life, but at no point was I under any illusion that women were treated as equals and they certainly did not enjoy the equality of women in the West and, while as a male expat I was mostly unaffected by local customs, I would not want to be a woman born into such a culture. There is also recent historical precedent for just such an event. For a movement that claims to care about women’s rights, the regressive left seem to all too quick to forget about the mob-rape of Lara Logan in Tahrir Square.
The USA also had their share of obscurantist nonsense in the form of the unwatchable Young Turks (I performed what I hope you will regard as a noble sacrifice by sitting through about twenty minutes of this drivel). In their tepid excuse for a panel discussion, Ana Kasparian, in a radical departure from form, attempted to make a point about universal application of values and was then compelled to spend the next ten minutes or so hedging and backtracking while the entire panel threw around irrelevant clutter about rape culture on US college campuses, as if that had any bearing on this situation.
To reiterate what I really shouldn’t have to, this was a coordinated mass sexual assault involving hundreds of victims and perpetrators. Saying things like “well sexual harassment happens all the time in the US” or equally Laurie Penny’s assertion that this case is only getting so much attention because it involved migrants, misses the point entirely. You may as well blow up a building and say “well explosions happen all the time, cars run on them and my boiler exploded last month.”
Shame on you if you cooperate with this. Show some decency if your ideological bias hasn’t totally eroded your moral compass or commitment to truth.