Open Thread for discussion of terror attacks in Paris

Paris tonight
Paris tonight

There have been multiple terror attacks in Paris. As I write this, there are reportedly dozens dead, and hostages being held.

I hope all WHTM readers in Paris are safe, and that this nightmare doesn’t get any worse.

This is a NO TROLLS/NO MRAs thread.

301 replies on “Open Thread for discussion of terror attacks in Paris”

Just to clarify: my bewilderment about the soccer was because I had initially only heard about the shootings near the stadium and the bombing at the entrance, so my first thought was “Geez, was this about the FIFA scandal?” Now it’s like… well, fuck.

Mercifully, a friend of mine who lived in Paris for a couple years and met his fiancee there reported that his Parisian friends and her family are okay.

Is it weird or wrong that every time something like this happened, my first reaction is concern over the racism and jingoism that it’s inevitably going to stir up?

[trigger warning — rape]

Started the year with a crippling depression from a rape in the end of 2014, lost most of my friends because I couldn’t even stand up, fought with my entire family for the same reason, my relationship that was great for almost 3 years became a series of fights with periods of peaceful conversation that we stepped in eggs to mantain until the next fight about feminism , was diagnosed with PTSD two months ago, can barely sleep cause I wake up crying from dreams with dead people and rape and cannibalism. Oh, and my grandmother died in horrible conditions and I feel guilty for it. And I have been going through horrible economical problems every since 2013. And now this. 2015 is the worst year. Fuck 2015.

Sorry for the rant. But seriously. Fuck it.

I keep typing and deleting… I’m just going to go with — as much as France is mocked as being a weak country, you guys gave fucking Hitler a giant middle finger, you’ll make it through this too.

“Antifa groups have documented the rise in violence in direct proportion to the “tolerance” of hate propaganda, even if the group producing it isn’t overly violent. This is doubly true when they are.”

Makes sense:

Allport’s Scale of Prejudice, escalating from 1 to 5:

1. Antilocution: Hate / negative speech, images, and jokes.

2. Avoidance: Avoidance / exclusion of the minority group.

3. Discrimination: Prejudice in action; denial of services and opportunities.

4. Physical Attack: Physical harm to people and property; hate crimes.

5. Extermination: Extermination or removal of much or all of the minority group.

One thing leads to another. I remember my professor’s words: “You can’t have discrimination without first antilocution.”

Yes, i’m over sharing with people I don’t even know, while I can’t bring myself to tell everything to my own mother or best friend. I have no idea why. Sorry. TW FOR RAPE IN MY PREVIOUS COMMENT IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET.

Thanks dear. Good to put it out even if it’s randomly and to strangers like this. Sorry for taking away the focus of the post, everyone, I immediately regretted my decision. This is not the time and place.

Sociology teacher? This is actually great, to see the relation of things like this. I’ll save that list, thank you.


PTSD sucks ass. Sorry about that. You deserved better.

Any time I think I’m down I think about my friend who is in a coma. Also happened this year, Februray. Shit fuck damn. Anyway, that’s my personal perspective check, regardless of how sucky the year has been, at least I’m not in a coma! Talk about low bars….

Disclaimer: this is not a judgement on anyone’s shitty year. The “perspective check” ONLY refers to myself and MY situation.

Chiomara, I went ahead and added a trigger warning to that comment. So sorry you had to endure all that!. And don’t feel bad about sharing it here.

My heart goes out to all those in this thread who’ve been having a terrible year. And the people of Paris. And Beirut, and Baghdad, and Japan, and anywhere else things are horrible right now.


@Chiomara – All the kitty hugs you want. Sometimes it is easier to tell our secrets to strangers than our friends. I hope you have someone you trust to talk to but take all the time you need. Best of luck to you.


Thank you! That means a lot to me. (Sorry if I missed anyone else, I’m skimming through the comments)

I currently reside in the US but both my parents live RIGHT outside of Paris (I’m going there to visit them for Christmas). Fortunately they are both safe. I’ll be calling them tomorrow since it’s currently the middle of the night over there.

My heart goes out to the victims of these horrible terrorist attack. I was in tears when I heard the step-by-step development, now I’m running through a lot of emotional states. So much devastation, it’s horrifying!


