There are these moments I feel happy about leaving my country. When I walk past the newspapers in that only drugstore in town and see the recent covers, picturing stereotypical and rather sexist images of women getting assaulted by black men. When I hear people talking about cologne. Hamburg. Stuttgart. Bielefeld. To quote my former English teacher: ‘Fucking Bielefeld – nothing ever happens there but this time it had to be Bielefeld!’
When men complain about all the refugees and the violence towards women and my father quotes politicians to show me how dumb I am by thinking that there is actually something good in humankind. When I hear that their solution was one arm length of space between you and everyone else to keep your decency and avoid any kind of sexual violence… This is not my Germany anymore.
I have lost my home country, I have lost my people and I have lost whatever was a culture I held onto.
For any of you who doesn’t know, especially the international readership: in Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Bielefeld men assembled around 2 a.m. at new years eve and are suspected of committing several crimes. Theft is the best, rape was the worst.
Especially in cologne, on the so called Domplatte the police was barely in control of the situation and tried to hide their mistakes from the public. The chief in office of colognes police resigned last week due to several mistakes during his duty, especially at new years eve.
An appropriate reaction would have been the information of the public in a full extent, tracking down at least the worst assaulters for trial and jail (because that is the German law) and comforting the victims and their families. Because this would have been decent, civilized and intelligent.
Instead of this, Henriette Reker, the mayor of cologne held a speech, informing the public and especially women about their responsibility of behaving appropriately, especially during carnival (which is huge in Cologne and Düsseldorf) and to prevent assault by keeping at least one arm’s length space between you and men. And that from a woman who got stabbed during her election campaign and was on duty directly after recovery- one who was thought to be strong and loyal and a little intelligent too. Puclic reaction: to avoid getting stabbed keep one arms and a knifes length of space beteen you and possible assaulters. This just isn’t helpful! This is actually quite hilarious when thinking it through- the main point about sexual assault is the missing space between you and the assaulter. its like saying ‘to avoid getting ill, don’t be ill.’
But this is what we got ladies and gentleman. This is, what our government gave us.
And the best: everyone starts discussing about how bad these men are, how bad the refugees and foreigners are and how little respect they pay for women and women’s rights. Suddenly every man is a feminist or at least sort of. Everyone is respectful and treats us equally. At least on social media. I can’t – and Im being totally serious about this – I just can’t count the times someone shouted ‘sweet ass’ in the street, grabbed it, tried to wiggle it, stared at my tits, complimented them, leaned over in the subway to ask wether i have a boyfriend and was willing to hook up or if they could drive my girlfriend and me home. I can’t count the times I felt insecure in public, the times I turned around to see whether someone is following me. I just cant. And that weren’t foreigners, immigrants or refugees. That were the strong and respecting German men, who assault the waitresses at the Oktoberfest, at nearly every Schützenfest and elsewhere on a regular basis.
This is not new.
The first thing when going by public transport: checking which carriage to enter. Where are other women, where are mainly men? who is drunk? Who could be expected to help me in case of any emergency? Especially during night and when being on your own.
We all had moments where we left a train, a bus or anything else and waited for a different one. Every woman in our western society is able to tell a story of how she was assaulted of felt at least insecure or right less. Believe me. Every. Single. Woman.
And don’t get me wrong: this is not about making the things during new years eve any better. this is about putting them into perspective and making at least some of you think.
My father told me about the crimes committed with some sort of triumph in his voice. This ‘here, i am right, do you see it now’ voice which makes me want to purge instantly, because he is using selective data and ignores everything in sight which speaks against it.
‘I have always told you, that they are criminals. Show me one integrated family of the new ones.’
and even if I show him five he somehow ignores them- because they aren’t that present in ones mind, because it’s the human nature to remember the bad things. He reads aloud the crime stats to me, the risen theft rates, the risen assault rates and the number of foreigners in German prisons to show me how wrong I am on a regular basis.
‘Men who leave their country now don’t deserve going back. It isn’t their country anymore.’
‘And you’d stay and fight for Germany? You? You weren’t even in the army when it was your time to serve.’
‘That’s something totally different!’ (Demonstration against a home for asylum seekers)
‘The ones coming 20 years ago, they fled from war. They fled from actual persecution. They are just fleeing to a better life now!‘ (Man on the subway venting about immigrants- I left the carriage at the next station.)
Because the IS is a sweet bunch of rainbow eating social missionaries who just want to improve society. Because all the murders weren’t really committed and no one should feel fear because this is no real prosecution! Maybe if they killed people because of their belives, social standings, expression of opinion or something similar bur… Wait? Haven’t they done all of this? Like really? But somehow they managed to avoid getting the ‘prosecutor’s badge, while the terrorist one was already handed out to them… Maybe they should show at some office to get their records straight…
I am feeling ashamed of my people. because that is not a single voice but a chorus.
I remember that time we talked about the second world war and what led the Weimarer Republik into its downfall. I was unable to believe that the educated higher class was supporting the idea of a new war. I never understood because as they were educated they should have seen it, shouldn’t they? I actually argued with my history teacher about this because it wasn’t getting into my head.
And now I see it. Now I see what fear and frustration can do with those who have power, education and they words to create an opinion. And I am ashamed.
This is no longer my society or country.
Every time I met a refugee until this very moment was a good time. Every encounter was friendly and based on respect and I mainly met men my age. And no one assaulted me, no one looked at me in a strange way, no one cat called me and literally no one wanted to discuss a ‘no’. just to put things into context once.
Remember cologne: 1000 men assaulting women with north african backgrounds, faked passports and asylum notices… Remember them all ‘attacking’ at the same time? Remember them all leaving at the same time? This was no sudden act, this was planned and coordinated and whoever did this has reached his goal. The right wing is getting stronger with each day, the liberal parties are getting laughed at each day, the press is bashed with each news report for telling lies.
i can understand fear but this? This is insane and I doubt there will be a society to come back to when I am done with studying. We are at the brink of a civil war and that is what is scaring me to death.