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Die Sehen Doch Sowieso Alle Gleich Aus.

18 Jun

Hach, taz… Ihr lernt auch einfach nichts dazu, ne? Deniz Yücel fand es schon sehr gemein, dass er nicht mehr unwidersprochen N* sagen darf (und sich gar Frauen im Publikum dagegen lautstark zur Wehr setzten, statt zu bügeln – Videospiel-Zitate be damned…), aber das habt Ihr unter “Satire” verbucht, und die darf ja bekanntlich alles. So, wie “Onkel Barracks Hütte” 2008. Oder wie Die Partei mit Blackface. Oder der Dresdner Zoo mit Affen.

showbiz_barack_obama_presidents_chairBarack Obama kommt also nach Berlin, 50 Jahre nach John F. Kennedy, und wird eine Rede halten am Branden­bur­ger Tor, nun in image­schwieri­gen Zei­ten von PRISM und Hunger­streiks von Guan­ta­na­mo-Häft­lin­gen. Es ist zu er­war­ten, dass sich – wie üblich – Oba­mas Rede in Pathos er­giessen wird und man ein bisschen Ameri­can Ex­ceptio­na­lism vor die Na­se ge­knal­lt be­kommt. Das wäre nichts Neues und das wäre auch nicht anders als das, was Politiker_innen weltweit tun (except for the exceptional exceptionalism, maybe) – es ist also keinen besonderen Spott oder besondere Häme wert.

Wozu hat sich nun aber die taz entschieden? Dafür, eine satirische Kolumne zu schreiben, in der Barack Obamas Rede aus Zitaten von Roberto Blancos Liedern besteht.  Mehr noch, diese wird gleich eingeleitet mit einem Bild Roberto Blancos, das folgende Caption trägt: “Der amerikanische Präsident Barack Obama bei der Probe für seine große Berliner Rede.”

Man könnte das unter “nicht lustig” abhaken. Wäre ja nicht das erste Mal bei taz‘schen Satireversuchen. Leider wird hier aber fröhlich Rassismus reproduziert – selbst dann, wenn es als so überspitzt intendiert war, dass man den rassistischen Gehalt dieser Satire als solchen von Beginn an offenlegen wollte.

Barack Obama ist Schwarz, Roberto Blanco auch – das muss als Parallele reichen, um die beiden physisch wie rhetorisch austauschbar zu machen.

Die taz denkt, das sei Satire; vielleicht sogar eine, die Rassismus irgendwie entlarven soll (wie und warum so, bleibt unklar). Dass diese Satire nur deshalb funktionieren kann, weil man sie auf rassistischen Tropen aufbaut, ist der taz dabei egal. Schwarze Menschen wurden seit jeher als ununterscheidbar und deshalb beliebig auswechselbar angesehen; als ent-individualisierte, ent-persönlichte dunkle Masse, der sowohl physische als auch charakterliche Differenzen fehlte – das “anders”/”nicht-weiß” war genug des Markers und der Beschreibung Schwarzer Personen. Die taz bedient sich dieses Klischees, und sie subsumiert Barack Obama nicht nur unter einen von “diesen”, die irgendwie alle “gleich” aussehen, sondern macht aus der momentan politisch mächtigsten Person der Welt nicht mehr als einen phrasendreschenden Entertainer zur Belustigung eines weiß_deutschen Publikums.

Roberto Blanco hat sich seine Karriere ausgesucht, er singt seine Lieder (hoffentlich) freiwillig. Barack Obama ist jedoch kein Schlagersänger, er ist Politiker. Dass es Parallelen/Überschneidungen von Showbusiness und Politik gibt, ist so alt wie langweilig als vermeintliche “Erkenntnis” hier. Dass Barack Obama als “Popstar” gefeiert wurde, ebenso. Nichtsdestotrotz hat man Kennedy damals nicht mit Heino verglichen, und Angela Merkel vergleicht man nicht mit Barbara Streisand.

