Attack in Berlin Christmas market a call for feminist organizing

Image: Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski
Image: Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski

This week my To Do list actually includes both “check opening hours of Vienna Christmas markets” and “write angry letter to Prime Minister Trudeau.”

In light of an attack in Berlin’s Christmas market December 20, the connection between these To Do items is stronger than ever.

I’m a Canadian living in Belgium, and last year the markets in Berlin were the highlights of Christmas. We loved it so much we plan to visit the markets in Vienna and Salzburg this week.

While the immediate news coverage of the Berlin attack includes the predictable claims that Western culture is being infiltrated by Islamic terrorists, what I and other feminists notice is that the attacker in this case, like those in Paris (November 2015), Cologne (December 2015), Brussels (March 2016), Nice (July 2016), Orlando (July 2016) were all men. I insist on naming these attacks as men’s attacks, men’s terror attacks against the innocent, men’s expression of their entitlements under male supremacy.

At least 45 per cent of women in Europe will be physically or sexually assaulted by a man in her life, according to the largest global study of male violence.

This is a much higher chance than being killed by a bomb or truck at a Christmas market. I am one of the luckiest women on the planet in that I have never lived with an abusive man or been physically attacked on the street. Yet, like women all over the world, I am very familiar with living with the threat of attack.

I have internalized the rules about what I’m supposed to wear, how late I can safely be out, and how I’m supposed to move around public space to avoid being harassed or raped. My freedom, even as a Canadian living in Belgium, is constrained daily by the threat of men’s attack.

To women, the terrorist, the battering man, the pimp, and the rapist have much in common. We are advised to monitor our own behaviour, to avoid situations that will put us in harm, yet he is unpredictable. He could strike at any time, and we are to believe that it is our fault.

To women, travel advisories against going to the Christmas markets of Europe sound a lot like, “Carry your keys in your hand. Stay indoors, beware of rapists.” The imposition of armed military at the train stations and in the otherwise charming Grand Place Kerstmarkt in Brussels reminds us women of the big brother, father, or husband who policies our behaviour and uses our honour or safety as his excuse for counter-attacks on other men.

Exploiting the people who are made vulnerable by men’s violent behaviour as an excuse for more violence is a trick of male supremacy. Women do not want one man as our guard against another. Feminists expect all men to stop raping and to censure other men’s violent behavior so women and children can live in peace.

Similarly, in response to terrorizing attacks, we refuse to accept further terror imposed by the state. Not in my name will soldiers and tanks wreck my Christmas market selfies.

Which brings me to my To Do item #2, “Write angry letter to Prime Minister Trudeau.” This appears on my Christmas preparation list because I, like many in the North, am horrified this week by the massacres in Aleppo, Syria.

Too few of us who avoid the Christmas markets out of fear of terror attacks have fully appreciated that the terror we in Europe (and North America) now feel, over the risk of being mown down by a truck while drinking mulled wine, is driven by the same system that is devastating civilian lives in Aleppo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, and Standing Rock, North Dakota.

It is difficult for most of us to succinctly map the role of our Canadian and European economic, military, and foreign policies in creating a world where undemocratic war-mongering is entrenched, but “Let’s not kid ourselves, Canada is in the war business.”

The war business is part of a worldwide system of violence, exploitation of the innocent, and armed struggle for power that is created, controlled and perpetuated by male supremacy. All women’s freedom is constrained by the accumulated, centuries-old power enforced by male violence. Women’s behavior is circumscribed by the threat and fact that men might (and do) batter, rape, pimp, and buy us. Similarly, unarmed, under-powered women, children and men around they world have our freedom constrained by centuries-old power, enforced by groups of men acting as male-supremacist armies, governments, religions, corporations, and cultural institutions.

Prime Minister Trudeau, like many handsome liberal nice guys, described himself as a feminist but has yet to practically apply his substantial power toward feminist aims of peace and freedom.

Trudeau could halt international arms deals, lead the dismantling of war business in Canada, withdraw Canada from armed conflict worldwide, adhere to our international agreements to accept refugees from conflict zones, fulfill our duties as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and fund the democratic, grassroots organizations across Canada who are working hard in the worldwide feminist movement. These are pragmatic alternatives to terror.

