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Cologne sex attack are like Birmingham on a Saturday night?

(29 Posts)
Turbinaria Sat 30-Jan-16 08:38:31

Searched for this topic and was suprised not to find anything - Jess Phillips on Question Time this week deflects question on immigration and Cologne sex attacks by saying 'similar' crimes happen in Birmingham city centre every weekend. The guardian gives more info from her

The attacks in Cologne appear to be organised via social media which is why so many were involved - it marks a tipping point towards the industrialisation of this sexually motivated criminal activity - allowing perpetrators to hide in a crowd and overwhelm the police.

I can't believe this does happen on any scale in Birmingham so why would a feminist such as Jess Phillips ignore this and instead focus on the facts that DV and sexual assaults happen in Britain already etc which misses the specific issue raised?

AnnaForbes Sat 30-Jan-16 08:53:18

Jess Philips has been talked about on the Cologne attack thread. Acknowledging the cultural/migrant element of these attacks is Labour's way of avoiding the inconvenient truth, there is a conflict in their agenda and women's rights are trumped by the desire to protect the EU. Juncker has also denied any link between the attacks and immigration confused.

I think Jess Philips is a disgrace, most comments on the Independent website would agree.

LurcioAgain Sat 30-Jan-16 08:56:01

There are some very good posts on this thread about Jess Phillips minimising the issue, and the mis-reporting (extreme factual inaccuracy) in the Guardian. A couple of comments that stood out for me were these (I hope the posters don't mind me quoting them here - I thought their contributions were excellent):

"I've emailed to ask Jess Phillips to clarify that she has indeed confused heckling with digital rape.

I look forward to her reply."

"I wrote to the Guardian readers' editor too. Frankfurter Allgemeine (big, respected paper) is reporting today that the number of complaints continues to increase, and is currently 1016 (for Cologne only). So the Guardian had minimised it tenfold.

It also has a in-depth article looking at the possible causes of the attacks: power, dominance over women, anger, patriarchal family structures, crowd conduct. It questions whether it can be classed taharrush gameâ. "

senua Sat 30-Jan-16 09:01:30

I'm bemused.
Broad Street is where all the clubs are, so if anything is going to happen then it's going to happen there. There are always Saturday night idiots (of both gender) - so I will agree with Jess Phillips on that. But I am not aware of any organised Cologne-style attacks going on - she is drawing bad parallels (being charitable to her there).

so why would a feminist such as Jess Phillips ...
She seems hellbent on self publicity and won't let facts get in the way of a good headline. It's not about women, it's about her political career.hmm
Got you talking, didn't it, so it seems to be working.

QueenLaBeefah Sat 30-Jan-16 09:03:59

She was talking out of her arse.

Anyway if Birmingham is so dangerous for women to go out on a Saturday night what the hell is she going to do about it? She is an MP for Birmingham and has a lot of influence.

VertigoNun Sat 30-Jan-16 09:11:27

Jess made some good points about street harassment and stats of women's deaths from men.

All of that was lost in her inappropriate comments regarding 1000 men involved in a terror attack on women in Cologne NYE. There were warnings of a terror attack in a German station that night. It was women and sexual attacks so it wasn't a real terror attack it got minimised and women victim blamed. hmm The Guardian, still misreporting on facts/figures too. hmm

I think Jess has made a shambles of the matter regarding the minimisation as a feminist and MP for Birmingham.

LurcioAgain Sat 30-Jan-16 09:12:47

google translate version of the Frankfurter Allgemeine article. It's a rather ropey translation, but you get the gist.

The bits about no not meaning no in Germany refer to an interesting problem with German law which has been brought to the fore by these events: section 177 of the German penal code defines rape and sexual assault to involve the use of force - pretty much, you have to fight back or it's not rape. There were some interesting links to German feminist lawyer's discussions of German law round rape back on Cologne thread 1 or 2 which I found very depressing (somewhere in there, there is a link to a pdf of the relevant section of the German penal code). Germany has refused to sign up to various international treaties on violence against women because their penal code is so out-of-kilter with the rest of Europe. So yes, taharrush gamea is a new phenomenon in Europe, but the attacks have also held the indigenous patriarchal rape culture up to the spotlight.

I think this goes to show we need to be wary of the extremes of left and right forcing us into a false dichotomy - it's not that either we minimise taharrush gamea or we minimise the existing rape culture - it is quite possible to say "the answer is 'both of the above' - taharrush gamea is new and scary and culturally imported, but is bolted onto a whole load of minimizing shit round violence against women that our culture already had."

Incidentally, there was an excellent link to an article on Taharrush gamea in Egypt,, on the current Cologne thread

Turbinaria Sat 30-Jan-16 09:21:13

Jess seemed so desperate not to answer the QT audience question on this she deflects it by totally running down her own constituency (or atleast the city it is part of) and comes across as starting to ramble/shout down so everyone just wants to move on to a new topic - anyone watching would not be encouraged to visit to say the least and be less than impressed with the quality of some MPs sad

lurcio anna thanks for the links, now the guardian is so strict/bias on which articles they open up for comments the independent seems like a better alternative

WidowWadman Sat 30-Jan-16 09:27:37

Vertigo - the terror attack threat which led to the closure of two train stations in Munich surely is a completely different thing
to what happened in Cologne. I'm not seeking to minimise what happened in Cologne, but I don't think it was a planned terror attack but more rape culture in action. The Munich stations were closed because there were credible threats of a repeat of what happened in Paris not long before. I doubt that they had any information of men planning to sexually assault and rape lots of women at a train station which is a good 600km away from the stations they closed.

