Pale Shades Of Gemütlichkeit, Gleichgültigkeit And Happy Kites

Beer Belly Horst

Had a brief call with an old girlfriend the other day. Before I could even get around to the “how’s the weather” or “how’s your love-life” (up there in Berlin) there was something boiling in her voice about who/where/what she is. While she spewed out all her frustrations from being fired from her job because she complained about workplace sexual harassment, I couldn’t help but think of how I too was once harassed. Obviously when a man is harassed it’s never the same as with a woman. I suppose, in a way, most (real) men want to be harassed like most women ARE harassed. But, again, it is not my intention to belittle the reality of females being harassed–especially in light of what recently happened in Cologne. Yet there is IMHO something that connects what my former girlfriend is dealing with and what all those nice young girls had to deal with on New Years Eve 2015 in front of one of the Catholic church’s most iconic cathedrals. Which brings me to the question: what does sexual harassment have to do with patriarchy? Or maybe that’s not the question. Wait. Let me try to explain how I was harassed first–by patriarchy. It started in hallways. German corporate hallways, to be exact. Hallways that were/are built by men. I was working in this German company or that German company–with a bunch of German men. I had been doing that for the better part of the last decade of the twentieth century. Yet nomatter what German company I worked at, the walls of that company always spoke to me and they always said the same thing–in a tainted male voice. So I guess, in a way, I was harassed by German walls. (How ironic, eh, as it was the east/west wall of the Germans that turned me into an expat to begin with.) And do you know what those walls said to me, dear worst-reader? They said (shit like): why are you taking our jobs; ami go home; Ich war hier zuerst; Deutschland!; etc. §Of the few places on this planet that I’ve lived–and perhaps of the few places I’ve visited–Germany is… Wait for it. Wait for it. Ok. Here it is. Germany has got to be the (pronounce thee) most patriarchal place in all of the western, industrialised world. Which also means Germany is intolerant, amoral, misguided and she pees standing up with the toilet seat down. And when one uses the word patriarchy in the context of anything European (#eurowasteland) it is almost always synonymous with mafia (which is the only thing Europe has given the world in the last fifty or so years), macho and chivalry-is-dead. Mafia is, of course, synonymous with the Catholic church. But I guess I should stop with the whole synonym thing. Yeah. There is something else that connects with patriarchy (but isn’t synonymous with it) and what’s really going on in Germany (and most of the western world). And it’s a little bit more than just harassment. Germany’s problem, even though it is trying to avoid that problem by blaming refugees and harassment, is that it is stuck in a world of old, archaic, greedy patriarchy. It’s the same damn thing in Italy and that country’s love/lust of the Mafia that entertains the world through film, Guido-characters and noodles. The thing about Italy’s patriarchy, though, i.e. Italy’s mafia-society, that makes it different than Germany’s is this: Italy is an underachiever. But let’s not get too far off subject. My guess is, as long as women are willing and able to marry men and provide those men with the ideal of a “family”–especially in a world that has sold-out to Globalisation–there isn’t much chance of changing how men think, hence there is no chance of changing patriarchy. Does that mean that in order for the world and patriarchy to change that change will have to come through women? I don’t know. What I do know, though, is that the current discussion regarding how women are treated is a mute issue–as long as the patriarchy rules and rules and rules. And so. In the mean time. Keep talking about refugees. Keep talking about how women are treated here or there. Keep talking about what’s wrong with everything. And through it all (the talk) the truth and reality slip by like a cool breeze of forevermore. Stay asleep. Good luck suckers. Rant on. -Tommi

PS In the context of (mafia) patriarchy it doesn’t matter that Germany has a “matriarch” as its chancellor. The only thing Merkel is–is entertaining. Neverforget. There are no women doing anything substantial in Germany. They are all sitting at home either content or discontent with their husbands and a bit frustrated that they don’t understand why a woman will NEVER run Deutsche Bank, VW or Mercedes, etc. Or something like that. Good luck, babes! ;-)

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Tom

Just another expat blogger.