Is the word Real Men sexist

sexism: In the etiquette madness

An outcry went through Germany. What we hear is its echo. It resounds from all sides, polyphonic, distorted, deafening. "The end of Brüderle", some shout, "The end of the white man", the others declare, "Breasts are becoming a handicap," writes the newspaper and the nation's talk shows are desperately looking for young women or anyone else who is his Could make mustard on the topic of all topics, of which nobody really knows what it actually is.

So far, only what we knew beforehand seems to be secure. The basics that have received a social update here are: The sayings of greasy old men are greasy. You shouldn't have to hear them. You should roll your eyes and walk, you should defend yourself if they get too much for you. In general, you should try to keep boundaries, you should deal with each other professionally. You should always think of your counterpart, you shouldn't say anything that could hurt one another, you shouldn't offend the dignity of the other, as a person, as a woman or as a man.

One should, one shouldn't, one should - this is the style of a thoroughly welcome communicative process in which social codes are repeatedly negotiated and confirmed, in which border violations and their actors are marked and punished. Exhibiting and remembering DOSotherDon'ts are signs of a healthy democratic culture of debate. They ensure the open climate in a country in which victims of discrimination and sexual assault do not have to ask whether they will be heard, but know that a society stands behind them.

Alone: ​​That’s not what it’s about for a long time. What we now hear and can no longer hear is not a memory of the "one should", but a penetrating babble of voices of "Well, I think you shouldn't". What is created via Twitter, talk show, timeline and newspaper polls is rather an endless catalog of what each and every one of us thinks we have to flag out in terms of individual opinions about the limits of appropriate communication. It is exhausting to listen, but that would also be okay. But what is really absurd about the accumulation of individual opinions about personal limits lies in exactly one word: personal. One does not generate general publicity by telling everyone when it becomes too much, too sensitive, too private for him or her and when it is not.

Limit shifters on both sides

Here the level of objectively one-sided attacks and hierarchy-driven machotism is abandoned and the area of ​​the gender game is entered. And that's where it gets foggy. "I think it's wonderful when a man helps me into my coat or holds the door open, etc. I don't find this kindness to be sexist," tweeted the one young woman. Another interprets this behavior as sexist, a third might want to see the door held open, but would rather pay the bill for alcoholic beverages himself. The etiquette mania, the pedantic scrapping of behaviorisms that has emerged from the debate about sexism, does not lead to a more conscious, more respectful interaction with one another, but to nowhere. Because a code of the kind envisioned by those who tweet about individual behaviors not only ignores the fact that there are sometimes women who sometimes find it pleasant to be feminine, young and pretty, and who know how to use it. Ultimately, the border shifters are active on both sides of the gender frontier.

What is actually behind the angry search for sets of rules goes one step further than the solidification of the role clichés man / aggressor - woman / victim. In 2012 there is a book under the title Erotic Capital: The Secret of Successful People appeared, which called for using one's own sex appeal for professional advancement. The outcry of the critics was not one to demonize the fact that Catherine Hakim, an accomplished scientist from the London School of Economics, advised women to use their charms. The breaking of the taboo seemed to have already been identified in the mere fact of establishing that the world of work is not free from the erotic either, that one is dealing here with an irrational, quasi-archaic force that is always at work, regardless of whether it is during an interview, a job interview, a conference is faded out by professional behavior or is fully played out in a semi-private nightcap among colleagues.

"If we can't eradicate sex, let's use it," advised this book - a dubious appeal. But the subject hits the core of what lies behind the desire to translate the Brüderle scandal into precisely defined, context-independent codes: the utopia of genderlessness. This is just as unreached and unattainable as the abolition of the - per se unjust - game of sympathy and antipathy, insults and alliances that exist, always existed and always will exist in every institution, in every field of work. As long as people meet people and women meet men, there is no such thing as neutral ground. They just feel the same wavelengths, prefer to come to work because of each other, look after each other or in the eye. You can't change that. That is also one of the basics.