Refugees and the Future of Feminism in Europe

What bothers me in the discussions of the refugees in Europe is that such an enormous percentage of articles on the subject is written by men. The greatest burden of this demographic shift will be borne by women, and it would make sense to hear out what women have to say about it. Feminist groups don’t seem to be capable of saying anything on the subject, and that’s very disturbing.

Most of the refugees are young men. It is highly unlikely that they are all gay, so it follows that they will be trying to establish contact with local women. (I hope nobody here is stupid enough to believe that having wives or fiancées back home will have any impact on their eagerness to connect with local women.) The ways in which men from third world countries establish contact with women is deeply degrading to women.

As a result of 250 years of massive and heroic efforts on the part of the great Western feminist movement, it has become possible to civilize most of the men in the US, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe and make the lives of women in these areas not horrible. Everywhere else, men treat women in a disgusting, shameful way. Everywhere, people, everywhere. (If anybody wants to start with the idiotic “But American men also”, I direct them to my yesterday’s post on self-pity and then to the exit.)

If a man from, say, the horribly sexist, woman – hating societies of the Russian – speaking or Latin American world is brought to a country of significant feminist advances, he soon learns to control himself and stops trying to insult, grope, beat, grab or slap women in the street. He also finally figures out how not to make himself a nuisance at work with his need loudly to hate women. Eventually, many such men might even learn not to do abuse women inside their houses. Yes, I’m sure that your friend who is a professor of French literature from Brazil was never a sexist. I’m not talking about exceptions, though.

However, when men who grew up in woman – hating cultures are surrounded by a group of similarly woman – hating peers, there is zero incentive for them to change.

As I shared before, I experienced a huge culture shock when I moved from Canada to the US. The only welcome change among all the painful ones was that finally I could leave my apartment without any men ogling, following, pursuing me, trying to get in my face, and treating me like a piece of trash. Back in Montréal, I lived in the midst of a huge Muslim community, and this was my daily reality. Once, for instance, a Syrian man followed me from the university library to my building, angrily insisting that I provide him with oral sex immediately.

I’m hearing that women are already encountering problems when they want to go about their lives without being hassled in Brussels or Marseilles. The tragedy of Rotherham and other similar places is just a preview of how easily all the feminist advances can be erased if enough people decide it’s inconvenient to keep these advances around.

Now would be the time to demand that the governments of European countries explain what they are planning to do to prevent millions of refugees who have zero interest in learning how to see women as human beings from cracking the thin veneer of civilization that prevents Western women from being brutalized by men like their sisters everywhere else are. (And yes, the sisters in question happily advance their own brutalization. That’s their right. Just like it’s my right not to want to join them in their debasement.)

We, the women of developed countries, deserve to hear what will be done to promote our interests. We are half of the population, we work, we pay taxes, we deserve to define the terms of this conversation.

Book Notes: Spain as a Brand

This is my research, folks. You won’t be able to read this anywhere else, and I think it’s fascinating stuff.

In 2012, a royal decree established in Spain the creation of a committee charged with promoting the image of Spain as a brand. The committee believes that national identity should be formed by companies associated with the nation, and all citizens are supposed to adopt and practice these values.

This means that control over national identity is handed over, in its entirety, to business interests. Which are notoriously fickle in their national allegiances and pick up and leave whenever it is more profitable. This is a very open and clear effort to destroy the concept of national identity. This privatization of national identity is sponsored by the governments of many Western European nations, so it’s not just a Spanish thing.

The Spain as a Brand committee is chaired by Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros y Bernaldo de Quirós, the IV Marquis of Valtierra. When I heard his name, I knew there had to be something really nasty in his past. So I went digging around and discovered that this gentleman’s uncle and father were present at the famous meeting between Franco and Hitler in 1940. The Espinosas belonged to a faction that was pushing Franco in an even more pro-Nazi direction.

Franco repaid the Espinosas’ loyalty to the ideals of national-socialism. Carlos Espinosa had a job in Franco’s Ministry of Commerce that he later parlayed into positions as a CEO of Inditex and Mercedes-Benz Spain. At the height of the crisis, Espinosa is chairing the Spain as a Brand committee and promoting his deeply neoliberal ideas on every corner. The conclusion we can draw is clear: those who inherited their power and riches from the Franco era are trying to destroy the nation-state because that’s the last obstacle in the way of complete freedom of capital flows.

Am I super cool, or what?

In any case, a German photographer and a group of Spanish poets got together to create artwork that questions the validity of the Spain as a Brand idea. Its great photography, great poetry, and it’s extremely impressive that artists in Spain are so engaged in discussing the crisis, the collapse of the nation-state, the economy, politics, etc. There is nothing even remotely similar happening in the increasingly irrelevant and navel-gazing US art.

Title: Marca(da) España

Year: 2014

My rating: 9 out of 10

Putin’s Political Idealism

The first 100+ dead bodies of Russian soldiers have come home from Syria, and now the rest of the world is trying to prevent Putin from sending more troops and supplies to help Assad.

Bulgaria has already closed its airspace to Russia’s military cargo airplanes that are trying to get to Syria. The US is now working to convince the perennially sleepy Greeks to do the same.

Remember that new biography of Kissinger that I told you I was going to read? It’s titled An Idealist and argues that Kissinger was not a cynic and pragmatist that everybody considers him to be but an idealist. I highly doubt this is a valuable insight into Kissinger but here is my question: why would anybody believe that being an idealist is a good quality for a politician to have?

Look at Putin. All he does is the opposite of pragmatic. He is chasing the idealized and deeply unrealistic vision of Russia as a world power on the same level with the US. He’s sacrificing his country’s economy and the lives of its citizens plus he’s destabilizing one region of the planet after another to keep pursuing this impossible fantasy.

What’s so great about this blind idealism?