Feminism is a worldwide movement striving for liberation from war, terror, exploitation, and environmental devastation. Indeed, “A global study on violence against women conducted over four decades and in 70 countries reveals the mobilization of feminist movements is more important for change than the wealth of nations, left-wing political parties, or the number of women politicians.”

Feminism commits to our human potential to live in the freedom of peace with our neighbours, sustenance for our families, and care for our planet.

While the warmongers will call on us for armed vigilance in the threat of more terror attacks, women will continue as we always do in the threat of men’s attack: we keep on living and caring, creating joy where we can, and organizing in local feminist groups to try to transform the world for the better.

May I suggest we all add to our To Do list for the New Year: “Find or start a local, grassroots, feminist-led, democratic group. Feminism is the missing peace.*

*Credit to Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter anti-war organizing 2003.

Jacqueline Gullion is a Canadian feminist. She worked in Canada against male violence for 15 years as an unpaid activist, and now lives in Ghent, Belgium, learning Dutch with refugees, organizing a community garden, playing in a feminist drumming troupe, and working in the IT sector.

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  • shy virago

    Feminism IS the missing piece! This is an excellent post. You state things clearly that I rarely read about in the US, including in feminist blogs, that the killers are always men and often they attack places like schools where there are mostly women and children.

    I’m looking to join or start a group in the Sacramento area. If any readers know of one that is women-only, please let me know 🙂

  • Just Me

    While I think it’s worth inspecting why so many of these violent acts are carried out by men, both white men and men of other nationalities, in the USA and elsewhere (I am thinking of everything from school shootings to other terroristic attacks), claiming that it was an attack from men against women is not something I can get on board with. While Islamic tradition is not pro-female, terror plots carried out in public spaces is about putting fear in everyone, not just putting fear into women or just hurting women. And I can’t get on board with labeling this attack as if it was strictly against women. This was an attack against Christianity. Against freedom. Against men, women and children. It was an attack to put fear in the hearts of women, men and children alike. There is a reason they attacked the Christmas markets. Just like when terrorists target synagogues, churches or mosques.

    It is probably only a matter of time before we start to see women perpetuate terroristic attacks. It’s already happening. You might want to read an article at the NYTimes titled, “Women’s Emergence as Terrorists in France Points to Shift in ISIS Gender Roles.” Or read about the “3 Suspected Female Terrorists Seized In France, Policeman Stabbed.”

    My brother, father, male cousins, nephew are JUST as much possible targets in terror based plots that attack public spaces as I am.

    • anne cameron

      Jeez, I read this and my blood boils… will you please stop apologizing for the patriarchy! If I have to hear one more woman who claims to be “feminist” saying that it isn’t ALL men, I might just hurl. If they aren’t actively part of the solution then they are the problem! If they just stand and look embarrassed when some lout comes out with a disgusting joke they’re setting the stage for the lout to spew his misogynist shyte! If they don’t call the idiot bragging about his “conquest” of some underage girl they are the problem. And how many of them ever dare speak up to counter the ugliness?
      Trudeau might claim to be a feminist but I could claim to be a tea pot. It wouldn’t make it so! He is a Twerp with daddy issues who has given the green light to a pipeline which will increase tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, and he did it knowing there is strong public resistance. Nobody who supports Big Oil can claim to be a feminist because Big Oil doesn’t give a hoot in hell about the safety of the Orca, the sea lions, or the shorelines, all of which are sharing Mother Earth, and that, my blinkered friend is a feminist issue of major proportion.
      As for “Christianity”……hey, don’t get me started. There was a reason Jesus spoke to the women at the well… try to guess what it was.

      • Just Me

        1. How did I apologize for the patriarchy? I disagreed with the premise that the attack on the Christmas market was specifically an attack against women. Terrorism is an attack on all citizens. Or are you claiming that terrorism is something only women experience negatively? Is your father, brother, husband, boyfriend, uncle..whoever..responsible for terrorist acts?

        2. Each individual person here gets to call themselves whatever they want and you don’t get to mock it. I and only I get to define who I am. Not you. Which means that you don’t get to mock me or others or suggest that I am less of a feminist than you. People get to define themselves. You don’t. Trudeau as every right to call himself a feminist and if he says he is, he is. You are free to disagree with his views even as he calls himself a feminist, but you don’t get to define how he labels himself. That goes for any group of people who label themselves belonging to any group. You don’t get to tell another person what makes them a Christian, Democrat, Republican or anything else. This is an individual’s right to define that for themselves.

