Why intersectionality was not the best choice for feminist responses to the ?Cologne attacks?
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
5th European Conference on Politics and Gender (ECPG)
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
After an amassment of sexual violence against women during the New Year?s celebrations 2015/16 in Cologne, mainstream media and the political right in Germany and Austria dug out colonial stereotypes of allegedly hypersexualised aggressive foreign/dark men who were said to pose a danger to ?our (white) women?. These stereotypes were strategically applied to support current anti-immigration politics against Arab and African refugees and asylum seekers. Consequently, feminist journalists, academics and political bloggers aimed to deconstruct this narrative but found themselves accused of subordinating the assertion of women?s rights to a supposedly naïve anti-racist sentiment. Despite their insightful discussions regarding the racialization of sexual violence, the authors did not convincingly disable the racist and anti-feminist arguments of the opposing discourse. Based on a qualitative content analysis of feminist texts commenting on the Cologne attacks, I propose that this shortcoming was partly due to the application of intersectionality theory to the analysis of an event that did not suit this theoretical concept. Consequently, feminist arguments were, as I will demonstrate, weakened by subtle but important contradictions, which played into the political right?s agenda of discrediting anti-racist feminism altogether.