Donnerstag, Juli 23, 2015

Ella Whelan: "Feministinnen wollen, das man ihnen nachpfeift und sie ignoriert – was soll ein Mann da tun?"

Im Blog des britischen Nachrichtenmagazins The Spectator beschäftigt sich Ella Whelan mit den Klagen Jessica Valentis sowohl wenn Männer sie "belästigen", als auch wenn sie sie ignorieren:

Feminists are never happy: whistle at them, and it’s an act of abusive male entitlement; don’t whistle at them, and you’re ignoring women, treating them as invisible. What are men to do?

Our relationship towards social interaction is changing. Strangers avoid speaking to each other on the street and men just don’t catcall as much as they did 30 years ago. Even if they did, feminists like Valenti forget the difference between words and actions. If a bloke told me he liked my legs, and if I didn’t feel like taking it as a compliment that day, I could easily brush it off with a well-known hand sign or shout back at him.

Valenti’s complaint about having once been catcalled too much and now not being catcalled enough reminded me of an episode of the British hit series Green Wing in which Joanna, the age-obsessed head of office, is so upset by not being catcalled by builders that she strips to the waist in a bid to get their attention. Valenti can’t seem to decide which is stronger: her need to fear men or to be desired by them. (...) Like much of modern feminism, this is clearly all about her and her emotional needs. It has zilch to do with real politics or women’s issues.

So on the one hand, feminist arguments have become a way for women to avoid public life. Not content with calling on society to censor certain images and adverts in order to help women feel more "safe" in public, now some feminists want to be invisible in public.

Last year, a young woman walked the streets of New York City for ten hours wearing normal clothes, and was filmed so as to expose the prevalence of street harassment. Not once in the video is the young woman insulted; nor is anything obscene said. Most of the time strangers simply say things like "hello beautiful" or "god bless you mami". Hollaback, the feminist campaign against street harassment, argues that this kind of social interaction "creates a cultural environment that makes gender-based violence OK". Rather than suggest women respond then and there, they want to encourage them to take photographs of the culprits and submit them to the site, in order to create a "crowd-sourced initiative to end street harassment" and "take on one of the final new frontiers for women’s rights around the world".

The new reluctance to be involved in public life can also be seen in the ridiculous trend in New York where young women "choose not to dress for a man’s gaze, even when the weather seems to dictate the baring of skin". Young women wearing suede, polo necks and woollen socks in June is not so different to young Muslim women who cover themselves head-to-toe in burqas: both want to cut themselves off from daily interaction; from the everyday dialogue of public life.

Then there’s the flipside: feminists who miss being catcalled and hate being invisible. I wish they’d make their minds up. Needing catcalls to validate your self-esteem is almost as bad as treating catcalls as quasi-criminal acts that wreck one’s self-esteem. But all the time, it seems to be the feminist’s self-esteem that is most important, and to hell with the needs and chatter of everyone else in the public sphere. It’s hard to take these women seriously.

Aber kurioserweise WERDEN sie ernst genommen. Das zentrale Problem ist nicht, dass es zutiefst neurotische Frauen gibt. Das Problem ist, dass unsere Medien und Politiker sie behandeln, als wären sie die neuen Heldinnen und Geistesgrößen unserer Zeit, die unsere Geschlechterpolitik maßgeblich bestimmen sollten. Aufschrei!

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