Hostel Respect

Female refugees in Germany face daily trials that are quite horrible; unfortunately this outcome was predictable. Bad actors exist in any large group of individuals, culture and nationality notwithstanding. However, it is also true that some cultural groups do a better job of respecting the sexual dignity of women than others. ISIS presents an extreme example of this truth – they frequently treat women like servants or slaves.

Regrettably it seems that a notable portion of immigrant men from patriarchal areas of the world struggle to respect women. Germany is not the only country that has encountered a disturbing level of cultural dissonance, Nordic countries have fared similarly. As a result, Norway even began pilot programs designed to teach immigrant men how to behave towards women.

Westerners are not inherently better than anyone else, yet it is also demonstrably true that some cultures promote values that are unfortunate, at best. Hence caring westerners need to think more deeply and plan more carefully: crowding refugees of both sexes into close quarters is guaranteed to multiply the problems migrants and officials must confront. Yet without such a strategy, costs necessarily soar, and thereby make it more likely the next group of asylum seekers will be rejected. This catch-22 creates an unenviable financial, moral, and political quandary.

Well-off westerners of all hues, inclinations, and associations should be thankful for peace and prosperity. Meanwhile it is imperative to learn a simple lesson: government-run hostels are a poor substitute for robust private charity. This is particularly true for woman and unaccompanied children. It is time for European and American leaders to embrace a 21st century Kindertransport, it is time for additional private charity. Top-down government solutions are of little solace when the results are only slightly superior to living in a war-torn country.

Update: an abundance of compassion or blind ideology motivated a well-meaning German activist to lie to the German police about the men who raped her.  

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