Das Narrativ, Barack Obama als inhaltslosen Popstar darzustellen, das sich die taz übrigens von US-Republikaner_innen der McCain-Kampagne abgeguckt hat, baut  auf Rassismus auf – und hier schließt sich der Kreis zum Obama-Blackface Der Partei: Obama wird nicht nur entpersonalisiert und entindividualisiert durch Austauschbare-Schwarze-(TM)-Fotos, er wird zugleich zum bloßen Entertainment für weiße Zuschauer_innen degradiert; als jemand, der alberne Lieder (am besten mit ein bisschen Stepptanz) vorführt. Ihm wird Handlungsfähigkeit (agency) aberkannt, er wird zum bloßen Spektakel eines white gaze, zur Parodie eines weiß-definierten Schwarzseins.

Die taz greift hier tief in die Kiste rassistischer Stereotype, Narrative und Tropen – schon wieder. Wer immer noch ein Abo hat bei den “Genoss_innen” [sic], der_die möge es doch spätestens jetzt endlich kündigen. Die taz selbst freut sich ganz bestimmt über feedback unter @tazgezwitscher oder direkt hier.

What Fresh Hell Is This?

30 Jan

Femen Germany, a direct action group engaged in the tremendously important feminist causes of activism against sex slavery, human trafficking and sexualized violence and which has been modeled after the Ukrainian original “Femen,” has made a bit of a name for itself in feminist activism in germany. Incidentally, they achieved recognition by their forms of protest, that, apparently, always include some form of nudity and some form of discrimination. Whereas the biggest german feminist magazine, EMMA, celebrated Femen as a new generation of amazing feminist activists that evil wannabe-feminists from Berlin (!!11) are trying to stifle using all dictatorial means necessary, the fact that this group has been endorsed by EMMA is interesting in itself, given EMMA‘s stances on racism.

Besides the age-old question whether feminist activism in the nude is actually productive (personally, I don’t care if people choose this form of protest, as long as they do it consciously and know what it entails), Femen Germany have displayed an astonishing lack of knowledge and insight when it comes to feminist theory and action of the last three decades while displaying a special talent for being as offensive as possible towards people who are subjected to racism, anti-Semitism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, ableism and other forms of systematic oppression. I might add that one of their most prominent activists, Zana Ramadani, has actually been a member of the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) for two years, and Femen Germany‘s FB page displays countless german national flags (*ahem*).

Femen Germany, moreover, is not only ignorant towards these issues, but – and that’s the crucial point for me – furthers discrimination by their biologistic “theories” and offensive actions: be it with their Niqab performance at last year’s sl*twalk in Berlin or their newest “protest” in Hamburg against sex work, 24 hours before the Holocaust memorial day, where they had the nerve to compare sex work to (german) fascism, actually wrote “Arbeit macht frei” on a wall, and demonstrated carrying torches (!).

Femen Germany, thus, are not only a bunch of racist impersonators as seen at the sl*twalk, they actually don’t have an issue with equating sex work to the industrialized mass murder of the Holocaust. Femen Germany has thus proven that they take their name quite seriously – they truly are the worst…

Thankfully, the feminist activists from e*vibes have written an Open Letter that challenges Femen Germany and asks them many important questions (in german):

“Innerhalb der letzten Wochen sind wir über Facebook vermehrt auf euch als Femen Germany aufmerksam geworden. Vergangenen Montag dann haben wir von eurer Aktion in Hamburg erfahren. Nachdem wir den ersten Schock überwunden hatten, haben wir uns ein Herz gefasst und schreiben euch nun diesen Brief. Ein Brief mit einigen der vielen drängenden Fragen. Auf eurer Seite verlinkt ihr die internationale Seite Femen.org. Das Selbstverständnis, welches dort zu finden ist, haben wir uns einmal genauer angeschaut. Es hat sich gelohnt, denn bereits hier taten sich einige Fragen auf: Können Frauen ohne Brüste Femen sein? Wie definiert ihr „Frauen“? Was ist mit Trans*menschen? „Activists of FEMEN – are morally and physically fit soldiers“ Was bedeutet „physisch und moralisch fit“? Können „nicht physisch fitte“ Menschen Femen sein? Warum Soldat*innen?”