        3. What in the world do my comments about the Christmas markets have to do with men standing by and being silent about sexists jokes? I totally agree that men need to be part of the solution and call out other men for this stuff. That has absolutely nothing to do with my point about the Christmas markets.

        4. I don’t need to ‘guess’ why Jesus spoke to women and the significant and important role they played during his time, within his life, and within the Bible. You are getting all defensive about Christianity. The reality is that targeting a market that is obviously Christian based, IS a hate crime against Christianity. Your personal feelings about Christianity and your beliefs have nothing to do with it. Just as it would be the same when Jewish people are targeted or Muslims are targeted. You may not believe in the same things Jewish people or muslims do but that doesn’t mean terroristic atttacks against places where they gather or events that celebrate their holidays isn’t infact a terroristic attack against that religion.

        • Leo

          I agree it wasn’t an attack against women but the perpetrators are still male, it is still an example of male violence. Yes, there are female terrorists, but it’s still mostly men, and it’s mostly men committing violent crime in general (incl. against other men). Thus patriarchal culture and male socialisation are still implicated, that’s not only the case if women are specifically targeted.

          I can see that it may indeed have been an attack targeted against Christianity, but Christmas is mostly celebrated as a secular holiday (there are even Christmas celebrations in Japan as a secular holiday), though that may have made no difference to the perpetrator. Jesus is still a prophet in Islam though.

          People can certainly criticise someone else’s political beliefs and their commitment to a political ideology, especially members of an oppressed group whom the political ideology is for (feminism is for women) criticising those who claim to be allies (men like Trudeau). Political groups do have a specific purpose, and if everyone can define it however they feel like it becomes meaningless as a term, so it is not exempt from such criticism.

          • Just Me

            Leo, I agree, and I said as much in my very first response, that it should be examined why men seem to perpetuate these acts of violence. I am in no way saying that female terrorists are as common as male terrorists. We even see male violence among white men who are the largest group who bomb American landmarks or shoot up schools. But in these acts, these are not acts of violence specifically against women. These are acts of violence against humanity.

            In my opinion, Christmas is not mostly celebrated as a secular holiday. Even if many who don’t believe in Jesus or Christianity celebrate the holiday itself. Either way, Christmas’ main significance is rooted in Christian tradition. It’s not like this guy drove a truck into the Christmas market because he hated Santa.

            Lastly, again, I already said it was completely legitimate to criticize, discuss or question someone’s political ideology. This is a statement I already previously made. However, no individual gets to tell another individual that how they choose to label themselves is ‘wrong’ and that they are not how they choose to label themselves. I have seen Christians believe that homosexuals can’t possibly be ‘real’ Christians because they don’t adhere to the same beliefs. I have seen people put other people down who were not the ‘perfect feminist’ in their opinions even though obviously that person was trying to be a better person and a better feminist. You can disagree with someone’s beliefs. That’s legitimate. You have no right to mock how someone labels themselves. That is only for them to decide and for the other individual to accept. But of course, you can certainly disagree with their views. Not all Republicans or Democrats even agree with each other in their own retrospective houses. But if someone labeled themselves a Republican, someone else does’t have the right to come along and say they aren’t a Republican simply because they say otherwise.

          • Wren

            So if Trump suddenly calls himself of feminist, I don’t get to say “I don’t think so!”? If a man calls himself a woman I don’t get to say “NOPE”?

            When a person identifies themselves with the moniker of an ideological movement but espouses views that undermine the potential beneficiaries of the movement, I still have to say, “but that’s cool.”???

            I dunno, but I think you’re digging yourself into a hole you won’t get out of easily.

          • Just Me

            Having a differing opinion on a topic is not, “digging” ones self into a hole.

            I said a million times already that it’s legitimate to disagree with anyone’s views. Democrats disagree with other Dems all the time. Christians disagree with other christians all the time. Feminists disagree with each other all the time. No one is entitled to tell me I am not a “real” Christian, feminist or anything else I identify as.

            So yes, that’s right. If a man calls himself a woman and that’s who he feels he really is, you have no right to tell him he is wrong. You can disagree with it, but it is not your label of him that matters in this case. He and only he gets to call himself whatever he wants. And I think if you turn this around on yourself, that you and only you Wren get to define who you are, that no one else can take away who you are and how you choose to define yourself, then you may see what I am getting at.

