Writers weigh in

J.K. Rowling praises poet’s response to NYE attacks in Germany

Flowers and a letter reading "One doesn't beat women - not even with flowers" was one of the tributes left at the Cologne Catherdral following the New Years Eve sex attacks in the city. (ROBERTO PFEIL/AFP/Getty Images)

J.K. Rowling says that author and poet Musa Okwonga’s blog essay in response to the spree of sexual assaults reported in Cologne at New Year’s Eve is the best she’s read. Between 500 and 1000 young men of North African and Arab descent were said to have mugged and molested passing women, leading to 100 complaints to police, about two-thirds of which were were about sexual assault. Okwonga, a prize-winning poet, says the discussion should not be about race but about treatment of women.

“Why don’t we just start with the premise that it is a woman’s fundamental right, wherever she is in the world, to walk the streets and not be groped,” writes Okwonga. “And why don’t we see this as a perfect moment for men, regardless of our ethnic backgrounds, to get genuinely angry about the treatment of women in public spaces: to reject with fury the suggestion that we are somehow conditioned by society forever to treat women as objects, condemned by our uncontrollable sexual desires to lunge at them as they walk past.”

Rowling retweeted Okwonga’s essay, calling it “the best comment I’ve read on the Cologne attacks, written by a black man of African descent living in Germany.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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