Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Advice for Women in German, French Cities & Edinburgh

After the New Year's Eve attack of 1,000 North African/Arab men on young German women in Cologne, the Mayor of Cologne has given good advice to young women whose cities and towns now suffer from a population of foreign men who rejoice in sexually molesting native women.

Naturally knee-jerk feminists have complained about her advice, stupidly claiming Frau Reker is blaming the victims. However, the mayor's counsel is indeed helpful, as any woman who has been harassed on a German street by a foreigner has reason to know. Germans tend to mind their own business, but they hate disorder, so if you are being bothered by a young man while waiting for a tram in Frankfurt, for example, the best thing to do is to ask the nearest middle-aged to elderly German for help.

As early as 1999, there was a similar (if smaller) crowd of young North African men occupying the steps of the Gare de Sud in Paris at 1 AM, hooting and shouting. The problem of culturally-confident "foreign" men molesting European women is not split-new. Obviously migrants and the children of migrants from deeply misogynist countries should be educated or reprogrammed to understand and believe that such treatment of women--any women--is shameful. But how much work does it take to convince such men?

Obviously it hasn't been done yet, and Europeans should be demanding that it is done.  In the meantime, women should be careful. Groups of migrant men, exulting in the strength of numbers, sometimes take out their resentment of their new circumstances on the local women. Not too long ago, two women in Edinburgh, themselves migrants, were snatched at and even struck by a band of drunken young Eastern European men passing them outside the Balmoral Hotel. Afterwards, the elder prepared for future outrages by  learning "God will punish you" in Polish and has determined to learn this phrase in Russian, too.

Newsflash: Sexism and racism/tribalism go hand in hand. Men treating foreign-to-them women like crap is as old as rape in warfare. Russians (Americans, British, French) yesterday, North Africans today--poor German women.

That said, not all young Scots milling the streets of Edinburgh are Sir Galahad incarnate to the lassies. Generally a Ned (i.e. "Non-Educated Delinquent") will not attack a female stranger in the street, but if he is making rude remarks (e.g. about "poofs") and a girl reproves him, he may very well decide this proof of courage makes her an honorary man and hit her in the face.

The best policy in Central Belt Scotland is to put geographical distance between yourself and the Scottish drunk, and if this is impossible, to respond in a friendly fashion to his (or her) conversational overtures and fake Scottish-style hey-fellow-well-met amiability until you can pay your bill/get off the train.


  1. The Cologne mayor's remarks may seem prudent, but would not have helped any of the women assaulted on New Years, as it just does not sound like it would have been possible to:

    - keep arms length from a crowd of dozens that parted just enough to let the women through while groping them as they went
    - staying in your own group, which assumes you are in a group, and again the Cologne women were unlikely to have a posse as big as that crowd
    - and asking bystanders for help won't help you when the bystanders are the problem, or any good bystanders are massively out numbered by the offenders.

    So I can see how feminists would see it is victim blaming. That said, Frau Reker's remarks aren't bad, just secondary to the real issue - who are the offenders and what can be done to change their attitudes & behaviour?

    Have you read English journalist Robert Fisk's book 'The Great War for Civilisation'? He covers his experience reporting the Middle East for decades. An implicit subcurrent is how difficult it is to change the cultural patterns of behaviour seen as barbaric by Westerners.

    It could take centuries, and I don't think any culture should be expected to tolerate a minority subculture violently aggressive against the host culture while that education takes place. It needs to be done in the culture where the problem exists. Hard pioneering hazardous work...


  2. No, but it sounds very interesting, so I will have a look for it.

    There was nothing the mayor could do after the fact about the mob violence on New Year's Eve, so any advice about it would have been pointless. Obviously no woman could be blamed for the "crime" of being young, female and arriving in Cologne.

  3. Oh, a little caveat - Fisk's book is heavy (1300 pages) and fairly bleak (he is reporting decades of war zone conflicts), but peppered with interesting anecdotes. He really tries to convey the best about most of the people he interviews, but it didn't leave me impressed by Islam. Have something cheerful to do afterwards perhaps :)

    P.S. Just came across a Channel 4 doco on a group of Amish teens taken for 4 x 1 week stays in UK with British teens to see how the other half lives. Not sure if it was staged at all (tho seemed fairly genuine), but was very impressed by the 2 Amish girls, who defended their faith pretty well given obvious deficiencies in their scientific education. Rather awful doco title of 'Amish: World's Squarest Teenagers'. Thought you might be interested...

  4. Bogans. Bogans everywhere.


  5. Why Julia, I wouldn't have thought Amish girls were Bogans at all. Oh, the Cologne attackers, right... ;)

    Seriously though, has the term 'bogan' broadened in its use? I thought it referred to a specific subculture of Holdens & Fords, meat pies, black singlets & jeans, and heavy metal. Certainly, that applies to the minority in the west of my city that are bogan. Is it now a term for anyone with bad behaviour?

    I certainly hope you don't have large numbers of the kind of fellas that mobbed the Cologne New Years partygoers...


    1. I'm fascinated by the beast that is the Bogan/Westie.

      There are just different sorts of bogans. What you're describing is the garden-variety bogan (or westie), but there are also Cashed-Up Bogans, Aspiring Bogans, and Full-On Criminal Bogans.

      The Scottish Neds/drunks are bogans, and they are who I was referring to. I don't think the Cologne migrants could be called bogans since they weren't drunk (not that that makes them any better), but there is an element of boganity to the idea that women are chattels.