            I have seen too many people try to degrade, humilate, hold other people down with their own prejudices, misconceptions and desire to alienate others because they felt they were entitled to tell someone else who they were rather then letting that person do that for themselves. I have seen christians deny homosexuals a rightful place in church because they felt entitled to tell homosexuals they weren’t real christians because they didn t adhere to the same perspectives. And that just isn’t right.

            Now I also,understand that people manipulate labels to suit their own agenda, too. Such as what we see with someone like Trump. That still doesn’t mean you get to define what labels to attach to people or which labels you feel you are entitled to take away from them.

          • Natalie

            Your cavalier attitude about taking away a right to disagree indicates you are probably a man.

          • Just Me

            Bullcrap. Show me what part of my comments suggests I seek to take away the right to disagree.

          • Wren


        • Tired feminist

          Each person can identify as whatever, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the identity is true or should be validated. Trudeau can say he’s a feminist as much as he wants, I still don’t have to buy it.

        • Natalie

          An attack on “all citizens” sounds like an attempt to justify daily violence, and terror against women because men, and women die during the course of infrequent attacks perpetrated by other men?

          • Just Me

            Do you even realize what you just said? Men and women both die and are gravely injured during acts of terrorism. You appear to only want to acknowledge acts of terrorism as something women suffer farmgreater from. But how in the world does that even make sense?

            Terrorism ARE acts of violence against all citizens. 9/11 was not something that just happened to women. The Boston bombing was not just something that happened to women. The Christmas market was not just something that happened to women. And while men do commit acts of violence like these in far greater numbers, that does not magically mean men are also not victims of acts of terrorism too. FYI, do you even realize how many police officers, fire fighters, construction guys, and so forth sacrificed their own lives during 911 and saved countless people? What about those men? How about the men that used their own bodies to cover their girlfriends in the movie theater bombing and the Paris night club attack?

            There are certainly situations where women are the greater victims. Sex trafficking being one of them. Terrorism is not only something women experience disproportionately. Feminism certainly should do something in light of terrorism. But not because it is telling itself that terrorism is something only women suffer from or suffer greater from.

    • Wren

      You seem to be missing the point of the article. Yes, everyone is a potential victim of terrorism, but only women experience terrorism every single day of our lives. It is almost inevitable that we will be raped and abused BY MEN.

      • Just Me

        No. I did not miss the point of the article at all. This author used the latest act of terrorism to suggest women suffer from terrorism more than men do and that because men are bigger perpetrators in carrying out terrorism, that again, women suffer more in acts of terrorism. That is not okay. Now if you want to talk about the epidemic of violence perpetuated by men against women, I am all for that. But a tad terrorism like the one at the Christmas market was not an act targeted against women alone. using the latest terror attack at the Christmas market to act like terrorism largely or only happens to women is insulting. When 9/11 happened, that was an act of terrorism against all people. That wasn’t an act of terrorism against women. When the Boston Marathon was bombed, that was an act of terrorism against all people. When that creep drove that truck into innoncent people at the Christina’s market, that was about all people.

        Now if you want to talk about rape and abusive men, I am all for it. that is not what the author was doing here. She made a strong connection between the latest act of terrorism and wanting to only acknowledge women as victims.

  • Leo

    I completely agree that the problem is male violence. I do think though that we need to be able to talk about patriarchal religion as a specific aspect of patriarchal culture used to drive, excuse and justify it, and that absolutely includes those Christian nutcases who seem to think they’re in some kind of Holy War against Islam, and also those who would seek to encourage that for their own ends (see Donald Trump and his predictably irresponsible response, made before the reasons behind the attack had been confirmed). Patriarchal religion is proving particularly potent as a means of maintaining male supremacy, and grooming women everywhere to accept or be afraid to challenge their own oppression. I also believe it is contributing greatly to the ‘post-truth’ atmosphere whereby people seem unable or unwilling to base their beliefs on rationality and material reality.

    • Julio

      On the contrary, I think the Abrahamic religions have civilized our societies (for the most part) and brought us out of the truly lurid hole of bloodthirsty and ribald paganism.

      • Leo

        Not really sure how honestly! Look back in history, and yep, there’s bloodthirsty non-Abrahamic religions…but then you get bloodthirsty Christianity and the rest. Even marauding Vikings claiming to be marauding in the name of God and so forth, and Crusades, burnings at the stakes, the Inquisition… It’s what the (still patriarchal) culture of the times were like, not just the specific religion, and if it got better and more civilised as you put it, imo, that would’ve happened over time anyway. It hasn’t gone away either though. ISIS/Daesh are pretty damn bloodthirsty.

