Voldshandlinger er uacceptable, også når de begås af folk, vi synes, det er synd for
Women pay a high price when we refuse to deal with the challenges of immigration
Acts of violence are unacceptable, even when committed by people we feel sorry for
“Can’t you take a compliment, you fucking whore !?” The words came from a young man in the group, I had just passed on Blågårdsplads. I was in my mid 20s and lived in Nørrebro at the time.
I was in the process of crossing Blågårds Plads, where a bunch of young men shouted “Hey beautiful! What is your phone number?” I ignored them and in response I got the comment above. The place was theirs, not mine, I had to understand.
Another time I was sitting across from a young man on the S-train as he took his little friend between his legs forward and started masturbating in front of me while holding my gaze. I protested loudly to call myself to the attention of other passengers and asked him to pack up. In both cases, the young men were Middle Eastern in appearance. Again, there was a mark that I was vulnerable in a public space I had never before questioned by moving around alone.
Most Danish women have experienced something similar, and what I share here can in the big picture be considered relatively harmless episodes, right? Maybe enough, but maybe they are an expression of a deeper societal problem, not only in Denmark but throughout Europe.
A few days ago, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book ” Prey – Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights” was published . The book is hair-raising but necessary reading if one is interested in facing the consequences of immigration and doing something about them.
Hirsi Ali is originally from Somalia and fled an arranged marriage before ending up in the Netherlands, where she became a politician. She had to flee to the United States because the Dutch state announced that they could no longer protect her. What should she be protected against? Against rabid male Muslims who repeatedly tried to murder her because they did not like that she shared her own and other women’s experiences of religious oppression of women and allowed herself to speak out loud about the oppression of women in Islam.
In the book ” Prey “, Ayaan Hirsi Ali asks the question: Why are there more places in Europe where women are completely absent in public space?
To answer the question, Hirsi Ali looks at statistics on violence and rape in several European countries, including Denmark. The figures speak for themselves: there is an over-representation of violence and sexual assault on women committed by Middle Eastern and African men.
Now some refuse to read on. This is problematic when many people choose to close their eyes to reality, and this is one of the reasons why development is allowed to continue. When you deal with taboos and problems, you can change them, you can not do that with your head in the bush.
It has amazed me for several years that it is a total breach of good tact and tone as much as pointing out that there is a problem with the behavior of young non-Western men in public space. Many roll their eyes, refusing to have that conversation.
The discourse is like this: Europe is big and rich, we have enough space, we are rich enough and have enough heart space to help. Furthermore, it is our fault that they are here, we have started and supported wars.
Yes, yes, yes and yes and joh, I say.
For many years it was thought that if you gave the newcomers a generation or two, they would adapt to the culture and norms of which they became a part of Europe. However, we knew the statistics early on, we knew very well that women in these families were exposed to physical, psychological and sexual violence to a greater extent than ethnic Danish women. But we obviously had no problem with that. After all, they were not us, did not look like us, did not live like us, had other habits.
Several generations have now passed, and it has been shown that there is still an over-representation of violence committed by men with non-Western backgrounds. Moreover, we see the same trend among the migrants coming to Europe in these years. The difference is that the rings from previous generations have spread into society, so that it is now not “only” in the immediate family sphere and in the ghettos that the assaults are committed, now it also affects Jeanette and Pia.
The non-western inhabitants do not have to be part of French, Belgian or Danish society but can live a whole life in their own small Middle Eastern enclave in Paris, Brussels or Copenhagen, and it has been shown that a large part of those who have come to Europe, do not feel a responsibility to lay down the medieval attitude they have to the female sex. This is reflected in their behavior, verbally and physically inside and outside the home.
No, I do not incite to hatred and alienation, the numbers speak for themselves. I do not want right-wing populists to be allowed to define the agenda with their hate speech. It should be okay to point out problems when they are there – even without being proclaimed to go on a hateful errand.
In Europe, those who arrive by chance are welcomed – in boats or otherwise. One can hardly do otherwise. Some get asylum, others do not. Many stay even though they have been denied residence. The largest group, young men, is also the group with the most problems and committing the most violence and sexual assault.
One may ask oneself the question of what integration in Europe would have looked like if one had had an asylum policy that encouraged those who really need protection, namely women and children, to come instead of letting young people, strong men be the largest group of asylum seekers? No matter what the young men flee from, the fact is always that in war-torn countries, it is women and children who are the weakest.
From a gender perspective, it is problematic that many who come or have grown up in Europe in an environment with non-Western norms do not see violence against women as a problem. It’s not something I come up with, it can be read in various statistics from the countries that are brave enough to put them on public display.
I have a hard time understanding that many, in an insistent hold on a romanticized notion of immigrants and asylum seekers, are willing to close their eyes and sacrifice the rights of women, both ethnic minority women and ethnic Danish women.
How can something be so awkward and uncomfortable to deal with that we would rather stick to a lie with huge consequences for those we should protect, namely the women?
Perhaps it is difficult for man to understand that you may well be a poor human being, while at the same time committing violence, oppression, and sexual assault.
It amazes me that it is really bad practice to question whether it is not ok for Europe to have an attitude towards who they would like to move into the community. One is quickly shamed as a racist, and there are undertones of some kind of 1930s racist unity philosophy. If it’s never ok to have an open debate about what it is we want from people who come to our latitudes and how we succeed in the project, then it will be the women who pay the price in the form of cutting off from moving freely in public.
I am in no way against immigration. I myself am a foreigner in the country I have chosen to settle in. But there is a systemic slide when the system closes its eyes and women’s rights are diluted and the system for fear of being proclaimed a naughty enemy , closes its eyes to and accepts a development we should never accept in a Western democracy.
Slowly, women disappear from certain public spaces, and when they move out, it is with a new vigilant consciousness – do we women, and do you men, really want to accept it?
Do you think I crossed Blågårds Plads again, and do you think I later took the S-train alone? Of course I did. But the experience sat in me, and gave me a vigilance I had not previously had as a young woman in Copenhagen.
Physical and psychological violence and sexual assault are found in all societies, western as well as non-western and it is committed by both blue-eyed and brown-eyed. Violence against women is a fundamental violation of human rights and should never be accepted – not even when committed by a group we think is a shame.