I just read an article on Global Voices about a public outcry over Sexism in Germany. Apparently many Germans are up in arms over an incident between a politicians and a journalist, and the twitter hashtag #Aufschrei (outcry) has been trending, with women across that country sharing their experiences of sexism at the hands of men.
The incident which started the 'outcry' involved "Rainer Brüderle, a politician from the Free Democratic Party (FDP), who allegedly made remarks about her (journalist Laura Himmelreich's) bust and approached her inappropriately".
I'm assuming that 'approached her inappropriately' means he came on to her - it always has done when I've seen it used in similar contexts in the past.
I also felt a sense of 'outcry' when reading this article, but in an entirely different way. The incident described above sounds to me like very clumsy and inept flirting. FLIRTING.
When did it become sexist for a man to express his own natural sexuality?
IMHO, the fact that this was clumsy and inept flirting at an inappropriate time is not relevant. We can all misjudge a moment sometimes, and there are many people who are socially inept. This should not be held against them.
This is not limited to Germany. I remember may times when I have read about some accussation of sexism, or even legal cases of sexual harassment, and I thought to myself that it sounded like normal male sexuality. We can't always know for sure whether someone like us until we express our own interest, but it seems that the expression of male sexuality is now considered to be almost, or in some cases actually, a crime if the woman doesn't happen to reciprocate the feelings of attraction.
What worries me even more is the way these things are presented, with a man flirting awkwardly or in a way that the women doesn't like being put in the same category as very serious incidents. For example, the article in Global Voices lists some examples of 'outcry' from twitter; here are two.
The lecturer who whispered to me at an Erasmus party: “I want to see you naked!” #aufschrei #England
My friend's dad who smacked all the girls on the bum at her birthday party. I spent the whole time hiding. #aufschrei
No distinction is made between these two - they are presented as examples of the same thing. But are we really supposed to put the drunken expression of a healthy male sexuality in the same category as the aggressive sexual assault of (it sounds like) minors? Really?