        I’m not sure how much we accurately know about paganism, but I’m thinking it was still patriarchal, and the surrounding culture certainly was. Even modern versions (which may not bear that much in common) seem pretty patriarchal to me – I ain’t being defined as a ‘Virgin’, ‘Someone’s mum’ or a ‘Hag’, that’s basically just about how fuckable we are.

    • MJ

      Right on…well said.

  • Alienigena

    Yeah, most terrorists are men. Including terrorists of the emotional type. Even in cases where women or children are the ones wearing the suicide vest I think there is coercion or another kind of grooming or indoctrination going on. There are of course some true believing women but they are far fewer in number than are male true believers. Specifically I am thinking about a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber (Thenmozhi Rajaratnam) that a fictional film released in 2000 was based on ( But as with domestic violence or mass shooters people instantly become angry when you point out that most of the perpetrators are male.

    Child Suicide Bombers

    Grooming of children to be suicide bombers

    Coercion of girls/women to be suicide bombers

  • Leo

    Heh, just spoken to my mum on the phone and she was saying, totally unprompted ‘You know, all the awful things that have happened this year, this truck attack, the bombings…it’s mostly men, isn’t it? Why don’t women talk about this more?’. Clearly my conciousness raising efforts have worked there. Those of us who aren’t able to join a feminist group, talk to the women you know! Get women talking about this more!

    • Tired feminist

      Women (at least feminist women) are talking about this… we need the male-owned mainstream media to do so.

      • Leo

        I agree feminist women are and have been for a long time, I think that by spreading it to more non-feminist women (my mum wasn’t especially feminist, just the average woman) rather than just in feminist groups, it’ll help it seep through the cracks of even the mainstream media. There’s the deliberate stuff the male-owned media does to undermine us (ie. we won’t get far with Breitbart…), and then there’s just the unthinking perpetuation of the status quo, lazy journalism stuff, which is most of it. There’s space there.

        Funny you should say that though, she saw the National Geographic cover in today’s paper and was not impressed (making many of the same points as commentators here ‘So he’s dressed all in pink so that makes him a girl?’), and neither it seemed was the newspaper article writer. I do think more are starting to be critical of transgender politics when children are involved.

  • Witch

    Thank you. Not only were those attackers men, but they committed those crimes in the name of violently patriarchal religions.

    Of course the world is going to be violent as long as people support man-made religions that condone male aggression and even encourage it.

  • Tired feminist

    I agree in principle. The problem in practice is that many people will try to impose their identity. Men who claim to be women don’t simply say so and carry on with their lives; they demand to have their self-proclaimed identity validated by everyone. They demand access to female spaces and threaten women who object. This is absurd. We have every right to say they aren’t women, because if we capitulate they’ll feel entitled to demand everyone else to capitulate too.

    Likewise, feminism has a meaning. If someone claims to be a feminist while holding antifeminist beliefs (e.g. support of the sex industry), we can and should call bullshit on their ‘feminist identity’. I’m not Canadian so I won’t discuss the merit of Trudeau’s feminism, I’m just objecting to the notion of self-identification as untouchable.

  • Tired feminist

    I don’t think it’s “distracting”… Both are relevant. When we talk about extremism, we talk a lot about Islamic brainwashing – rightfully so -, but the brainwashing of young white men online by the alt-right, for example, is often overlooked. What these two groups have in common, apart from anti-Semitism, is male entitlement. I don’t think this is a secondary issue, it’s rather central to their ideologies.

  • Wren

    omg yes. I’d take a christian conservative over a pro-porn, pro-prostitution, polyamous, “kink” loving douche bag any day. As Christianity falls out of favor with younger generations and creates a vacuum, this is the new “religion.” We’re the heretics.

  • Wren

    Great response. The self-delusion and hypocrisy she displays is hard to process.

  • Wren

    “We’re not, I hope, all desperately insecure teenagers who are so
    uncertain of our identity we’ll throw a sulk if told our outfit doesn’t
    qualify us as a proper emo, and are we sure we’re not really just

    HAHAHA!!! Fucking brilliant!

