“Take it off first!” That was one of the more harmless comments that piled up on Twitter after the discussion program “Hard but fair” that was broadcast on Monday. They were addressed to the Green politician Ricarda Lang. In the program, she spoke to the CSU politician Markus Blume about what the victory of the CDU in the state elections in Saxony-Anhalt means for the federal election at the weekend.
Ricarda Lang has been a member of the Green Youth since 2012 and its spokesperson since 2017. For two years she has been Deputy Federal Chairwoman of the Greens and women’s policy spokesperson for the party, and she is running for the upcoming federal election in the constituency of Backnang in the city of Schwäbisch Gmünd. In the discussion broadcast, the twenty-seven-year-old criticized the Union’s climate protection efforts, accused the party of only taking an interest in low-income people when it came to the carbon price, and called for climate protection and social justice to be considered together – some things that are discussed can. Many did that because “#RicardaLang” was actually one of the most used hashtags on Twitter until Wednesday morning.
But many of the contributions dealt only marginally with the arguments of the politician in the panel discussion. Instead, she was often insulted because of her figure. Instead of going into politics, she should rather go on a diet – the right body mass index as a prerequisite for political participation and participation in the discourse? This should be new to the Basic Law. Nevertheless, Ricarda Lang repeatedly experiences fat shaming on the internet. Last year she told the FAZ: “The body is seen as a possibility of a simple attack, as a possibility not to have to deal with the contents of a person.” Often, misogyny and obesity are intertwined.
In fact, women and their bodies remain a political issue for many – especially if, like Ricarda Lang, they do not conform to the supposed norm. Some are so bold as to justify their comments on the body of the politician and the associated cyberbullying with alleged concern for Lang’s health. There is only one person who has anything to do with their body, and that is Lang himself. Their appearance has nothing to do with their arguments, their political ideas and their ability as a possible future representative of the people. The fact that it is still the subject of discussion only shows that many Twitter users are still a long way from being in an equal society.
Support across party lines
It is noticeable that it is primarily accounts of private individuals, often with a few hundred followers, who target Lang and try to silence them. The good news is that they did not achieve serious political discourse – on the contrary. Party friends like Katharina Fegebank, second mayor of Hamburg, defended Lang anyway. But the CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak also jumped in: “I condemn such hatred. My full support for @Ricarda_Lang! ”The team from“ Hart aber Fair ”also condemned the attacks on Lang as“ unacceptable ”and announced that it would block relevant contributions and their authors.
Lang thanked him on Twitter on Wednesday morning for the support. Press inquiries, she announced, but she did not want to answer. “I do not want to give the right-wing and misogynists any more of my time and now focus fully on our party conference on the weekend,” she wrote. And: “Now let’s talk about how we shape the future.”