One of this year’s Nobel Prize Laureates in Literature is Peter Handke. My Master’s degree in Education and Literature to boot, I confess I had never heard of him. But then again, maybe that is a prerequisite when it comes to Literature Laureates? It certainly seems like it at times.
Hadn’t really interested myself, confessedly, in the Laureate either until I read a quote by him in the SvD (Svenska Dagbladet, Swedish Daily Paper, 20191016, p.17).
Now, I have no reason to mistrust the SvD but I set out to find the actual quote if I could. Not too many minutes later, and with some help from google translate to confirm my very basic German skills, I found this:
”Ich kann es nicht mehr hören. Die Frauen, die da die Männer anflammen, und dann beschweren sie sich. Nein, nicht die Frauen, Blödsinn, die Frau ist etwas Großes. Sicher haben große Teile ein Recht, das zu sagen. Aber es gibt viele, die das ausnutzen noch und noch. Das finde ich skandalös.” (Peter Handkeinterviewed in Der Freitag, https://www.freitag.de/autoren/der-freitag/ich-habe-keine-schublade)
The actual quote
The article is an interview with Peter Handke from August 2018 about many different things. One interesting topic is when Handke compares his feelings on the Police Force with his feelings toward women… worth a read, just saying.
Anyway, right before the above quote they are talking about another male writer and how that person had found insight about the childhood abuse he had been a victim of, and found courage to speak out about, because of the MeToo movement. Handke dismissedly says, and I’m parafrasing here:
– He didn’t know about this until adulthood? I guess that is how it’s done these days.
Handke is then not asked specifially about MeToo. The interviewer plainly says:
” Ja, das sei ihm erst im Zug eder #metoo-Bewegung bewusst geworden.”
- Yes, he had only become aware of this during the #metoo movement
So no actual question from the interviewer. Handke continues voluntarily:
”Ich kann es nicht mehr hören. Die Frauen, die da die Männer anflammen, und dann beschweren sie sich.”
- I don’t want to hear anymore about it. The women, who excite the men, and then complain about it.”
He goes on to say that sure, ”women have a right to say it, but there are many that exploit this. I find it scandalous”.
Wait a minute… He said what?!
The women who excite the men and then complain about the repercussions… Hm. Where have we heard, or seen, or experienced that before… I know! ALL THROUGH HISTORY!!
Women whose hair (?) apparently is so sexy in some cultures that it has to be covered for men not to freak out. Women who shouldn’t wear short skirts (or make up, or tight clothing, or just be plain women) on their way home late at night because what if you meet a man who can’t be responsible for the repercussions. Women who are encouraged to excite; in person, clothing and body, for the benefit of the males – so that the men can let their feelings go and no longer be accountable for their actions. Sort of a: You are so beautiful, I have to touch – kind of scenario.
The women who exploit this are scandalous. Yes, of course. Because every woman wants to be known as someone who has been sexually assaulted. Every woman wants to have their name dragged through layers of media mud, to have their bodies picked and prodded and investigated, and their minds questioned and mistrusted. Of course, we would also take any opportunity to smeer the good name of a solid, upstanding MALE citizen. Absolutely, yes that makes PERFECT sense. That must be why women exploit the MeToo situation and make up untrue stories (yes, that is what his statement connote). Good on you there Mr Handke.
What his statement means…
So Peter Handke, a Nobel Prize Laureate, said that women shouldn’t excite the men and then complain. Let me explain why it is so wrong by showing you what that statement actually brings with it, what its hidden meaning is; what it entails.
What Handke’s statement means, make no mistake about it, is that if a man becomes sexually excited by a woman, that is the womans’ doing. If the man then acts on this excitement, if he caresses, strokes, touches, hugs, or verbally comments on his feelings for her; this is still her doing. Her fault. She is too beautiful, too inviting, too enticing to resist.
And, and this is important, Handke’s statement implies that she is doing it on purpose. She is willingly enticing the men, sometimes by her mere presence; sometimes by her movements, her gaze, her scent, or her comments. Let’s just pause there for a moment and get one thing set straight:
Willingly enticing a man…
There is nothing wrong with willingly enticing a man, or a whole world of men, until they scream with yearing. That does not mean that a woman wants or plans for anything to actually happen.
But this is exactly what Handke’s comment implies, that when a woman has aroused a man, she should take responsibility for her actions and let him have his way. She can’t stop now, it might even damage the engine if you take me up to full throttle and then back down (actual quote from the movie The Airport from 1970). That is why she, in Handke’s words, shouldn’t complain. She started it, so now she has to follow through.
So whether she likes it or not, she should accept that her collegue stands too close, or the searching hands that grab her from behind in the elevator, or to be pushed up against a cabinet in the filing room. Or that her boyfriend grabs her boobs in the gym, or that her husband out of the blue gropes her as they walk in the door and pantingly exclaims how sexy she has been all night. Because really, she brought it upon herself.
For the first time in history
For the first time in history women in 2017 began speaking out about the fact that they were disgusted, sick to their stomach, and scarred for life by men who had acted on their own private feelings toward them.
Men who had felt things; arousal, grandeur, or entitlement, toward a woman and pushed their own agenda, their own private feelings on her regardless of how she felt.
Cause she could just be doing her, you know. Walking around in the world, being herself in her own body, her own laugh, her own essence and BAM! Some guy, who has been aroused by her just being her, slams into her world with his urges and his belief that he can do whatever he wantsBECAUSE SHE EXCITED HIM.
This is the seriousness of Peter Handke’s statement. This is what it implies; what it means.
Good luck finding a date to the Nobel Party Mr Handke.