‘Men can’t decide how to pee’: Germany’s CDU leader under fire for ‘third-gender bathroom’ joke
Kramp-Karrenbauer, widely known as AKK, made the comments while attending the Jester’s Court in Stockach, southern Germany – an annual carnival-like mock trial in which high-ranking politicians are invited to act as defendants.
Donning a whimsical black dress and a red beret, the CDU chief delivered a 30-minute speech, poking fun at the EU anti-discrimination and “gender laws.” The conservative leader essentially did a stand-up routine and pulled no punches, at one point even asking the court whether “pitiful minorities” were represented.
The event itself happened in late February but a clip from her fiery address was uploaded online just recently. It went viral due to her jibe about transgender bathrooms.
“Has anyone been in Berlin lately? You’d see that the latte-macchiato party had installed bathrooms for the third gender,” AKK told the crowd.
It’s for the men who can’t decide if they want to sit or stand when they pee.
The audience, all dressed in silly carnival costumes, immediately burst into laughter and showered AKK with applause.
However, the joke didn’t land well with some viewers, as well as LGBT advocates and left-leaning politicians. Despite the lighthearted atmosphere of the event, they described this type of comedy as “offensive.”
The backlash was exacerbated by the fact that AKK has a bad reputation among the LGBT community. In December, one gay rights group ‘crowned’ her ‘Miss Homophobia 2018’ due to the conservative politician’s stance against same-sex marriage.
“Do you really need to make cheap jokes at the expense of intersex and transsexual people? If yes, it’s terribly embarrassing,” Green Party lawmaker, Sven Lehmann, wrote in a tweet.
His colleague from the Free Democratic Party, Jens Brandenburg, also asked whether it was hard for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to crack jokes “without bashing minorities.”
“Another day of embarrassment… She doesn’t really have to show her blatant ignorance that way,” he argued.
Berlin’s Mayor Michael Muller from the CDU’s coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party, blasted AKK for “lacking the attitude required towards the issues of discrimination.”
A carnival stunt can be good or bad, funny or mediocre – but there’s always an attitude behind the humor.
Muller’s deputy and Berlin’s Senator for Culture and Europe, Klaus Lederer (the Left Party), called AKK’s speech “a shame” and “a travesty.”
The head of the largest party in parliament “finds it funny to demean people… that don’t fit in the macho norm,” the official suggested.
Some defended AKK’s choice of words, saying that the backlash against her humorous speech was overblown.
“Hey, people, that was a stunt for a carnival. This outrage culture really gets on my nerves. It’s annoying!” CDU lawmaker Johannes Steiniger wrote on Twitter.
Martin Reichardt, a lawmaker from the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), mocked the outrage. “No one can commit sacrilege against the sacred cow, without getting hit by the queer-green bloc,” he argued, adding that AKK should seek “repentance” by kissing the boot of the Green Party leader.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected as the CDU chief in December, replacing Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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