  • Just Me

    Nope. I’m strictly operating on what I read here. There was an obvious and clear line drawn between terrorism and men’s terrorism of women specifically. Talking about men’s violence and terrorism of women is completely legitimate. Using the Christmas Market attack to piggy back into a conversation about how women suffer from acts of men’s terrorism, is disrespectful. When it comes to attacks like the Christmas market, just because mostly men are committing these acts, doesn’t mean men are not also suffering in these incidents.

    The author specifically drew a connection from the terrorist attack at the Christmas Market to men’s violence and then to men’s violence against women. She even talked about how these should not be called ‘terrorist” attacks but they should be called “men’s attacks”, “Men’s terrors attacks against the innocent”, an “men’s expression of their entitlement under male supremacy”.

    I previously asked who the innocent are. Because her article clearly leaves us with the impression that women are the innocent. Maybe you know better than I do. When the author talks about the innocents, who is she talking about? Are women the innocent? Are men innocent too? And if women are the innocent ones, the innocent ones she references, then she is leaving a huge chunk of people out who are also victims of terrorism.

    Had anyone ever wrote an article where they started talking about 9/11 and then quickly drew a line from 9/11 to violence against women specifically, that would have been disgraceful. And I think it’s disrespectful to use the Christmas Market terrorism act to piggy back into a discussion about violence against women specifically.

    • Wren

      “Using the Christmas Market attack to piggy back into a conversation about how women suffer from acts of men’s terrorism, is disrespectful.”

      Why can’t she discuss this??? Why is this disrespectful?? Women do suffer from terrorism. AND THEN SOME. Who the are you to curtail such discussion ON A FEMINIST BLOG??!?

      “just because mostly men are committing these acts, doesn’t mean men are not also suffering in these incidents.”

      She never said they didn’t. Duh. Is your only beef with the author that she didn’t say “AND MEN DIE TOO” from terrorism?? That is common knowledge and I can’t for the life of me figure out why you need to dissect and botch the author’s elegant statement other than you think you are blessed with some kind of moral and intellectual superiority. But you aren’t. Not even close.

      “She even talked about how these should not be called ‘terrorist” attacks
      but they should be called “men’s attacks”, “Men’s terrors attacks against the innocent”, an “men’s expression of their entitlement under male supremacy”.

      I think that is a perfect description of terrorism, and as you said, “When the author talks about the innocents, who is she talking about?”

      She did not say that they were only women. YOU decided she said they were only women even though you just admitted she said nothing of the sort. Are you -yet again- trying to point out a negligible slip of clarity on the author’s part for some kind of trivial didactic purpose?? I find that repulsively disrespectful and intellectually treasonous.

  • MJ

    Until patriarchal religions are declawed, women will gain little more socio-economic power or influence. Reason has no place in religions that promote men while subjugating women. Trump’s rise shows us how men believe their leaderships and head of household, politics, religion and commerce is their right under Allah/God/Yahweh. They will follow anyone and believe anything to hold onto it even at the expense of countless lives.

  • Wren



  • marv

    Look, Jesus meant well but he reflected patriarchal assumptions of his time. He was a man (not a god) with limited vision and male privileges he couldn’t see. We men don’t face our ignorance in present times either. He should be criticized for his misconceptions as other men should.

    Just because civilizations brought us some great things doesn’t justify or override their oppressive structural foundations and the need for them to be radically reconstructed. Defensiveness and arrogance prevent social justice progress.

    “Primitivism and ‘gender abolition’ won’t end the patriarchy because we are not animals.”

    Peculiar statement. You are aware that we are animals who evolved from other animals. This is proven by science and university studies which you have upheld as admirable aspects of civilization. Religious fundamentalists/irrationals dismiss it.

    Gender and patriarchy are indistinguishable. If you end gender you end patriarchy and vise versa.

    You lack awareness of how atheism is not simply a white liberal thing – an insult to secular people of color.

    The problem of religion, gender, slavery and even capitalism is not that they can be misused for selfish gain but that they are patriarchal worldviews in their own right. Blaming corruption is a diversion from the intrinsic issue. Institutional abrogation is the corrective.

  • Morag999

    “Now see, this is actually an interesting and semi-respectfully argued point – semi-respectful because you assume there is something wrong in my thinking and that I don’t actually have a really good point in this discussion. I don’t agree with you but there is a vast difference in your response than some others here.”

