For all that these people claim to hate ‘Islamic’ sexual violence, it seems to fascinate them. In the past three years, I’ve lost count of the white men – and it is almost always white men – who have emailed, tweeted and sent me doctored pictures sharing their graphic fantasies in which feminist harpies like me are stoned to death, fucked to death, genitally mutilated, whipped, burned and gang-raped – not by them of course. By those awful Muslims. There seems to be an almost erotic fascination with the rhetoric of sexual violence these men associate with Muslims – it’s so awful that they have to concentrate really hard on the details and maybe save some screenshots to contemplate later in private. I’ll be blunt. I think some people out there are very excited by their conception of ‘Islamic’ violence against women. It allows them to enjoy the spectacle of women being brutalised and savaged whilst convincing themselves that it’s only foreign, savage men who do these things. If hearing that makes you angry, if it makes you want to smash my bitch face in and tell me I’m a whore who deserves to be raped to death by ISIS, then congratulations, you’ve just proved my point. The point is that misogyny knows no colour or creed, and perhaps it’s time we did something about that. We’re used to a society where a basic level of everyday sexism, sexual violence and assault is accepted. So if you’re saying this act of violence isn’t entirely different from all of those, and if you’re saying that refugees should be treated the same as European citizens, you must be saying that everyone should get a free pass to treat women like walking meatbags, right? Wrong. It’s time to take rape, sexual assault and structural misogyny as seriously every day as we do when migrants and Muslims are involved as perpetrators.
Laurie Penny in After Cologne, we can’t let the bigots steal feminism (Newstatesman)