Weinstein, Cosby, the heads of corporations, …the list goes on and will continue to grow as more and more women come forward to tell their horror stories of powerful men grabbing them or attacking them. Social media now allows the shaming of even the non-celebrities as women all over the world recount their experiences with the male animal. In my book I described what it’s like for women riding the crowded subways in Japan or walking down the street in Paris or taking a bus in Mexico City: the groping, the comments, the unending harassment. Women are prey in a perversion of what the relationship between the sexes should be: a divine union of two loving people. Let’s hope this is the turning point, where all of our sisters, daughters and mothers can walk down the street or walk into a room without a predator planning his next move.
But not all women are on board with this. A well-known actress in Austria, Nina Proll, has gone on Facebook to tell us that she finds male attempts to “approach” women “enjoyable” (erfreulich) which could even be translated as “delightful”. She asks, “Why do the feminists always insist that women are victims? I don’t understand that.” She goes on further to say that in the 20 years she’s been an actress, she has never been harassed by a man, but that’s presumably because, she says, she takes their “approaches” as a compliment, and not as harassment. The worst thing she’s felt is pity for the men who were making advances. She’d be ashamed to now go “peddling” those stories to the media, “because what kind of society do we want to live in? Do we want to just denounce each other and drag each other to court?” She asks why we can’t just look each other in the eye and say “no” if we don’t like something. Are we going to forbid men from making sexual advances? Or can we be happy that a man is trying to get us into bed? She ends her tirade by saying maybe we should just outlaw sex, then all the problems would go away.
Not surprisingly, some men have been very pleased indeed to see her take this position. Felix Baumgartner wrote “Nina Proll is simply great!”—calling her a “fearless woman” for standing up to the mainstream. You may remember Baumgartner. He’s the Austrian skydiver who, not content with leaping out of airplanes, decided he needed a bigger thrill so sailed into the stratosphere using helium balloons and jumped.
Proll may be fearless but she’s blind to reality. Or maybe she’s like the guy in that old tale from Grimm who didn’t know what it meant to be scared so they shut him up for three nights in a haunted castle with a bloody ghost. My suggestion is that we lock her in a hotel room with Harvey Weinstein overnight and see how fearless she is. Maybe Baumgartner could parachute in and rescue her for his next thrill.
Based on an article in Die Presse