However much has been said and written about the sexual harassments in Cologne at the New Year Eve, the discussion has not faded away yet. So I take the opportunity to contribute, even if a bit late.
It was significantly disturbing to watch how the debate over sexual harassment against women was hijacked by national and racist discourse. It needs to be highlighted that the conservative groups claiming to defend women’s ‘honor’ and ‘rights’ are the first to attack women’s rights, especially their sexual and reproductive health and rights, via their neoliberal and conservative policies.
Women’s bodies are once again being used as a weapon. Those itching to bully refugees are using them, those who yearn to attack the government are using them, those who desire to distinct themselves from the other refugees are using them and those who are Islamo-phobic or Arabo-phobic are using them. The space left for comprehending the pain of those women was very little.
According to a statement by feminist activists, the German Federal Police count more than 7,300 reported rapes and sexual assaults in Germany per year, amounting to more than 20 every day. This was absent from the discourse. And hence, one understands why the German society was “too” shocked of the Cologne incidents. If sexual harassment does not happen in such a massive, public way, it does not exist. Continue reading