"A lesson from ?Cologne? on intersectionality: strengthening feminist arguments against right-wing co-option"
, in Feminist Theory, Vol. online first, Sage, 2020
A lesson from ?Cologne? on intersectionality: strengthening feminist arguments against right-wing co-option
Sprache des Titels:
Analysing feminist responses to the (mainstream) media coverage of the sexual assaults of New Year?s Eve 2015 in Cologne, this article shows how a theoretical concept that is used to frame feminist arguments can influence the strength of those arguments. German-speaking media extensively reported on the large number of sexual assaults against women that happened during that night in Cologne. The dominant narrative in those media reports dwells on the circumstance that the arrested suspects all had a refugee or migrant background, which assisted right-wing politics in re-creating a racist stereotype about male refugees and migrants being a threat to western women. Feminist responses to that media discourse insisted that rape culture was a crosscultural
phenomenon and that media as well as political analyses of the assaults need to take into account an understanding of intersectionality. Based on a content analysis of twenty-five feminist texts about the events of ?Cologne?, I argue that the application of the concept of intersectionality created contradictions and argumentative voids within the ? otherwise strong ? feminist arguments because it conflated sexist and racist dynamics, which were both present in the context of ?Cologne? but not always intersecting. I further argue that these contradictions unintentionally aided the rightwing co-option of feminist demands concerning ?Cologne? and I suggest that the theoretical concept of femonationalism is better equipped to analyse events like ?Cologne`.