Social taboos: morally disoriented: book tips for the taboo topics of our society

Every time, culture and every society in it has its taboos.

Social taboos: morally disoriented: book tips for the taboo topics of our society

Every time, culture and every society in it has its taboos. Taboo topics are the unspeakable, the depraved, and that is precisely why they exert an inescapable attraction on us. They polarize, outrage and they are constantly changing. It is the task of art and literature to question taboos, even though breaking a taboo for the sake of breaking a taboo does not constitute art.

But how do we find our taboos, after all, breaking taboos in our open society is almost de rigueur and sometimes even resembles a staging. This requires a close look at social developments and the moral concepts of our time. Because at its core, breaking a taboo consists in shifting or transgressing the limits of this morality. A veritable indicator of such a shifting of boundaries is always the social ostracism of a person for something that he or she said, wrote or did. Look at Galileo Galilei, who ended up in prison for discovering that the earth revolves around the sun.

In order to break a taboo, a group of people must be outraged about something they said or did because it does not correspond to their own moral standards. And it's easy to find that, chronically indignant people of all stripes regularly get into top form on Twitter and ostracize - or cancel - people with different values ​​and moral concepts. They don't end up in prison, but in a shit storm and moral imprisonment.

So we do have them after all, our taboos, only they are no longer defined as clearly as the Church adopted for us for many centuries. This task is now being taken on by political groups, the conservatives as well as the Woken - only the center remains relaxed as usual. Taboos can be found in topics that are hotly debated, such as the new feminism and the men's movement, our sex and dating lives, system and gender issues, death, abortion and last but not least in feelings that we don't want to talk about.

Man versus woman, woman versus man, man versus man, woman versus woman, transgender and non-binary versus cis-straight, everyone against everyone, all for each other. Anyone who deals with feminism and the much smaller and younger men's movement quickly loses track of who actually wants what from whom.

Somehow everyone agrees on their goals: like every ideology, they want to make our lives more bearable and fairer, with simple answers to difficult questions. And yet, for both of them, what the other says is a breach of taboo, because it is always about those boundary shifts that the other group finds objectionable.

It doesn't matter, the movements have political potential and breaking taboos is so commonplace that it's difficult to even keep up. Therefore a small and incomplete overview of the most beautiful taboo breaches, recorded in books:

Not every woman asks herself whether she wants children or not - but almost all feel pressured by society to do so. Be it parents or grandparents, aunts or uncles. The question of when the time will come for her belongs at every unpleasant family celebration. And therein resonates the spirit that being a mother is the most fulfilling thing for women on earth. Sociologist Orna Donath found out in a study that this is not the case and therefore wrote the book "Regretting Motherhood: When Mothers Regret." The issue is not that mothers do not love their children, but that they reject the motherhood that is forced upon them. worth reading.

Does mainstream feminism ignore the problems of women of color? Mikki Kendall asks this question in her book "Hood Feminism" and comes to a sobering conclusion. The work provides a deep insight into the reality of life for women and girls in the USA, shows problems such as housing shortages or educational opportunities and gives advice on how to solve them. And she criticizes the predominantly white feminism.

Sexism against men - is that even possible? Yes, says Arne Hoffmann in his book "Not am Mann - Sexismus gegen Jungs" and is harsh on the feminism movement in Germany. In order to substantiate his theses, he consults studies and arrives at surprising results. It's well known, and somehow accepted, that men often lose out in custody battles. However, the fact that they are victims of sexually violent crimes in wars with a similar frequency as women is a topic that neither the men concerned like to talk about nor is the general public aware of.

Imposing a collective pattern of behavior on an ethnic group is the epitome of racism. That's what young and woke people tend to do when they talk about old white men. Maybe that's why Sophie Passmann chose the new modern concept of the enemy as the title of her book. After all, nobody who talks about old white men wants to be convicted of racism. Your book just picks at just those men, and when it does, it's quite self-deprecating and entertaining. For her attempt at conciliation, Passmann traveled around the republic and met with men who are white and old and powerful. She doesn't really succeed, because the men selected deal with the subject in a too thoughtful manner. The experiment is entertaining nonetheless.

We'll stay in politics for a little longer, because where else is there so much fighting over the borders as here? If the liberal celebrates capitalism as the liberation of the peasants from their feudal lords, the communist sees it as the enslavement of the working class. Whoever has eaten the truth with spoons depends too much on which arguments better reflect the reality of the reader's life.

