The main issue surrounding the ugly events on New Year’s Eve in Cologne soon turned out not to be the assault of women per se, but the fact that perpetrators were, in police parlance, of “Arab and north-African appearance”. However, writes Slavenka Drakulic, it may well be that the tears of the women in Cologne that night bring bigger changes to Germany and Europe than anyone could have anticipated, least of all the women themselves.
The situation for women in societies caught up in the post-’89 transition is complicated, writes Slavenka Drakulic. On the one hand, they now stand to lose rights that were, at least formally, established during the communist regime. On the other, women’s position in society has been undermined everywhere in Europe – in East and West alike. The financial crisis has struck hard, and women have been struck harder.
A state apparatus that doesn’t function on the level of dogs can’t function on the level of people either, writes Slavenka Drakulic. This week, the Bosnian parliament votes on amendments to the law on animal protection. But what is in fact at stake is the continued dehumanization of society.
Competing for victimhood
Eastern European states are expected to renounce their post-totalitarian victim status and re-gained national homogeneity in order to show solidarity with western Europe in the refugee question. No wonder that they resist, writes Slavenka Drakulic.
Flirting with a stranger
Aging is a common literary theme though overwhelmingly confined to male writing, writes Slavenka Drakulic. Does dementia provide a culturally acceptable, metaphorical replacement for women’s accounts of aging, and if so why?