For what it is worth, for every single time I have heard a doctor say “it doesn’t look like cancer, but let’s do the test just to be sure”, the doctor has always been correct. And, YAY PIE. He sounds like he’s in good spirits, and that is always a good thing.


You aren’t over sharing. That is the great thing about anonymity. The people here really do care/sympathize, and it takes away from nothing to talk about other things that are bothering us while we are waiting to hear updates. I can sympathize with you, although I haven’t had all of the experiences you have had, I understand financial struggle. Money, and specifically not having enough of it, is hard. I understand. You are most definitely not alone.

@Bvh Thank you plenty. Unfortunately I think I’m past the point where such thoughts worked.

@David Thank you for putting the TW, and for the support. I can’t avoid feeling guilty *sigh*. Lately, I have been feeling guilty about pretty much everything. My heart goes to all of those people and for you too, David, this seemed to be a bad week for you. Sorry for the threats and everything.

@Dhag You are too lovely and, from your profile pic, too pretty too. Just like my childhood pet. Thank you, you’ve been a sweetheart to me since I entered.

@Kestrel Kitty hugs are the best hugs! I trust them, but I tell a tiny part for each person. First because I am afraid of victim blaming, second because I don’t want to worry them. I am glad I can tell you. Thank you.

@Moocow Yeeeey, you’re well! *little happy dance*

Yay, creepy sloth group hug! :p


Fingie says thank you for the compliment, and he’s purring quite loudly. 🙂

It’s 6am and I’m going to bed now. Take care, all.

@Raysa Thank you. Yes, people are horrible about money, I can’t get to figure how hasnt humanity destroyed itself 3 weeks after the invention of economy, seriously. Worst of all is having money problems when you can’t be brave enough to go to the kitchen and eat food, imagine work or study. So you all have an idea, I have had about 6 hours of sun since march. Consider I live in brazil and all I have to do to catch some sun is climb one stair. That’s how lazy depression got me. But i’m slowly getting better, thanks to therapy and meds.

(ps: Yes, I know that’s not healthy. If you all wonder what happens when you don’t catch sun for that long, the answer is a dermatitis that makes your face peel like you are a snake, plus ghostly pale skin. If you are a goth with a fascination for snakes, I recommend.)



Was it you that posted sloths in the previous thread? Oy, they are my new favorite thing. I can feel endorphins releasing into my brain just from looking at them.

Was at 500m of one of the attack, in the house of a friend. The hard part being mostly the nervous pressure from the constant siren and the fear to go home.

Ohlmann, that must have been nerveshattering, so glad you’re ok.

caketastydelish, it is a French name, but no. There’s a weird story behind the name but I think I’ll tell it another time.

That sounds terrifying. Stay strong and stay safe.

I’m so glad that your parents are safe.

I’m so sorry that you’re living in the middle of this frightening event. All best wishes.

Thank goodness that your Parisian friends of friends are okay.

I hope that all goes well for your dad. Please keep us posted.

I really liked Chiomara’s suggestion: Take deep breaths, keep the phone near, and watch some silly show on TV. (This isn’t the first time that I’ve gotten excellent advice from someone quoting their therapist, their dad, or some other wise person.)

If I’ve left anyone out, I apologize. Please know that I am sending good wishes to everyone.

You’ve been through hell in the past 12 months. I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m glad to hear that you are slowing being “recalled to life.” (I’m quoting Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities.” The phrase just seems really appropriate.)

I think that Mammoth is a good place to talk about trauma. I think that other readers understand.

Here’s what I discovered about not getting enough sunlight: I get eye infections. So now I make sure to get out in the daylight regularly.

All best wishes for your continued recovery. My kitties send hugs. You’re going to make it!

@Chiomara Im really sorry someone did that to you. I hope you can get the medical care and social support and money and all the things you need…

….The most important and loved person in my life has been assaulted for not the first time recently and they cant tell many people because they will be blamed for it (being vague on purpose) and as a result people are unkind to them about being a total wreck; by extension this has made me a wreck too. For awhile I thought I could try to convert strangers away from rape culture but unfortunately my preaching made me a target instead…. Its that much harder to live with a burden no one can see… so my heart goes out to you and survivors like you and I just want you to know you are not alone. If you need resources, we have been helped by RAINN & RVA.

