When Pieties Collide

Heather Mac Donald, City-Journal, April 8, 2016

Feminists incessantly harp about a phantom “rape culture” in the United States and other Western countries. On New Year’s Eve 2016, Northern European cities experienced an outbreak of the real thing–and the opponents of patriarchy went silent. It turns out that a more powerful force exists on the left than feminist victimology: multiculturalism.

As revelers gathered in the central square of Cologne, Germany, for the traditional New Year’s Silvesternacht celebrations, thousands of North African and Middle Eastern males started throwing firecrackers into the crowd and attacking passersby. They pickpocketed and robbed males and females, but they directed most of their violence against women: grabbing their breasts and buttocks, inserting their fingers into the women’s vaginas, and, in a few instances, raping them, while shouting sexual insults. A total of 653 victims filed reports with the police.

Similar attacks were reported in Munich, Berlin, Nuremberg, Bremen, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, and Bielefeld, among other cities across 12 German states, though not on the same scale. Outbreaks of sexual violence also occurred in France, Greece, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, and Turkey. The assaults appeared to have been planned and coordinated through social media, Germany’s justice minister Heiko Maas later said. In Cologne, some of the suspects had notes in their pockets with scribbled German translations for female body parts. {snip}

German police and political leaders covered up the violence for days. A Cologne police-force press release originally reported that the Silvesternacht celebrations had been peaceful, though officers had witnessed the attacks. {snip}

Eventually, however, news of the assaults leaked out, and the most surprising cover-up of all began. Leading feminists across the continent and in Great Britain either ignored the incidents entirely or distorted their significance beyond recognition. Silence was justified on the grounds that acknowledging the attacks would encourage opposition to the mass Muslim immigration that had engulfed Europe over the previous year. (German chancellor Angela Merkel accelerated that migration by declaring in August 2015 that her country would accept all Syrian asylum-seekers who made it in to her country.) Feminists were “finding it difficult to speak up about the event because of concerns it might be used to encourage aggression against refugees,” explained British journalist Jessica Abrahams. When feminists were cornered into addressing the violence, they tied themselves into knots trying to change the subject back to their favorite topic: Western white-male patriarchy. “The problem of sexualized violence has already existed here for some time and can’t simply be ‘deported,’” said German feminist Anne Wizorek to Der Spiegel. “It cannot be allowed to become the standard in gender debates that only male migrants are considered to be those responsible [for sexual violence].” In other words, the New Year’s assaults were continuous with the routine terror inflicted by German men on German women.

Actually, there was no precedent in Germany or the rest of Europe for mass peacetime sexual assaults, much less ones where the police merely look on. “I have never experienced such a thing in any German city,” a victim told the New York Times. But people who did name the attacks for what they were–a manifestation of Muslim misogyny and an alarm bell regarding mass immigration–were vilified as racists. {snip}

{snip}

The hierarchy of left-wing pieties thus seems clear: narcissistic feminism may be important, but it’s even more important to inundate the West with Third World peoples. If that means that the Left’s favorite pastimes, such as the denunciation of “rape culture,” are increasingly confined to shrinking enclaves of self-flagellating Westerners, so be it.

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