Hate, agitation and defamation are their daily bread for many politicians. Annalena Baerbock has to experience that too. Left boss Janine Wissler reports something similar.
Munich / Berlin – female, young, mother – and Green candidate for chancellor. Annalena Baerbock has not only been subject to defamation since she was nominated in the run-up to the federal election. But since her ambitions for Chancellor were announced, the headwinds have become stronger and the tone rougher. In the first part of our two-part series, “Baerbock hype becomes Baerbock hatred”, we were concerned with the extent to which the Green politician is being fought. For the second part, we sent inquiries to women politicians – and wanted to know how they experience the attacks on Baerbock, but also whether they are confronted with misogyny themselves.
At Baerbock, the outrage hit waves again and again: They wanted to ban pets and abolish widow’s pension, it was said. Then an alleged nude photo of the top candidate appeared. The similarity? None of this is true. Quotes from the Green Chancellor candidate circulate in social networks and chat groups that did not say them or that were distorted beyond recognition. The 40-year-old Baerbock has been the target of fake news and hate campaigns. In an interview with the SWR, her party co-chairman Robert Habeck said that dealing with Baerbock on social media was “unbearable in terms of the harshness and level of sophistication.”
Nonetheless: sexism, agitation and degradation – that doesn’t just affect Annalena Baerbock. Numerous women politicians are exposed to misogyny. A study by the Politik-Magazin mirror At the beginning of the year it was found that almost 70 percent of female MPs came into contact with “misogynist hatred as members of the Bundestag”.
From Baerbock hype to Baerbock hatred: That’s what left-wing top candidate Janine Wissler says
“It is noticeable that women in politics are exposed to very special hostility and personal degradation,” said the head of the Left and top candidate Janine Wissler when asked by IPPEN.MEDIA. “Against Annalena Baerbock, full-page dirty ads by the neoliberal INSM are being printed in large newspapers. Instead of the Union * corruption scandals and the role of Olaf Scholz at Wirecard and Warburg-Bank, the focus of attention is on Annalena Baerbock’s résumé. With all justified criticism, that is out of proportion. Every slip of the tongue is interpreted as incompetence. ”
“What it means to want to make yourself heard in a male parliament as a young woman, I experienced myself when I came to the Hessian state parliament in 2008 and had to listen to many stupid and derogatory sayings. You always have to be better prepared than others in order to be taken halfway seriously, ”said Wissler, describing her experiences. Although she has great substantive differences to Baerbock in terms of content, campaigns such as that of the business-oriented initiative New Social Market Economy (INSM) are, in her opinion, not only directed against the Green Chancellor candidate, “but against everyone – especially younger women – who are not too conservative. belong to the neoliberal spectrum, ”said Wissler.
Green politicians: “The aim of these people is to silence people”
Hatred against women politicians is multifaceted, eruptive and takes place both offline and online. After appearing on “hart aber fair”, Green politician Ricarda Lang was hit with a real wave of insults. In the center: comments on your body weight. Instead of dealing with their political positions, the debate got lost in bodyshaming. SPD politician Sawsan Chebli has also been exposed to shit storms throughout her political career. And Green Party politician Renate Künast defended herself in court against savage insults on social platforms – a bizarre judgment to her disadvantage even occupied satirical programs on TV.
The third equality report of the federal government supports the thesis that hate – especially on the Internet – not only hits politicians, but women in general massively. Among other things, “NSU 2.0” is mentioned, a series of hate mail directed at women and politicians with right-wing extremist insults and death threats. The report says: “Compared to politicians, women politicians are also exposed to particular hatred or sexist forms of expression of hate language, even if they do not position themselves in terms of gender politics.” This did not occur until April 2021 Law to Combat Right-Wing Extremism and Hate Crime in force. For this purpose, a new central office for digital violence has been set up in the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).
Katharina Schulze demands that criminally relevant matters be punished consistently: “Don’t leave the field to the haters and agitators!”
Katharina Schulze, parliamentary group leader of the Landtag Greens, replied to the request: “The Internet as a partially anonymous space is a perfect opportunity for these people to let others feel their chauvinism, hatred and sexism. Women are always approached differently, with a strong focus on their bodies and much more sexualized. ”So even in hatred there is a gender aspect. “The aim of these people is to silence people. This massive digital violence – consisting of false reports, threats, insults and fake nude pictures – is intended to deter other people from exposing themselves in public and advocating socially relevant issues, ”warns Schulze.
Because the appearance of committed women in particular does not fit the traditional role model that is propagated especially in right-wing extremist circles. “This misogyny and the mechanisms behind it are nothing new. In the case of Annalena Baerbock’s * candidacy, it is only particularly condensed, comprehensive and fast, ”explained Schulze. The corresponding mechanisms have been in place for years – they regularly meet women, but also people with a history of migration, queer people and others.
The politician demands: anything relevant to criminal law must be punished consistently, the police and judiciary must be well equipped and research expanded. “Addressing perpetrators and taking measures to promote gender equality are necessary. And counseling centers are needed for those affected, because no woman should have to go through it alone – or think that she has to endure it, ”says Schulze. “My appeal to all women who are considering whether they should get involved politically: Do it! Together we change society and politics and stick together in solidarity. We do not leave the field to the haters and agitators! “
The chairwoman of the district association Upper Bavaria Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, Agnes Krumwiede, specifically addresses the allegations against Annalena Baerbock in her response to the request. “In view of the mammoth tasks ahead of us, the content-related criticism of the CDU / CSU and SPD is too quiet and the outraged din about Annalena’s little mistakes is too loud,” she emphasized with a view to the climate crisis. “She has apologized publicly several times. But that is not enough for many. Especially since mistakes made by a young Green candidate for chancellor seem more serious than those made by older, male candidates for chancellor from the CDU and SPD. I would like to finally have a fair struggle for the best content for our future instead of wording in CVs. “
Women in politics: Chairwoman of the Bavarian SPD Ronja Endres – “Unfortunately, I was not surprised when I was dealing with Ms. Baerbock”
Ronja Endres, chairwoman of the Bavarian SPD, also has similar experiences. At the end of April, she and Florian von Brunn were elected the new dual leadership *. “With the announcement of my candidacy as state chairman, these negative moments piled up and made it abundantly clear to me how undifferentiated information is dealt with when it concerns a woman. I don’t want to assume a conscious act in all situations. Many situations arise unconsciously because this certain behavior pattern and certain stereotypes towards women are unfortunately still anchored in society, ”she explained.
“Unfortunately, dealing with Ms. Baerbock did not surprise me,” added Endres. “The problem comes from society. We women experience discrimination and sexual violence every day – in everyday life, at work and on the street. I had to experience discrimination and sexual violence myself, I wasn’t even involved in politics. “The SPD politician added:” All these experiences, which are discriminatory and misogynistic, arise because there are still far too few women in media companies , in politics, have any leading positions, so that they can have a say and have a say. “For Endres it is clear that something fundamentally has to change:” I hope the discussions about discrimination against women in politics can above all sensitize society and give a voice to women who are not in public. ” (aka) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA
List of rubric lists: © Felix Zahn / photothek.net via www.imago-images.de