    Please. Now I’m rolling my eyes, too.

    Sorry to question your self-appointed identity, but you don’t strike me as a role model for mutual respect and superior manners. Your approach is often worse than mere rudeness when you take on that condescending, infantilizing tone. It’s gross. Like a schoolmistress with an unruly child, turning a conflict into a “teachable moment”(ugh). Except that you’re talking with grown women who are knowledgeable, thoughtful and passionate.

    You don’t like that some commenters here are being very direct and unvarnished in their disagreements, and are rolling their eyes at your replies. OK, nobody said you have to like it. But they are, actually, engaging with you on the level. You’re not doing that; you’re pretending you’re above it all.

  • Leo

    Bush and Blair are both nutty Christians, with Bush calling the invasion of Iraq ‘a mission from God’ and Blair stating he prayed when deciding whether to send troops. Christian terror is just better organised, more invisiblised as part of the state. Noting the common thread of patriarchy in religion, and in wider culture, enables us to get at the root of the problems.

  • Tired feminist

    I agree. But is there any particular reason why you’re commenting this on this specific article?

  • Wren

    Yeah, I remember a commercial for his show and he says “being a woman is hard work” whilst putting on falsies. Yeah being a woman is hard cause everyday I gotta worry about my physical safety, and OH YEAH falsie eyelashes are JUST TORTURE.

  • Wren

    Totally exhausting. But in the case of this person, and after ample experience with her/him in other discussions, I think (s)he’s just totally tapped and definitely of the narcissistic nature. Oh well!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Lots of feminists are critical of Islam.

    • ketzel

      Yes, but why does this article try to cover up the Muslim aspect to the Berlin incident? It seems to me that when a “feminist” covers for Islam, there should be more discussion than I see here.

      • Meghan Murphy

        No it doesn’t. It just addresses a different aspect of the violence than you would like it to.

  • Natalie

    Ah the old all apples are red, all strawberries are red so therefore a red object must be one of those fruits fallacy. Nope. You are derailing the discussion by this all terrorists are Muslims shit. I would argue that 95% of the attackers were not ideologically motivated but were more motivated by their need to dominate and scare people which is a trait I associate mostly with being a violent male.

    • ketzel

      I didn’t say all terrorists are Muslim, but one does have to notice, many terrorists are Muslim. Why are you covering for them? Feminism used to be pro-woman, now it’s just anti-male. I am not a libfem cheerleader, but when so called feminists refuse to see who is killing whom, who is performing female circumcision for religious (Muslim) reasons, then I have to tell the truth.

  • Natalie

    Your logic re xtians and atheists is inherently flawed. Christians dominate political and public life in the US and they discriminate against atheists. Transwomen need to understand that disagreement is not an attack.

    • Just Me

      There is nothing flawed in my logic. A person is infact attacking someone when someone says, “I identify as *this*” and that person comes back and tries to tell you, you aren’t infact *that* because they believe they get to define you, for you, because they think they know you more or better than yourself. And if you were honest, you would admit you would never want someone to treat you like that. You and only you get a final say in who you are and what you get to call yourself. You would never want someone else to feel they deserved to tell you who you were.

      In respect to my examples referring to Christianity and atheism, my examples make perfect sense. no one has the right to define someone else’s spiritual beliefs, whether they believe in a higher power or don’t. atheists dont deserve special treatment simply because atheism isn’t as popular as Christianity. Even without a belief in Christianity, which is on the decline, the majority of people do believe some form of higher power exists. But of course, this is not really what matters here in this argument when talking about who ultimately is entitled to define themselves. One individual is not eitltled to tell someone else that they are or aren’t Christian, Jewish or a real atheists. likewise, ome individual does not have the right to tell another individual they really aren’t a certain gender if they identify with that gender. Because the medical community is infact proving that gender identity is a complex network of factors that is both biological and hormonal.

  • Natalie

    I never thought I would agree with fucking conservative talk radio ( I am a communist) but liberals literally do not know shit about the Constitution or the 1st amendment. I need to catch the flying pig outside and roast him for dinner. Mmm bacon!

  • Natalie

    My Nana always said respect is earned not given Willy nilly.

  • Tired feminist

    You won’t see any media other than feminist media saying that male violence is male, but you’ll see plenty of other media talking about Islamic terrorism. So leave us the fuck alone. Feminism has priorities.