Go read the whole letter here.

Excuse Me, Your Misogyny Is Showing.

20 Aug

[Content Note: rape culture]

Ah, rape culture – alive and thriving. Not only is Julian Assange encouraged to continue his charade of “Who’s the bigger victim? Me (white, cis, het, popular dude who has been fighting being questioned in evil Sweden about the sexual assault and rape I might have committed for almost two years now, and who has been able to gain political asylum from a free-media-despising state after having lived in their embassy for two months to circumvent my impending extradition) or the CIA-honeytrap b*tches? See, that’s me waving from their balcony yesterday! Just ask millions of loyal followers who agree that this was just a dirty trick against my penis’ integrity, and even if it wasn’t, my penis is still more important than those honeytraps’ sensitivities, because it is attached to a white man, and I’ve done other things in the past and, therefore, could never commit a crime. Also, I’m amazing, like, whoa…”

Now people have to listen to U.S. Senate (Tea Party) candidate, Todd Akin from Missouri, and his very peculiar theories on rape, abortions and biology:

Yes, it is: Tea Party biology for comic relief. Except that it’s not funny, because people like Akin are not only granted a public forum to spew out their theories of misogynistic absurdity, but actually have a shot at gaining a seat in a legislative body that, with Roe v. Wade under ever increasing threat, can and will try short of everything to make access to abortion, birth control, women’s health care and support structures for rape survivors virtually impossible; thanks to this kind of reasoning.

Whereas people with a minimal understanding of human biology and basic common decency would agree that forced pregnancies and forced birth are anathema to women’s* human and civil rights, and that (further) legislating women’s* bodies to a point where every sense of bodily autonomy and integrity has vanished is a mere testimony to underlying currents of misogynistic impulses to (re)gain control over a specific part of the population, even the most hardcore right-winger usually backs down on forcing women* to give birth in the cases of rape, incest, or an immediate danger to a woman’s* life.  Akin, however, represents a truly disturbing fraction of forced-birthers (…”pro life” – my ass) – that includes Sarah Palin, by the way – who think that a blastocyst trumps a woman’s life, bodily integrity, physical and emotional health, and right to be acknowledged as a full human being. Incidentally, this way of thinking goes hand in hand with a hate for everything of importance for women’s* health and an obsession with finding ways to talk yourself out of biological processes by simultaneously loading banalities of nature and aspects of developing life with existential meaning and aggressively ignoring others.

Akin takes the cake, however, by stating that, in the most dire circumstances (as doctors have allegedly told him), women’s bodies had the ability to “shut down” pregnancies. How exactly women* stop fertilization or nidation or meiosis, be it through chaste willpower or evil slut magic or by sucking your stomach in really hard, Akin does not explain. And how could he? It is biology for misogynistic assholes, who believe that women* are actually so dangerous and mysterious in terms of reproductive rights, at least, that no matter what you throw at them, they will still find a way to manipulate (…dammit). Here it works to everyone’s advantage, though, because if a rape survivor becomes pregnant after the sexual assault, it is actually her own fault. Not only has she already proven that her will power to fight off rape like a true lady (i.e., “legitimate rape”, as Akin calls it – more on that in a second) was just not high enough, she has now also failed to initiate the “pregnancy shut down” processes of true rape survivors, and must, therefore, have called her fate upon herself; and, in any case, does not deserve anything that right-wing assholes like him define as abortion (yes, that includes the morning-after-pill).

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Victimhood Theatre.