Nevertheless, rethinking the order of the economy and society has always been viewed as breaking a taboo. There was a man 2000 years ago who was nailed to the cross for it. But thanks to climate change, water shortages and regular floods, sticking to the old is now taboo. What to do? Pick up a book and form your own opinion:

Bend up is the German's favorite career path and unpaid overtime is part of our culture. The 40-hour week is our lifeblood and laziness is a work of the devil. The fact that lazy people sometimes work more efficiently is of course nonsense and the unconditional basic income only means that nobody works anymore. Yes, rethinking our working life meets with strong resistance and those who do it are threatened with ostracism in the working world. Good that we have our favorite liberal neighbors in the Netherlands and that in the form of Rutger Bregman. In his book "Utopias for Realists", the journalist and historian advocates a 15-hour week and an unconditional basic income. For the sake of progress, he dares to anticipate the impossible, ruling out the absence of alternatives.

Patriarchy is one of the inflationarily used battle terms of modern feminism and its end is proclaimed by figurehead and journalist Margarete Stokowski in her book "The Last Days of Patriarchy". This is a smorgasbord of her columns and essays from 2011 to 2018, partially edited and annotated. A piece of contemporary history about the long journey of breaking up existing structures.

It's amazing how much we talk about language these days. For some genders, this means the total inclusion of all people in the language and others see it as the impoverishment of German grammar. Those who do not change their texts will be canceled and those who do will not be read. Apart from that, there are words that are considered taboo in society as a whole. Yes, language is only too happy to push its boundaries. Maybe that's why Fabian Payr felt compelled to write a book against the gender star. In "Of people and people: 20 good reasons to stop gendering" he does exactly that. Breaking a taboo for all advocates of the gender star.

Do you consider yourself to be a totally enlightened and open person? Do you sometimes reach for the whip when you want it to be a little "kinky"? That's nice, but with "Fifty Shades of Gray" not every sex taboo has been lifted. With new technology comes new taboos. You probably don't talk about your partner's porn addiction at work. And he or she not with you.

And the topic of pedophilia is less suitable for small talk - especially when the perpetrators are women. That is impossible! Victimless crime, jokes the unpleasantly chubby colleague, who likes to be ball busted by dominatrixes. That's what the practice is called when women step into his privates with full force. Ouch. Yes, there are still many taboos on the subject of sexuality. How about sadomasochism, incest or zoophilia? There is something for every taste.

Am I addicted to porn or just a hobby masturbator? Pascal Gabriel asks this question in his book "Unfuck your World" and explains how porn harms us, how man manages to get away from it and what advantages a porn-free life brings with it. A book for anyone who wants to get the sleazy movies out of their heads and swap them for a porn-like life.

There's a universal rule on the internet: if you can think of something, it's porn. And be it ever so absurd. The neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam know this too, which is why they set about breaking down the porn consumption behavior of our species in their book "A Billion Wicked Thoughts" in 2012. Her findings are amusing and entertaining, and the differences between men and women are obvious. A goldmine for all people interested in crazy disturbing fetishes.

Would you like a novel of world literature for a change? In Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita," a 40-year-old falls in love with a minor and learns how his love -- or what he thinks is love -- takes absolute control over him. And as despicable as pedophilia is, it is astonishing what Nabokov manages to do, especially at the beginning of his masterpiece: to give the reader sympathy for the troubles of a pedophile. More taboo is not possible.

From sex to flirtation: Just be yourself. That's the advice most people give when it comes to dating. If the self is a 35-year-old virgin who has never even kissed a woman or a man, then that is very humble advice. Now, just the revelation of being a 35-year-old virgin counts as breaking a taboo in our excessively over-romanticized and sexualized, yet prudish, heteronormous society. And nowhere is this dichotomy more evident than in our dating and love lives.

Boundary shifts are part of the business. A few years ago it was still considered wicked to be on Tinder, but today we are willingly holding countless options of potential and neatly photoshopped partners in our hands and wiping our fingers bloody. However, female Bundeswehr officers must not be too revealing. That would be immoral and would damage the reputation of the Bundeswehr - at least that was the opinion of the army labor court.

Conversely, many women see it as immoral if they are approached by guys for the purpose of coitus. "I have a boyfriend" is probably the most common defense to avoid unwanted small talk. Literature, namely that of so-called pick-up artists, tells us how man supposedly does it better.

These are self-proclaimed pick-up artists and they give more or less useful tips on how men exude "dominance" or at least fake it, how to keep that "frame" and what "Cocky

Pick Up Artists have taboos in abundance. Starting with sexist talk that degrades women to sex objects and the top maxim that a multi-physical lifestyle is the greatest thing. But is it really just pure manipulation to lure women into bed, or is personality development behind it? The topic is always interesting for both men and women and the answer is in literature, for example by Neil Strauss.