VertigoNun Sat 30-Jan-16 09:35:11

We can agree to disagree widdow it seems an organised terror attack to me.

Who indeed is going to feel safe in the Broadstreet area after the way JP described it.

LurcioAgain Sat 30-Jan-16 09:43:56

Having said that, Widow, the police in Helsinki did receive prior intelligence of planned attacks in the city centre and were able to police the situation much more effectively as a result. Whether the attacks counted as "terrorist" or "semi-organised flashmob", they were undoubtedly pre-planned and coordinated to some extent, which I think indicates that we are dealing with a new phenomenon over and above the usual level of rapey shit all of us have grown used to dealing with day in day out through our whole lives.

The poster who posted the link to the article on taharrush gamea which I've linked to a few posts back (it starts with a very interesting discussion of how best to translate the word for a cultural phenomenon which doesn't really exist in European culture - sexual harrassment and sexual assault are part of it but not the whole) said she came across it while researching the anthropological concept of normative rape - rape done specifically as a threat to force women to conform to certain cultural norms of behaviour. Now on a very broad brush approach one could argue that all rape serves that purpose - but I think it is useful to distinguish rape being used systematically to enforce gender roles and rape of a more opportunistic variety (even if opportunistic rape presupposes a whole set of cultural beliefs about entitlement and ownership which aren't a million miles away from the belief set which underpins taharrush gamea). I really think explicitly, deliberately, overtly normative rape and sexual assault on this scale is something new in modern European culture. (Note that the scale matters - I am not trying to deny that certain groups will have been subject to normative rape - "corrective" rape of lesbians would be one example).

Again, I stand by my earlier comment - you don't have to choose one explanation or another. It is possible to believe that taharrush gamea is a new phenomenon here, and believe that it also puts under the spotlight pre-existing patriarchal structures in Western society which minimise rape, and believe that a lot of the people now crying "this is shocking" are the same people who a few weeks earlier were minimising rape perpetrated by, say, white frat boys on American campuses. Those observations are not mutually contradictory.

WidowWadman Sat 30-Jan-16 10:20:43

I agree with you on that Lurcio. It's also interesting that those columnists who express the biggest worries about what happened on new years eve are the same who basically keep taking the piss out of #aufschrei and the everyday sexism project. Victim blamers and minimisers. Germany is doing pretty badly where feminism and women's rights are concerned.

itllallbefine Sat 30-Jan-16 11:07:53

Lurcio - thank you, that's very interesting.

PosieReturningParker Sat 30-Jan-16 11:12:13

Initially I think Jess was so bound by a non racist agenda that she forgot about women, I slightly applauded.

But if this was a planned attack against black men, or Kurdish men, or teenage boys I think there would be more outcry. But it's women and if we are attacked we have to take a back seat to other agendas.

Frankly awful.

MelindaMay Sat 30-Jan-16 11:53:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VertigoNun Sat 30-Jan-16 12:02:48

There has now been a planned mass attack against another group, top article in mailonline.

VertigoNun Sat 30-Jan-16 12:03:57

PalmerViolet Sat 30-Jan-16 12:11:34

So the far right types have achieved part of their aim then?

How nice for them.

And this:

Again, I stand by my earlier comment - you don't have to choose one explanation or another. It is possible to believe that taharrush gamea is a new phenomenon here, and believe that it also puts under the spotlight pre-existing patriarchal structures in Western society which minimise rape, and believe that a lot of the people now crying "this is shocking" are the same people who a few weeks earlier were minimising rape perpetrated by, say, white frat boys on American campuses. Those observations are not mutually contradictory.

Is spot on.

MelindaMay Sat 30-Jan-16 12:14:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LurcioAgain Sat 30-Jan-16 12:42:46

That's just terrible, Vertigo. This whole situation is turning into an absolute catastrophe on a continent wide scale and everyone - refugees, women, men who don't want to live in a violent society where might is right - are going to suffer as a result.

almondpudding Sat 30-Jan-16 12:43:20

I don't believe she is motivated by a non racist agenda. Every time I have seen Cologne or Sweden compared to the UK (with the exception of FWR posters on here), they have compared it to areas that are very multicultural.

VertigoNun Sat 30-Jan-16 12:52:24

It's not fair more inocents harmed and it carries the drama triangle onwards. Who benefits?

VertigoNun Sat 30-Jan-16 12:53:01


almondpudding Sat 30-Jan-16 13:14:05

Who benefits is Germany and Sweden!

There is a humanitarian disaster for women and children, the overwhelming majority of Syrian refugees. They are the ones being taken from refugee camps and being forced into child marriage, forced prostitution and sexual slavery.

As extensively reported by both the UN and feminist campaigners such as Julie Bindel.

But Germany and Sweden decided to have a survival of the fittest policy of whoever can manage to get here gets in. And as a consequence they are now dealing with what happens when there is a huge increase in the proportion of teenage boys and young men in a country - regardless of whether that's through immigration of males, emigration of females or selective abortion of females.

But in the long run Sweden and Germany benefit financially from taking a bunch of young men, often from countries like Morocco.

It is a lot cheaper than taking women, old people, disabled people and young children from refugee camps. You can get a lot more labour from a bunch of fit young men who are capable of crossing Europe, without the cost of 15 years of childcare and education, or the cost of caring for the old, sick and pregnant.

VertigoNun Sat 30-Jan-16 13:18:05

Whoever was behind the cordination of the Cologne attack benefits. They manage to change women's behaviour, they manage to ensure Europe isn't welcoming and retaliation incidents turn more to them.

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