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Da min mormor indtog Berlin. Om slutshaming og heltemod.

grandmother-1

I morgens gratulerede jeg min datter med Sejrsdagen. 72 år siden var min mormor blandt den røde armé, som indtog Berlin. Få dage efter, den 9 Maj, erklærerede Sovjetunionen sin sejr over Nazityskland. Mens jeg flettede Zoyas hår i morgens, fortalte jeg hende om min mormors krigstid, og når hun kommer hjem fra skolen, skal vi snakke om det igen.

Den officielle måde at snakke om vores sejr er gennem billeder af storslået sovjetiske våbenparader, og glade hjem returnerede helte, som bader i floder af påskønnelse. Man glemmer gerne de helte, som blev alt andet end værdsatte, og det er det jeg vil snakke med min datter om.

For selvfølgelig var min mormor en helt i mine øjne. Som 16 – årige tilsluttede hun sig frivilligt den Røde Armé og blev en sygeplejerske. Sygeplejerske arbejde bestod ikke kun i at pleje de sårede på hospitalet, men i at samle dem op fra slagmarken. At kravle hen imod den sårede soldat, samle hans immobiliserede krop op samt hans våben (for uden våben var han intet værd), og kravle tilbage med dem på skulderne. Og sådant dagen langt i fire år, uden at selv have en måde at beskytte sig på. Det er svært at forestille sig en ungdom i disse kulisser, i stedet for gymnasiet og druk-leg.

En ske, som min mormor tog med fra Berlin. På skeen kan en svastika og  wehrmacht adler ses.

Skeen, som min mormor tog med fra Berlin. På skeen kan en svastika og wehrmacht adler ses.

Efter krigen kom hun tilbage til sin landsby. Men i modsætning til mænd, som kunne bære deres medaljer med stolthed, blev hun ikke behandlet med respekt, påskønnelse og privilegier. I stedet for, blev hun udskammet: det var tid for good old fashioned slutshaming.

For de kvinder, som blev hjemme med børn i krigstiden, symboliserede kvinder som var på fronten deres største fjende. Det var de unge sygeplejersker, som deres mænd havde romantiske forhold og sex med i krigsår. Det var de unge sygeplejersker, som disse få mænd, som ikke blev slået ihjel eller lemlæstet af tyskere, forlod deres tidligere familier for. Derfor har de mødre, koner og enker ikke tænkt sig at respektere de hjemvendte kvinder, men gjorde hvad de kunne for at løfte sin prestige på bekostning af front-kvinderne. Normaliteten blev at kalde de tilbagevendte for beskidte ludere, og hermed markere at man ikke selv var det. Lige som altid, når man udskammer en kvinde, gjorde man det ved at kalde hende seksuel uren.

Min mormors situation var værre end normalt, da hun også kom hjem gravid. Gravid med en af de altid single soldater, som efter krigen viste sig til at have kone og børn. I stedet for æren, blev hun udskammet til den grad at hun prøvede at drukne sig sammen med sin nyfødte søn. Og hvad er bemærkningsværdig her, så var dem, som var efter hende, primært andre kvinder. I stedet for at støtte hinanden omkring at være ekstra seksuel udsatte under krigstiden, har kvinder valgt at gøre det kun værre for hinanden.

Sådan kom de tilbage, kvinder, som ofrede deres ungdom for fred. Uniformen blev taget af, medaljerne blev gemt, og det, at man var på fronten blev ikke nævnt. Fordi de nok havde sex med ”vores mænd”. Samtidig bar disse mænd, som nok havde sex med de unge kvinder, sine medaljer med stolthed. De blev fejrede, respekterede og privilegerede.

Dette eksempel fra min mormors liv er det, som fra barndommen af har fået mig til at tænke over hvor ulige stillede vi er selv i en ligestillet samfund, selv med lige sociale og økonomiske rettigheder, så længe slutshaming eksisterer.

