Friday, January 8, 2016

Gender gets eclipsed yet again in Germany gropinggate

First things first; the women who were groped in Cologne, Germany were groped because they are women and not because they are German. 

As I continue to read about, with utter dismay, the shameful groping en masse of women who had stepped out to enjoy new year's eve celebrations by a mob of unruly men, one thing strikes me - women were groped by men. By men. Let that sink.

The most troubling factor about the groping scandal is that people have chosen to focus on the race of the alleged perpetrators and not on the gender of the victims. I know that it is sensational and 'plausible' to blame refugees for every wrongdoing in Europe but in this case the most important factor in the gropinggate is that violence against women continues unabated - anywhere in the world.

Lets face it, men all over the world , irrespective of their race, continue to benefit from partriach. The benefits include sexually abusing women and being pardoned simply because 'they are men' and 'its a men's thing.'

Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, in her famous TEDx speech rightly said, 'the idea of men as savage beings, unable to control themselves' is somewhat troubling.

I am sick and tired of it. Partriach getting the pass. People choosing to pay a blind eye to the gender dynamics that lead men to behave the way they do against women.

But of course at this very moment there is general apathy when it comes to refugees and foreigners in Europe and therefore if non-European men commit crimes - simply because they are men - race takes precedence. The trend began in Britain where they blame everything on outsiders including other Europeans.

So how sweet and easy is it to blame it on the savage refugees from North Africa and Syria. But one needs common sense to see that it is logically impossible for the crowd in Cologne to have been comprised of only 'refugee men'. If the German men are so civilised, why did they leave women being groped and not defend them? I am just asking not that I want men to feel that they need to protect the 'weak women'.

While I agree that some men may indeed be coming from countries where women's rights and dignity are not valued much, I also know that they committed the crime simply because they are men.

The point that I am trying to make is that we have to talk gender where women's rights are concerned because it is the root cause of violence against women.

Women get attacked because they are considered weak; and that when they say no it is interpreted as yes; because men have been raised to think that they have to initiate sexual contact; and that women must only only receive sex and  not want it or ask for it otherwise they will be labelled as sluts.

Women get attacked because the men are raised to be 'strong' and be in charge. Men are raised to believe that they must control women. Men are being raised to see women as sexual objects meant for men's sexual gratification. Women are taken as sexual underdogs who can do without sex while men can't. The list goes on...

But I want to encourage us to think deeply about women as capable of being sexual beings on their own. As givers of sex and not just receivers. As equally capable of saying no and meaning NO. And of course as having the right to be out at night at a New year's eve celebration and not be considered indecent because they are out at night and therefore they must be groped. 

I want to also encourage people to think deeply about the fact that while blaming race for a crime of testosterone is an attaractive narrative in Europe, it's not going to help address sexually related violations of women's rights and dignity because it simply does not make sense.

Because if it was only 'barbarism' of being refugees then that mob of sexual pervets would have groped everyone including other men. But no, they targeted women, the 'weaker beings', as men are taught from a tender age.

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