20 Jun

Enough already… Julian Assange, one of the founders of Wikileaks and currently residing in the UK, has fled to Ecuador’s embassy in London to prevent his extradition to Sweden, after the UK’s Supreme Court denied his appeal last week.

From the BBC’ article:

He fears that if he is sent to Sweden it may lead to him being sent to the US to face charges over Wikileaks for which he could face the death penalty. [...] Swedish prosecutors want to question Mr Assange over allegations of rape and sexual assault while he was in Stockholm to give a lecture.  [...] No charges have been filed.

Alright, let’s get this straight: the terrible doom Julian Assange has been fighting for over 1,5 years is not his direct extradition to the US and a possible charge against him that the US is working on. What Assange has been fighting and continues to fight is having to go back to Sweden to be questioned by police about the sexual assault and rape he might have committed.

Assange has not even been charged with anything. This is about questioning him after he prevented that being re-interviewed by hurriedly leaving the country and having his lawyers and supporters construct a “honeytrapping CIA spies” narrative around his potential sexual assaults on two women*. Assange believes that Sweden “is the Saudi-Arabia of feminism”, and he is the real victim here, having fallen “into a hornets’ nest of revolutionary feminism.” And clearly, a stand-up guy like Assange has the right to political asylum when having to flee the reign of terror in Genderqualitya.

One could note here that Assange never directly countered the report of the two women*; he and his lawyer merely contend that what he apparently did does not constitute rape or sexual assault, since the women* had consented to have sex with him at some point (and, apparently, that consent lasts until eternity, no matter if you’re actually conscious or if you’ve actually insisted on the use of condoms or if you’re actually being physically overpowered).

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Let Me Spell It Out For You: I DON’T CARE.

22 May

<rant> Honestly… Is there any debate anywhere where there’s not at least one random dude popping up, simply having to add his extremely important opinion? No matter the topic, no matter if it’s an explicitly feminist or whatever blog, some men* just can’t help but add their voice to the conversation, nevermind if they know what people are talking about or if what they’re about to say has been said 10 times before. Two of the latest, beautiful “But what about the menz’ opinions?” examples would be Caperton‘s post about men’s reactions to feminist body image discussions here on Feministe, and Helga’s post on sexual harassment here on Mädchenmannschaft.

Both of them basically boil down to the fact that most women* don’t actually care about whether some random dude finds them fuckable, and don’t want to hear a random dude’s opinion on their looks and various body parts while Being Female* In Public. Whether it is some random guy declaring that he actually likes small breasts when women* discuss mainstream body images on a feminist blog, or some dude being very upset and sees prison time in his near future for saying “Hello” to someone he deems attractive because women* discuss how offensive and annoying it can be to be constantly contacted by strangers by simply going outside, there never seems to be the possibility to have these discussions without some men* getting all flustered by the implication of taking away some of their privilege of dominance in public space.

But – wait for it – here’s the breaking news: I . Don’t. Care.

Let me repeat that: I DON’T CARE what you think about my looks when I’m going grocery shopping or meeting friends or riding my bike or reading a book on a park bench. I don’t care that you want to meet someone today and think it is appropriate to randomly approach people and persist in your contact efforts, no matter how pointedly one looks away or bids you farewell. I don’t care that you want to say Hello to someone you find attractive – Being Female In Public does not mean I’m here for your entertainment, and it does not mean that I want to meet you.

As Captain Awkward has phrased it: I don’t care about Notes From Your Boner. Leave me the fuck alone when I dare walk down the street or have the audacity to stand at a bus stop. You can fantasize all you like, and no one is saying that you cannot ever talk to someone in public. There are perfectly nice ways to interact with other people, to ask a stranger what time it is, or to give a little smile and see what happens. But all the butt-hurt desperation about how men* won’t ever find True Love if they don’t chat up every woman* on the street as they like, and men* whining that women* are totally mean and overreacting when they actually physically react to being slapped on the butt or having a boob grabbed? Disgusting. Horrifying. Exemplary of why you don’t meet anyone.

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