Situationen har ændret sig på de sidste 70 år, men ikke meget. Kvinder vælger stadigvæk at kalde hinanden for ludere, bare for at løfte sig selv op og hermed pointere at de selv ikke er nogen ludere. Donald Trump, som har en uendelig liste af seksuelt chikane og voldtægt beskyldninger, sidder i det hvide hus, mens Nikita Klæstrup blev udskammet for hendes berømte kjolevalg til en politisk sammenkomst. Slutshaming er stadigvæk en stærkt våben til at regulere kvinder med.

Det er vigtigt for mig af fortælle min mormors historie som den er til min datter, uden at forskønne den. Delvis fordi hendes kamp gør mig kun mere stolt af hende, men også fordi den historie pointerer endnu engang hvor vigtig kampen mod slutshaming er.

When My Grandmother Took Berlin. About Slutshaming and Heroism.

This morning, I congratulated my daughter on the Victory Day. 72 years ago, my grandmother was among the Red Army, that took Berlin. A few days later, on May 9, the Soviet Union declared its victory over Nazi Germany. While I braided Zoya’s hair in the morning, I told her about her grandmother’s war time and when she gets home from school, we’ll talk about it again.
The official way to talk about our victory is through pictures of magnificent Soviet weapons parades, and happy heroes who came back home and bathe in rivers of appreciation. One is likely to forget about the heroes who were anything but appreciated, and that is what I will talk to my daughter about.

Of course, my grandmother was a hero in my eyes. As a 16 -year-old, she volunteered for the Red Army and became a nurse. Nursing work consisted not only of caring for the wounded at the hospital, but for collecting them from the battlefield. To crawl against the wounded soldier, collect his immobilized body as well as his weapon (for without weapon he was worth nothing) and crawl back with that on your shoulders. And so, it goes on, all day long for four years, without even having a way to protect yourself. It is difficult to imagine a youth in that scenery, instead of high school and drinking games.

After the war, she returned to her village. But unlike men who could bear their medals with pride, she was not treated with respect, appreciation and privileges. Instead, it was time for good old fashioned slutshaming.

For women who stayed at home with children during war time, the women who went to war embodied their biggest enemy. They were the young nurses who their men had romance and sex with during the war years. They were the young nurses whom these few men, who were not killed or mutilated by Germans, left their former families for. Therefore, those mothers, wives and widows did not intend to respect the returned women in generally, but did what they could to lift their own prestige at the expense of the front-women. One would call the returning women dirty whores, and thus highlight that oneself is not a whore. As always, when you are shaming a woman, you do it by calling her sexually unclean.

My grandmother’s situation was worse than normal because she also came home pregnant. Pregnant with one of the always single soldiers who after the war turned out to have wife and children. Instead of being honored, she was shamed to the extent that she tried to drown herself with her newborn son. And what is remarkable here, those who were after her were primarily other women. Instead of supporting each other because of them being extra sexually exposed during the war, women have chosen to make matters worse.
They came back, women who sacrificed their youth for peace. The uniform was taken off, the medals were tucked away, and being with the army to the front was not mentioned. Because they probably had sex with “our men”. At the same time, these men, who probably had sex with the young women, carried their medals with pride. They were celebrated, respected and privileged.

This example from my grandmother’s life got me since childhood thinking about how unequal we are even in a gender-equal society, even with equal social and economic rights, as long as slutshaming exist.
The situation has changed over the past 70 years, but not much. Women still choose to call each other for whores, just to lift themselves up, and point out that they themselves are not whores. Donald Trump, who has endless lists of sexual harassment and rape accusations, is sitting in the White House, whilst Nikita Klaestrup was shamed for her famous dress choice at a political gathering. Slutshaming is still a powerful weapon to regulate women. It is important for me to tell my grandmother’s story as it is to my daughter, without enchanting it. Partly because her struggle makes me even more proud of her, but also because that story once again points to how important the fight against slutshaming is.

   

2 kommentarer

  • I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
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  • Kamilla

    Yir ❤☝🏿

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