Woman outs sexual harassers on Twitter

Woman outs sexual harassers on Twitter
Photo: Twitter screenshot

A woman travelling on a Berlin train on Saturday night took to Twitter to document in real time the behaviour of four men who, she says, were sexually harassing her. The incident has re-sparked a debate about sexism in Germany.


The following is a selection of tweets which were sent on Saturday night from the @totalreflexion account, which has since been set to private.

I'm being called a whore and a cunt by four men. One of them lit a cigarette and said he'd put it on my pussy.

I told him that I would take a picture of him. He accepted that. I also said that I would publish it. He accepted that.

He's taken out his cock. I scream at him. The S Bahn is full. Nobody intervenes.

He opened his pants and came up to me. His friends hold him back. I get out at the next stop and cry.

4 women come up and comfort me and ask if I want to go to the police. My response: "they can't do anything."

According to Bild newspaper, the woman set her account to private after suffering abuse. She's also reported to have contacted the police about the incident.

The debate about sexism in Germany has gained momentum since the beginning of this year. In January, Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle came under fire after a female journalist, writing a column for the Stern newspaper, accused him of making inappropriate advances.

The individual behind Saturday night's tweets is reportedly one of the founding members of the Twitter-based "Aufschrei" (outcry) movement which invites women to share their experiences of everyday sexism using the tag #Aufschrei.

Within a week of its inception in January, more than 50,000 tweets were sent using the #Aufschrei hashtag, Der Spiegel news magazine reported.

German President Joachim Gauck responded to the controversy at the time by calling for a more active debate on sexism in Germany. According to a survey carried out in March of this year, four out of five German women do not believe gender equality has been achieved in the country.

A search for the @totalreflexion account on Tuesday revealed dozens of messages of support for the woman. One user wrote you are brave & now need to heal. Sending best wishes. Good for you for posting the pic.

The Local/kkf



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