The American journalist delivers three standard works of the pick-up scene. Beginning with "The Game", an autobiographical work about his beginnings and successes, to "The Ripper" a guide to his lifestyle and finally reckoning with pickup truck culture in "The Naked Truth". His picking skills eventually led him to therapy. game over

Who would have thought: true happiness is not (for everyone) buried in acting out a sex addiction, but perhaps in deep interpersonal relationships and a spark of empathy. But a man just has to open his mouth for both if he wants to set them up and show them off. The standard German literature is provided by Maximilian Pütz and Arne Hoffmann in "The Casanova Code" - uhlala, among others.

Which brings us to the next topic. Having fun in someone else's bed because your partner no longer wants or can't give you love. Infidelity is still a touchy subject. Logically, because anyone who has been betrayed knows how painful the breach of trust is. And yet it is the order of the day.

Meanwhile, 50 percent of marriages break up. In this case, men are the horned ones and that can give the tender ego a real crack. Or they are the assholes. Women, on the other hand, run the risk of being called "sluts" if they seek emotional closeness in strangers' beds. In her book "Cheating," Michèle Binswanger reveals how to do it right and whether it might not be better to discuss the topic openly.

But who actually wears the pants when dating and cheating? We men certainly don't, even if after decades of emancipation we are still left to take the first step. As every man and woman knows: pussy is power. And this power is reserved for women. At least that's what the biologist Meike Stoverock says in her book "Female Choice". The woman decides which man is allowed to pass on his genes.

It is true that social (male) constructs such as marriage, house and farm prevailed for a long time in order to curb this power. But thanks to emancipation, this is hardly relevant today. As a result, few men enjoy the attention of many women and many men value their healthy hands more than ever. So how do men and women live together? Like sex on prescription for lonely guys? You can find the answers in "Female Choice".

With her debut work "Three Woman", journalist Lisa Taddeo achieved instant international success. The book revolves around the sexual experiences of three women who couldn't be more different. One sleeps with other men in front of her husband at his request (cuckolding is what it's called), one was seduced and abandoned by her teacher as a teenager and sues him, and one rediscovers her childhood sweetheart after a long and boring marriage and develops a romantic relationship with him married man. A book that plays with the great taboo of female sexuality in a multifaceted and profound way and is based on true events.

Imagine Mario Bart jokes from a woman's brain and you get the condensed version of What Women Think But Don't Say by author Negah Amiri. The comidienne describes exactly what the title says, with "What Negah Amiri thinks and says" would be a better fit. It's pretty sexist at times, hostile to men in a number of places and wonderfully taboo-free. If the book had been written by a man in the same context, the pages would either have remained blank because we just don't think (haha) and just say what we say. Alternatively, he would have been crucified by the hysterical Twitter community. Unfortunately, the many jokes remain as shallow as the one above, but this is exactly the light fare for the all-inclusive holiday on Malle in intellectual low flight, which a gin and tonic-soaked male brain can still just about tolerate.

You don't talk about death. In Germany in particular, we tend to neglect the subject as usual. Especially when it comes to self-chosen suicide and thus active euthanasia. And this is exactly where we find ourselves in a social dilemma: the protection of life is anchored in our Basic Law just as much as human dignity. And here the difficult question arises as to when life is dignified and when it is not, and whether one is even allowed to ask this question. Or is every life dignified?

And who can better decide what dignified means than each human being for himself? And what to do when the person can no longer communicate or is terminally ill? Is it really advisable to allow oneself authority over the body of one's fellow human beings and to regard every life as worthy of protection, including the unborn? Difficult questions that have been wrestled with for years. People thought they were already making progress, but in the USA anti-abortion opponents are celebrating a second spring.

Jeanne Diesteldorf tells the story of twelve women who had an abortion in her book "(K)eine Mutter: Abortion". Heated debates about the pros and cons of abortion show that the subject is still considered taboo in society. It offers a deep insight into the inner life of at least every fourth woman in Germany. Because so many in this country have had an abortion.

Doctors actually save people's lives. Unless they are palliative care professionals like Dr. medical Michael de Rider. In his book "Anyone who wants to die must be allowed to die" he explains why he helps people commit suicide. In it, the doctor also speaks of personal experiences with patients and under what conditions he is willing to help people commit suicide.

Let's talk about our psyche. Disclosing your mental illness has been taboo for far too long. Today it is almost fashionable to have a crack, the first critics complain. Fortunately, revealing feelings and illnesses is no longer a taboo. But it breaks a taboo to discuss the dark side of our feelings. After all, not all feelings are positive and even those that are positive, such as extraordinary empathy, have their dark sides.

Fritz Breithaupt discusses this in his book "The Dark Side of Empathy". Because empathy is not only ideal for sharing joy. No, empathy can also be used to find ways to demean and humiliate other people. The author shows where we encounter these dark sides of empathy itself and in everyday life and shows how dominant they are in our lives.

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