Yes I’m a slut, so what?
In the summer of 2011, thousands of women in revealing outfits took to the streets of cities across Germany as part of the Slutwalk campaign against victim shaming. The global protests originated in Canada, triggered by a Toronto police officer’s unfortunate advice that “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” Source:
Look me in the eyes
Two years later, Laura Himmelreich, a 29-year old political reporter with newsmagazine Stern, single-handedly brought an end to veteran FDP politician Rainer Brüderle’s career after she reported creepy remarks he made to her. The incident sparked a massive backlash on social media, which Germany remembers as the #Aufschrei campaign. To this day, the disgraced politician denies any wrongdoing. Source:
Too young and “pretty” to be a minister?
As a practicing Muslim who once controversially said that Sharia law posed “no problems for me as a democrat,” SPD politician Sawsan Chebli, 39, has few friends among Germany’s conservatives. The junior minister in Berlin’s state government, pictured here with Berlin mayor Michael Müller, started a sexism row on social media earlier this month, further angering rightwingers. Source:
Working with predators
TV actress Nina Brandhoff gave newspaper Der Spiegel a shocking account of how a leading actor once forcibly removed her T-shirt to ogle her breasts. “He molests almost every woman on the set,” said Ms. Brandhoff said, who stoppped short of naming and shaming the predator. “Everybody’s aware of it. And everybody keeps their mouths shut, because he is extremely important for the show.” Source:
Groped at Oktoberfest
Model and reality TV celebrity Marie Nasemann tuned in to the #MeToo campaign on her Facebook account. She recounted how, just a few days previously, a stranger groped her under her skirt in a crowded corridor at Oktoberfest in Munich. She slapped him and went home in a rage. The annual beer festival, attended by millions of visitors, is notorious for sexual assaults on women. Source:
Not every woman is thrilled about #MeToo. Austrian actress Nina Proll took to Facebook to vent her frustration at “feminists, who always insist that women are victims.” After pointing out she has never been harassed once in her 20-year acting career, she asked: “Are we still allowed to be happy when a man wants to sleep with us?” Many Facebook users replied she missed the point entirely. Source:
Take it like a lady
Hannelore Elsner, a grande dame of Germany’s film industry, is unimpressed by the social media campaign. The 75-year-old dismissed the #MeToo tweets as “phoney” and “reveling in voyeurism,” not to mention counter-productive. However, she also said that throughout her 50-year acting career, she became aware of a lot of harassment in her industry. “They all know, anyway,” she said. Source:
Isn’t it the immigrants’ fault?
Conservative firebrand Birgit Kelle blasted the “feminism industry” for manufacturing outrage over mere gallantry while overlooking sexual assaults committed by Muslim immigrants – a favorite trope of Germany’s xenophobic right since the Cologne New Year’s Eve attacks of 2016. “We are on our way to becoming a society hostile to men,” the Romanian-born supporter of traditional Christian values warned. Source:
A hands-off approach
Two leading Social Democrats also chimed in. Former Labor Minister Andrea Nahles (pictured right) and Katarina Barley, the outgoing minister for family affairs (left), denounced macho behavior in politics. “We should punish more severely such violations as placing a hand on someone’s knee,” Ms. Barley suggested. But since the SPD won’t stay in government much longer, their calls are likely to fall flat. Source:
Rape culture in Brussels
Women working at the European Parliament can expect the same treatment as elsewhere. Terry Reintke, 30, a German lawmaker for the Green Party in Brussels, broke the silence. “Me too, I have been sexually harassed, just like millions of other people in the European Union,” she said. In recent days, over 100 women – and men – exposed instances of abuse within the institution. Source: