Monday, February 08, 2016

The revolution of the 21st century

Tiberge at Gallia Watch has been reporting on the Pegida demonstrations in Europe. One of her posts includes part of a stirring speech by Pierre Vial, leader of a group called Terre et Peuple:
For the first time in History, the European peoples no longer reign spiritually, ethnically or politically on their own territory. We have entered into a system of nihilism and chaos. Only firmness of mind and resolution of heart can save us. We must awaken the consciousness of others. Those who want to destroy our identity cannot tolerate it when we speak of our ancestors, the Gauls. They have not ceased to annihilate this collective memory. The revolution of the 21st century will be identitarian, with the awakening of peoples that our enemies label as populism. Each people has a right to its identity. Long live the right to our differences. We need a united front of patriots in all European countries. The awakening of peoples and carnal homelands is in progress.

Well said. He is right that this might be the first time that the European peoples no longer reign "spiritually, ethnically or politically" on their own territory, though there have been times in history when they did not reign politically. Russia was ruled over by the Mongols for an extended period of time; parts of Spain by the Moors; most of south-eastern Europe by the Ottomans.

Finland's President takes the lead

It's been obvious for a long time that the international convention on refugees needs to be reformed. Yes, there are people displaced by war who need to be resettled. But it makes sense for them to be resettled in countries with a similar standard of living and a similar culture. Otherwise you end up with millions of economic migrants claiming to be refugees and you fail to allow either the migrants or the host populations to keep their own cultures.

The President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, has used his address to the parliament to raise these issues:
Speaking at Finlandia Hall for the official opening of parliament ... Niinistö said that most asylum seekers were not fleeing immediate danger.
"The flow of immigration into Europe and Finland is largely a case of migration rather than a flight from immediate danger," said Niinistö, who was a lawyer before he entered politics. "All estimates predict that the flow of people will increase this year...

The solution, according to Niinistö, will have to involve some changes to established practice around the asylum process. The Geneva Conventions, upon which modern, western states base their approach to refugees, are outdated and states will need to be creative in how they apply them. Otherwise, anyone who can say the word ‘asylum’ will have the right to cross the border and enter Europe, said Niinistö.

"The international rules were drawn up and their interpretation evolved under quite different circumstances," said Niinistö...

"We have to ask ourselves whether we aim to protect Europe's values and people, and those who are truly in acute danger, or inflexibly stick to the letter of our international obligations with no regard for the consequences."

...At the moment, however, we cannot help those who are merely seeking a better life or feel that their circumstances and future are difficult in their home countries."

Saturday, February 06, 2016

The cruellest trick

Laurie Penny, outspoken English feminist, has written a book which apparently includes this:
Perhaps the cruellest trick played on my mother’s generation was the way they were duped into believing that the right to work in every low-paid, back-breaking job men do was the only and ultimate achievement of the women’s movement.

In reply:
  • It was feminists themselves who played this "trick" - though the word "trick" is misleading, as the belief that paid work is the ultimate meaning in life is part of modern liberal thought. For liberals, there are no forms of given identity that are legitimate; nor are there given standards of character or virtue. Instead, individuals have to be "self-made" and when confronted with this belief, many people turn to the idea that the most significant path to being self-made is through the market.
  • The reality for most people, though, is that work roles do not bring the kind of metaphysical satisfactions that were promised. What is more, although there are benefits to these roles, there are major sacrifices attached to them as well: of time, energy, health and of the opportunity to live a balanced life in which we can develop in a rounded way.
  • Men have stuck with paid work roles, despite the disadvantages, often because of a sense of masculine duty to provide for their families.
  • Laurie Penny seems to assume that men "just do" these roles. There is an implication that it is OK for men to do "every low-paid, back-breaking job" but a cruel trick to play on women if they are to do the same thing.
  • In reality, women are more likely than men to have choice when it comes to paid work. Women are more likely to be able to work part-time; to retrain with the support of a spouse or partner in order to change career; to live off a combination of hobby work, financial support from a divorce husband and welfare; and so on.
  • In spite of all this, Laurie Penny still fills her twitter feed with talk of "male privilege." She isn't intellectually reflective enough to grasp that one of her ideas (women duped into traditionally male back-breaking work commitments) runs counter to another of her ideas (men occupy a privileged position in life).

Friday, February 05, 2016

Banned French Identitarian video

Last month I posted a video from the German branch of the Identitarian movement. It is excellent and I encourage you to watch it if you haven't already done so.

A reader sent in a link to a video from the French branch of the same movement. It is more forceful than the German one, a bit more at the edge, and it was supposedly removed from YouTube. See what you think - overall, I believe it to be well done and I hope it has helped to build support for the French movement.

Monday, February 01, 2016

"There's going to be so many casualties in the abolition of human nature"

Cartoon captures the liberal moment:

On the same issue, there's a Facebook post doing the rounds that is popular on the left:
Ryan Calhoun
Yesterday at 10:10 · Keuka Park, NY, United States 
I just feel bad for people who are weirded out by gender that's non-binary. Like, this is just the start, dude. Strap in. If technology keeps progressing you're in for a lot more radical alteration of people's identity than individuals telling you they don't want to be referred to as sir or ma'am. What are these m...... gonna think when we're all meshing our appearance and personality traits with computer simulations and turning into wolves, and fairies, and floating metal spheres? Masculine-presenting people showing up to work in dresses better stop freaking you the f... out soon or you might as well go live in the woods cause one day your friend Bob is going to show up mind-melding with your other friend Cathy and they'll be presenting themselves as a series of ever-morphing color patterns. You'll have to deal with that, so for now just understand that people have been non-binary for centuries and centuries, gender is fluid, and you aren't the boss of other people's identities or appearances. There are going to be so many casualties in the abolition of human nature. Don't be one of em.

One of his supporters wrote "I just feel sorry for cis people. That must be boring."

So here we have a couple of moderns who think that it's boring to be a man or a woman and who want to abolish human nature. They "feel sorry" for those of us who aren't ready to be transformed by technology into fairies or floating metal spheres.

It's that underlying difference between the modern and traditional understanding of things again. If you are a liberal modern and you don't believe that there is anything given to us as part of our objective reality that has value or meaning, then you might well look forward to abolishing human nature. You might well believe that the given categories of manhood and womanhood are "boring" and that becoming something arbitrary instead, as an expression of choice, is more interesting.

But what if our given nature connects us to something that is inherently meaningful? What if manhood gives men an identity and an aspect of their being which draws together self, the inner spiritual life, and objective sources of truth and meaning. Is that then boring? Is that something you would readily abolish? Is that something you would trade in, in order to turn yourself into a computer simulation?

We are called to be men not machines or morphing colour patterns. To Ryan Calhoun someone like myself is boring, but to me Ryan Calhoun is not so much boring as lost.

(Cartoon hat tip: here)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Journalist calls for a male revolution

Feminist women might be turning a blind eye to events in Europe, but other women are responding the opposite way: they are urging Western men to reject the influence of feminism and to return to the traditional masculine virtues.

This call to manhood is understandable. Events in Cologne, in particular, showed that Western women cannot rely on the state for protection. Western women are vulnerable without the presence of traditionally masculine men in society.

One of the women seeking change is the Danish journalist Iben Thranholm. She speaks plainly in the attached video about what she believes needs to happen. It's worth watching the video but I've quoted some of her more choice comments below:
We need a sort of male revolution...Men need to take responsibility, to go back to the old male virtues, to defend the women, the children and the culture. It is unbalanced to have no masculine force in have been brought up by women who want them to become women....There is a kind of order in this world and it is based on a complementarity between men and women.

A Canadian reporter, Faith Goldy, followed up on Iben Thranholm's video with an even more straight-talking one of her own. Again, her video is interesting as she pulls no punches in her call for men to re-masculinise - the following excerpts give a sense of what she is about:
Where are our heroes today?...we are in a testosterone recession...Today's feminists are more concerned with appearing xenophobic than actually protecting women...In destroying male hero virtues we have lost our balance in society...banning masculinity has been a failed experiment ...Hey men, here's a tip. Remove your pair from the feminist hands in which they are now held, reattach and revolt.

Finally, there is Swedish journalist, Ingrid Carlqvist, who left it at this:
I think there is so little aggression left in Swedish men (because of feminism) that they can no longer defend their families and their country. Let's hope I'm wrong on that!

I'll comment more on all this in tomorrow's post. I do think it's a positive development that there are women speaking out so clearly on this issue.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

So-called male bodies?

Roz Ward has been working with the Department of Education here in Victoria on a new transgender policy. She was quoted in the papers as complaining that those who were "assigned male at birth" have a hard time participating in girls sports because:
There is a perception that so-called male bodies are physically superior.

James Campbell, writing for the Melbourne Herald Sun, was struck by her use of the phrase "so-called male body":
I was taken aback by Ms Ward's claim that there is no such thing as the male body, or to borrow from Hamlet - that there is nothing either male or female, but thinking makes it so.

You probably think that if someone wants to believe something as obviously crackers as the idea that objectively there is no such thing as a man or a woman, only what we each want to be, well, that is their business. The rest of us will still be free to go on thinking there are men and women, just as we always have.

Go to the website for minus18, a taxpayer outfit that helps same-sex-attracted and transgender youth cope at school and you will see where we are heading.

In a section devoted to the vexed question of the pronouns he, she and they, its website tells the state's youth that while it's an easy mistake to make that "genitals and bodies in general don't reflect anything about a person's pronouns or gender." ["Gender Politics Distorts Reality", 28/01/2016]

James Campbell is criticising here a liberal mindset in which the aim is to make our biological sex not matter. It can be made not to matter either by insisting that what liberals call "gender" - the social expression of our biological sex - is fluid and not dependent on our being male or female, or else by denying that there are only two sexes, male and female, or else by blurring the lines in both respects.

The problem is that this mindset can't just be dismissed as crackpot as it is the state ideology. That's why Roz Ward is being allowed to help write the curriculum for Victorian state schools and James Campbell isn't. The transgender movement is triumphing everywhere because it fits into the "operating system" of society. So we either change the operating system or we can expect crackpot ideas to go mainstream over time and to move beyond criticism.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Trump, the blank slate, tattoos and more

Donald Trump was asked by a reporter to define conservatism. The most he could offer was "I think it’s a person that doesn’t want to take risks..a person that wants to conserve."

But nor could the readers at Breitbart do much better. Most commonly they defined conservatism by offering up some version of classical liberalism: individual liberty, constrained federal government, free enterprise.

I left a comment of my own:
Conservatism is not really about not wanting to take risks. It is wanting to conserve the things that are undermined by a liberal ideology. Liberalism begins with the idea that there is nothing of meaning or value existing as part of reality outside the individual. Therefore, what matters is the individual self-defining or self-determining his own meaning and value (the meaning is in the act of choosing, the "agency", rather than in what is actually chosen). Morality in this view is accepting the right of others to do the same thing (hence the moral focus on tolerance, non-discrimination, etc.) For liberals, things that are predetermined, and can't be self-determined, limit human freedom and should be made not to matter. This includes what liberals call "gender" (the social expression of our biological sex) and race/ethny.

Conservatives seek to connect man to the things of meaning and value that transcend him (the goodness of which exist objectively independent of his will). These include aspects of character and virtue; manhood and womanhood; family (including the fulfilment of offices such as fatherhood/motherhood/husband/wife); nature (man's connection to); nation (love of and loyalty toward); a moral code; a church tradition; art and culture that inspires men toward the higher things; and a continuity between generations past, present and future.

I thought afterwards that there was another angle to all this. If you don't believe that there is anything there, only what you put there, then this explains the longstanding liberal tendency to begin with the blank slate individual.

In other words, liberals like to assume as a model that we begin with nothing and then we make of ourselves something according to our own free will and choices. It is a model which works at two levels. At the individual level it is the model of the self-made man. It is assumed that we make something of ourselves at a public level through our careers, or perhaps through sporting or artistic achievements.

This helps to explain why liberals are so morally focused on the idea of equal opportunity in terms of careers, sports and the arts, even at the extreme level of wanting women to be able to advance in the career of a combat soldier. A conservative would be more focused on the transgressive nature of such a step, of its disruption to a healthy relationship between the masculine and feminine, of it not being a fulfilment of womanhood. But these things are simply not "there" for a liberal mind, they are false social constructs without value; what the liberal mind perceives is the chance for a woman to make herself according to her choices, it is this freedom that brings meaning.

(Remember, too, that if you think of people as essentially "choice makers" then the fact of being a woman is hardly relevant - the category itself won't seem that significant in human life, except as a potential factor in having an unequal chance to be self-made. A liberal won't think in terms of "man" and "woman" the way that conservatives do.)

It should be said that this focus on being self-made does potentially give a kind of dynamism to liberal individuals. They won't be content until they have made it professionally in some respect. Conservatives get a sense of meaning from other things, and this can potentially make us less socially ambitious and therefore leave us in a weaker position to influence society. It's something within the conservative mind we might have to acknowledge and overcome.

Even certain aspects of popular culture, such as tattoos, might be linked to liberal assumptions about the human person. If there is nothing meaningful given to us, but only what we ourselves make of ourselves, then perhaps the human body in its natural state isn't meaningful, but is merely a blank canvas, upon which we then make meaning, perhaps by drawing or writing things that express something about our lives or aspirations or personalities. Hence tattoos. It's different, though, if you think that our bodies already, in their given state, have a depth of meaning and express something deeply significant about who we are - if this is your starting point then tattoos can potentially be visually distracting - the surface meaning of the tattoo can distract from the more profound meaning of the body in its natural state.

The idea of things being a blank slate and being given meaning when the human will acts upon them also works at the level of society and the environment. It's noticeable, for instance, that political leaders are judged in a liberal society not for being good stewards or custodians of a certain valued tradition, but for having made changes - preferably changes along liberal lines ("reforms") but if not that, then any kind of changes. Perhaps part of the explanation for this is that liberals see the idea of people acting upon society and the environment as a good in itself - as being a meaning-making virtue.

Again, this does give liberal societies a certain kind of dynamism, even if it sometimes produces ugliness and excess. It makes for motion. The overall logic of liberal societies is ultimately a self-destructive one, but we should acknowledge and seek to match in our own way the dynamic aspect.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Julie Delpy, the game is stacked against you

You've probably heard the whole "Oscars are racist" thing by now. It seems not to be true that black actors are disadvantaged:
Black actors/actresses in Oscars in the last 20 years:

• 10% of best supporting actor winners were black.
• 20% of best supporting actresses were black.
• 15% of best leading actors were black.
• 5% of best leading actresses were black.

When you calculate the average (10+20+15+5) ÷ 4 = 12.5%.

So, black people are almost perfectly represented in winners, considering their share in the population is 12.6%

Anyway, a white feminist actress by the name of Julie Delpy decided to add to the chorus of complaint by throwing in the idea that women were also victims of film industry discrimination:
...there’s nothing worse than being a woman in this business...Two years ago I said something about the academy being very white male, which is the reality, and I was slashed to pieces by the media. It’s funny; women can’t talk. I sometimes wish I were African American because people don’t bash you afterward. It’s the hardest to be a woman. Feminists is something people hate above all. Nothing worse than being a woman in this business. I really believe that.

You might think that Julie Delpy would be applauded on the left for such a feminist outburst. In fact, it was seen as an unforgivable error. You see, in the leftist hierarchy of oppression, blacks are thought to be much more oppressed than women. White women are at the very bottom of the hierarchy (white men don't even get to be on it).

Julie Delpy

The way the leftist mind works is to think "How dare Julie Delpy claim to occupy the same place of oppression as black people. This shows just how guilty she is of occupying a privileged space. She should know that when it comes to black people she is guilty by virtue of being a white person. All that she can do is to acknowledge this and humbly accept what black people have to say about their oppression."

Julie Delpy tried to apologise for her violation of this leftist view:
I’m very sorry for how I expressed myself. It was never meant to diminish the injustice done to African American artists or to any other people that struggle for equal opportunities and rights, on the contrary. All I was trying to do is to address the issues of inequality of opportunity in the industry for women as well (as I am a woman). I never intended to underestimate anyone else’s struggle! We should stay alert and united and support each other to change this unfair reality and don’t let anyone sabotage our common efforts by distorting the truth.

Common efforts? United? Julie, you're kidding yourself. You think you're equal to others higher than you in the hierarchy of oppression? No way! You have to prostrate yourself a lot more fulsomely than this. In leftist thought you are guilty as an oppressor and have to recognise yourself as such and acknowledge your lack of moral status.

There was, for instance, an avalanche of criticism of her apology at the Jezebel feminist website. This one gives you some idea of the tone of the criticism:
“I’m very sorry (1) for how I expressed myself. It was never meant to diminish the injustice done to African American artists or to any other people that struggle for equal opportunities and rights(2), on the contrary. (3) All I was trying to do is to address the issues of inequality of opportunity in the industry for women as well (as I am a woman)(4). I never intended to underestimate anyone else’s struggle! (5) We should stay alert and united and support each other to change this unfair reality (6) and don’t let anyone sabotage our common efforts by distorting the truth.”(7)

1) End sentence here.
2) It did though. Acknowledge what you are apologizing for; say “it diminished..” as a statement, without qualifiers that excuse you.
3) oh no, don’t even
4) not really the time for more excuses.
5) nobody cares
6) you’re not my friend dummy; you haven’t effectively apologized yet.
7) Are you serious

Do you see from this the kind of self-subordinating, kowtowing posture that is expected from Julie Delpy because of her race? By playing the leftist game she got to feel superior to white men but at the cost of losing all dignity when it comes to dealings with other races.

Is it really worth it, Julie? The game you have accepted is ultimately stacked against you. You are going to lose - you have been assigned a lowly position from which, according to the rules of play, you cannot move.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Great video from Germany

A German group called the Identitarian Movement (about which I know very little) has released a terrific video:

Japan shows Europe the way on refugees

Japan is a wealthy, modern nation. But it still wants to remain distinctively Japanese. Last year Japan accepted only 27 refugees.

It's a tiny number given Japan's population. Even so, it's difficult to see why Japan should even take this many. Why drop someone from Syria into the middle of Kyoto? How does that benefit anyone? The refugees won't fit into the existing culture and society and the existing culture and society won't uphold its existence by accepting those who can't fit in. It will just lead gradually to demands for a homogeneous Japanese people to give way.

Does that mean Japan shouldn't do anything about refugees? No. Japan can be a good international citizen by donating some of its wealth to rehousing Middle-Eastern refugees somewhere safe in the Middle-East. It seems that Japan has taken this logical step already:
The top five donors [to the UNHCR] in 2012 were the United States, Japan, the European Commission, Sweden and the Netherlands.

What a pity that the European nations can't be as sensible as Japan.

Finland, for instance, has been accepting large numbers of Middle-Eastern refugees, but many have left already because they find the Finnish culture too alienating and the weather too cold:
Almost 70 per cent of Iraqi asylum seekers have given up applications in Finland to go back to their war-torn country.

One Iraqi who decided to return said Finland did not live up to the expectations.

He said: "I don't know what happens to me in Iraq, but here I will die mentally."

Another Middle-Eastern arrival agreed:
"You can tell the world I hate Finland. It's too cold, there's no tea, no restaurants, no bars, nobody on the streets, only cars," 22-year-old Muhammed told AFP in Tornio, as the mercury struggled to inch above 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) on a recent blustery grey day.

Again, there is something absurd about dropping Muhammed into Finland in the first place. The Finnish people have created a way of life in a particular environment that they wish to keep and they should be allowed to do so. Middle-Easterners like Muhammed don't find that way of life congenial - it is logical that they be resettled somewhere more familiar to them.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Privileged but dying of despair?

In my last post I criticised the views of a Christian "conservative," David Mills. He believes that all white Americans are privileged; he quotes approvingly the idea that white privilege is "a life-easing level of advantage that comes with just being Caucasian in America, no matter what your wealth, gender or any other status."

One of my readers pointed out in a comment that, amongst other things, this ignores the issue of class. There are signs that working-class white Americans are struggling:
Class also gets ignored. Recent studies have shown extraordinary increases in death rates among white working class American men. Their lack of privilege is literally killing them. Why don't Christian conservatives express any concern about this?

I checked this out and my reader is correct - there has been an extraordinary rise in mortality rates for middle-aged white Americans (both male and female), especially for those who do not have university education.

Late last year The Atlantic ran a story on this titled "Middle-Aged White Americans are dying of despair". It is as if a terrible epidemic had struck this population group:
“half a million people are dead who should not be dead,” Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in economics and co-author of the paper, told The Washington Post. “About 40 times the Ebola stats. You’re getting up there with HIV-AIDS.”

Half a million white Americans in the 45 to 54 age group have died prematurely. In the meantime, mortality rates have continued to improve for black and Hispanic Americans in the same demographic. Hispanic Americans have a vastly better (i.e. lesser) middle-aged mortality rate than do white Americans.

Why? The Atlantic puts it down to despair amongst this group - middle-aged, working-class white Americans are dying of despair. How then can they be enjoying a "life-easing level of advantage" when they are dying at a faster rate than other groups?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My response to David Mills on white privilege

I was very surprised to click on a link and find a post on white privilege written by David Mills. Mills is a former executive editor of First Things, which I had always thought was a somewhat conservative religious periodical. Mills's views on white privilege, however, are indistinguishable from the usual radical secular liberal viewpoint.

Here's something about Mills's post. It might follow the usual far left views, but it is written more calmly and therefore comes across as more reasonable than usual. It's as if a grown up had taken on a childish idea and given it a more polished presentation.

Even so, when you boil down his argument, there's not much there. I tried to explain this in the following comment I left at the site:
The problem with the theory about white privilege is that to make it work the concept of privilege itself has to be narrowed down. In effect it becomes this: "it is a privilege to be the majority ethnic group because you are considered the norm". Which then makes the ethnic Japanese in Japan privileged; the Han Chinese in China privileged and so on. Logically, then, there should be no majority ethnic group anywhere, which then means that no group is in a position to reproduce its own distinctive culture.

Whites are not privileged in other senses of the term. Asian Americans, for instance, do noticeably better than white Americans when it comes to average income; educational outcomes; family stability; professional status and so on. Nor are whites privileged when you look at the global situation: whites are a minority group whose position is everywhere on the decline. Talking about white privilege at this time in history obscures the vulnerable position that nearly all white communities find themselves in.

I could also have mentioned that whites don't really get to benefit from majority status in the kind of easy way that Mills suggests, as we are the group that gets attacked as an oppressor group within the institutions of society, particularly within the schools and universities.

If you do happen to choose to leave a comment at the website I linked to, I'd ask that you make it as calmly reasoned as you can as that is far more likely to have an effect on the readership than anger or indignation.

Naive no more?

The Traditional Britain Group has a Facebook page which has been a terrific source of information on the current immigration crisis in Europe.

One post which caught my attention was about a young German woman who couldn't wait to help the immigrants from North Africa and the Middle-East who are currently flooding into Europe. She applied for a job at a migrant reception centre but gradually her experiences disillusioned her.

I've posted the translation provided by the Traditional Britain Group below. It's an interesting read - especially at the end when the young woman admits that she has changed her behaviour now in response to the behaviour of the immigrant men. Again, you would think that Western feminists would be spitting chips over this kind of thing, but it's unlikely you'll hear anything from them, as their focus is on attacking white males.

Anyway, here it is:
Since Autumn 2015 I have worked as my main occupation and as a permanent employee in a Hamburg Initial Reception Centre for refugees. I applied for this job specifically; it was exactly what I wanted to do. When I finally got the job offer in my postbox, I felt so crazily happy about it; finally I would not just be able to help theoretically, but I could do something practical for the refugees.

Accordingly I went in the best of moods to my first day of work at the initial reception centre; I was naturally excited, of course, you always are on your first day of work in a new job, but otherwise I was very happy. My colleagues were engaged and very nice; although I had no direct contact with the refugees, I greeted them full of enthusiasm in the area and found them all just great.

"That was really great here," I thought. In the next few days I dove into the work full of motivation. That would be with the 1500 refugees who were housed there. I was responsible for their advice on social affairs, was supposed to be a point of contact for all of the refugees' social problems, support them in their asylum applications or make doctor's appointments if they needed them.

Well, and then the first refugees came into my office, in which I was to give advice about social affairs - and even after the first few visits I noted that my very positive and idealistic image of them and their behaviour diverged markedly from reality. Of course we should not make sweeping judgements about all refugees; many of them are very friendly, very thankful, very willing to integrate, very happy to be here. But if I am being honest, working with 90% of those I meet is rather unpleasant and not as I imagined it would be in advance.

First, many of them are extremely demanding. They come to me and demand that I should immediately get them a house and a nice car and, ideally, a really good job, because I have to do that, that's why I sit there and they've come all this way. When I reject that and instead try to explain to them that it doesn't work like that, often they become loud or really aggressive. Recently, an Afghan threatened to kill himself. And some Syrians and a group of Afghans explained they would go on hunger strike until I helped them move to another place. They even screamed to one of my colleagues of Arab origin "We'll behead you!" Due to these and other matters, the police are here several times a week.

Second, they often provide very unreliable information. They come to me and have their papers with them and tell a story that simply cannot be true. But they stick to it and I can only be sure once I have spoken to my colleagues about it and they often say that the person was here previously and told their whole story a bit differently. For example, there was one resident who came to me with his deportation notification and asked me what would happen now. I explained to him then he went away. Soon afterwards he came to my colleague and suddenly showed completely new identification papers in another name and said he was this person with another name. Then he wasn't deported, only moved to another camp.

Third, they rarely keep appointments. I make doctor's appointments for the refugees. All of them need to undergo a basic examination, that means X-rays, inoculation and a general check-up. But many of them want to go to other doctors too, like dentists or orthopaedists. Then I make appointments for them, but when it is time for the appointment, often they don't turn up. That happens so often that the doctors have now asked us not to make so many appointments - but what should I do? I can't just reject the request for an appointment only because I suspect that the person asking for it won't turn up.

And fourth, and this for me is the worst: some of the refugees conduct themselves unspeakably towards women. It is well known that it is mainly men on their own that come to us here, around 60% or perhaps even 70%, I would estimate personally. They are all young, around 20, at most 25. And some of them simply do not have any regard for us women. They accept we are there, they don't have a choice, but they don't take us seriously. When as a women I say something to them or try to give them an instruction, they barely listen to me, immediately dismiss it as unimportant and then simply go again to one of my male colleagues. They often only have contemptuous regards left for us women - or pestering. They whistle after you behind your back, call out after you saying something in a foreign language, which I and most of my colleagues don't understand, laugh. That is really very unpleasant. It is has even happened that they have photographed us with a smartphone. Just like that, unasked, even when we protested. And recently I was going up somewhat steep stairs. Some of the men ran after me there, went up the steps with me, laughing the whole time and - I suspect - were talking about me and calling to me.

Female colleagues have told me that similar things have happened to them. But they said that nothing can be done about it. That it's just part of the job here. It happens so often that if every time a criminal complaint was filed against someone or they were transferred, the institution would be significantly more empty. So they ignore it and try not to let it get to them - and so I have also done that. I have just walked on with my eyes to the front when they whistled after me or called out something. I didn't say anything and didn't make a face so as not to strengthen them, not to give me the feeling that they have done me any harm or could influence me.

But that hasn't helped; it's even become worse - speaking honestly: especially in recent weeks with ever more men from North Africa, Morocco, Tunisia or Libya who have come here to the institution. They were even more aggressive. Then I couldn't ignore it any more - and I reacted. To not expose myself to it any more.

Specifically that means: I started to dress differently. I am actually someone who likes to wear tight things - but not any more. I only wear widely cut trousers and highly-enclosed upper garments. I use make-up very little, at most sometimes a cover stick. And it's not only externally that I've changed, to protect myself from this harassment. I act differently. So, on our grounds, I avoid going to places where there are often men on their own. And when I have to do that I try and pass through very quickly and not smile at anyone in case it is misinterpreted.

But mostly I stay in my small office when possible, even throughout the whole day. I don't take the train to or from work - because recently one of my colleagues was followed to the underground station by some of the young men and harassed even in the train. I want to spare myself that so I come in the car.

I know that must sound serious: dressing differently, avoiding specific areas and only taking the car. And I find it frightful myself that I do all that and consider it necessary. But what should I do, what would the alternative be? Just let myself go on being stared at and propositioned; I can't do that. Not much help is to be expected from the official side. Neither on this matter, nor the other problems that we have, not from the Interior ministry and not from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. When you call them, they often don't go to the phone any more.

Actually all that remains for me really is to hand in my notice. But I always ruled that out before; I like my colleagues a lot, the refugee children too. And I was convinced about the job and the whole thing before - it's hard to admit that everything's a bit different than you had imagined. And handing in my notice would naturally be an admission of this. But I'm now thinking about it nonetheless. Many of my colleagues also want to hand in their notices. Because they can't take it any more, because they cannot look at how badly everything is going here and not be able to do anything about it. And if I'm being honest: I also can't take it any more.

Now the Dutch join in

The residents of a small town in a rural part of The Netherlands were told that they were going to house 500 of Merkel's immigrants. Permanent change of identity for the local population. To their credit the residents did not just passively accept their fate - 1000 of them protested at a meeting organised by town officials to explain the plan, with some attempting to storm the town hall.

My hope is that at least some of these residents will now become politically active. One outburst of anger won't change things, what's needed is a longer term commitment to challenging the establishment parties and to changing the political culture and values that currently dominate Western countries.

If you're interested there are some videos of the demonstration here.