Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor, has come under fire for make a joke about gender-neutral bathrooms. Her remark was in response to a campaign waged by the left-wing Green Party to introduce gender-neutral bathrooms in official builds in the state of Berlin.

She said the third-gender toilets were for “men who cannot decide if they want to sit or stand when they pee” on a carnival-themed TV show.

Kramp-Karrenbauer, who succeed Chancellor Merkel as leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU) last December, faced sharp criticism from media, activists, and politicians, including members of her own conservative party.

“After a carnival joke about the third-gender, everyone is taking aim” at Kramp-Karrenbauer, the German daily Bild noted.

German weekly Stern published an open letter by the Green Party politician Sven Lehmann titled: Your jokes “show ignorance and discrimination.” Kramp-Karrenbauer “clearly crossed the line,” commented the public broadcaster SWR.

The foreign press also chimed in, with Politico complained that the German politician was “making fun of minorities on TV.”

“She was sold as a ‘mini Merkel,’ a centrist in the same liberal mould as her predecessor as leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union,” lamented the British newspaper Guardian. “But Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has worked hard to court the conservative wing of her party since taking the top job.”

The newspaper reminded its readers that she was “voted ‘Miss Homophobia 2018’ by an LGBT group last year” due to opposing same-sex marriage.

German State broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported the outrage surrounding Kramp-Karrenbauer’s statement:

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hand-picked successor as leader of the Christian Democrats (CDU), came under fire on Sunday as a video of her making jokes at the expense of minorities began to do the rounds on social media.

Kramp-Karrenbauer appeared on a live broadcast of a Carnival celebration on Thursday, dressed in festive clothing and charged with entertaining the audience in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg.

Making fun of Berlin’s reputation as a hip and progressive haven, she referred to the “latte macchiato party” that has “installed third-gender bathrooms,” in hipster cafes. Mocking the idea of neutral bathrooms that are made with a mind to making gender non-confirming and transgender individuals more comfortable, the conservative leader joked: “It’s for the men who can’t decide if they want to sit or stand when they pee.”

Leftist and LGBT activists have made gender identity a big political issue in Germany. In December 2018, German parliament passed a law recognizing the ‘third gender,’ allowing people to identify themselves as ‘diverse’ on official documents instead of the usual male or female option. The bill was backed by Chancellor Merkel’s ruling coalition and supported by all political parties except the right-wing AfD.

Germany’s carnival, known for its traditional Narrenfreiheit (“jesters’ freedom”) of mocking the high and mighty, has increasingly come under the scrutiny of the left-wing speech police. While poking fun at conservative figures such as President Donald Trump or politicians from the AfD party is encouraged, slights and jokes aimed at the liberal establishment are dealt with utmost severity.

In 2017, the state attorney in western Germany town of Landau opened an investigation against locals who displayed a carnival float showing Chancellor Merkel behind bars, an apparent criticism of her open border migrant policy. “The State Attorney’s office in Landau is examining if the depiction of the Chancellor is a punishable offense,” public broadcaster SWR reported days after the event.

Germany’s media and law enforcement that moved at a snail’s pace in the wake of the New Year’s Eve mass sexual assaults are quick to enforce politically correct speech norms. While Germany’s speech police are busy taking offence over petty jokes, Muslim imams across the country are openly preaching Antisemitism and ISIS-style jihadism.


[Cover image via YouTube]