Please accept a consignment of hugs (unless you dislike being touched, in which case a consignment of best wishes instead.) Being able to talk about it head-on is a hugely positive step and shows what a brave and together person you are.

I’ll follow WWTH’s example since she always tends to be the wisest of us all, and post some pictures of adorable baby elephants. Oh Katie, grant your benevolence and let these embed.

If These terrorists indeed intend on discouraging help for refugees, we ahould all respond by doing even more to help refugees. I know a local school that will be getting a lot more from me for their donation drive…

I truly hope that you find healing and peace and joy. You deserve to live and to be able to smile again. Please never be ashamed of getting help or of needing it. We are put on this earth to be in community with one another, and when we cease to be in community, we fall to pieces. I think we are seeing some of that in Paris: people stopped communicating, stopped talking, stopped growing and rotted inside. I wonder what would have reached the perpetrators of this violence and made them reconsider? Probably we will never know. At least you and I are alive, and I am praying for healing for you to the God who might possibly exist 🙂

@anyone in Paris: I don’t even have words. I am so deeply hurt for your people. Je mort de triste. Je suis American, mais je suis Charlie, je suis Parisian, et je vous aime beaucoup. Je prie à Dieu pour notre santé, et j’espère que les hommes qui ont attaqué vous soient traduits en justice.

Translation so the comment doesn’t just get zapped: I am dying of sorrow. I am American, but I am Charlie (Hebdo), I am Parisian, and I love all of you very much. I pray to God for your health, and I hope that the men who attacked you are brought to justice.

@EJ (The Other One)
Those baby elephants . . . they’re amazing. I love their smiles.

All hail Katie, who embeds adorable animal pics.

I woke up this morning thinking of Paris. I was thinking that in the concert hall, (where most of the victims died), most people would have been with their partners. I do hope there are no new orphans in Paris this morning. Such huge loss and grief and shattered lives for those left behind. Sending love and condolences.

I’m really concerned that this event is going to cause another resurgence of religious violence and mosque burnings in France, like the last terrorist attack resulted in. 🙁

some interesting non “press” analysis so far

And with Merkel losing ground

The European fallout may be harsher than post London/Madrid. Especially as France has suffered the bloodiest attacks in recent times.

Having been in close vicinity to the Bishopsgate Bombing, The TV center bombing, Ealing Broadway bombing and lastly two trains in front of 7/7. I know what the citizens if Paris are feeling right now. Confused, scared and relived that now the atrocity has come to an end. I really feel for them.

Thanks all. I slept a few hours and I feel better now, just thinking “it happened yesterday” helps. I’m still worried about a few things including, as some have already said, attacks on french muslims as retaliation, we already have more than enough islamophobia and some people are already blaming refugees.

@chiomara It’s impossible for me to know how you feel right now, but I hope you get better.

If the time is to cute animals, I’d like to share my personal favorite: the bernese mountain dog puppy

Now I’m going to try to think of something else, watch something fun.
Have a good day everyone.

I’m going to de-lurk now. I’ve been following the blog all the time, but was just too stressed out in both job and private life to comment. Hi, everybody! Hope to be more present here in the future.

Anyways, this is just awful. I feel totally helpless in the face of such nonsensical violence. I have friends who live in Paris, hope they are ok. I haven’t yet heard of them, but I’m not too worried – one is a journalist and civil rights lawyer, and probably superbusy right now.

I feel that there is a connection to the overall theme of WHTM, because with terrorists, we are (mostly) dealing with a specific kind of toxic masculinity, which manifests itself in extreme acts of violence. Klaus Theweleit, a German psychoanalyst and cultural studies scholar, has tried to capture that in his recent “The Laughter of Killers: Breivik et al.”, in which he describes the “free killers” (i.e. non-state actors like ISIS of whom it is often said that they laughed while committing their deeds) who celebrate a “culture of violence” – he connects that to his earlier analyses of fascist masculinity.

Concerning Chancellor Merkel:
Germany has already returned to the Dublin system concerning refugees from Syria. While Merkel has opened the borders and has faced criticism from her own party and the coalition party for that, the German parliament has actually passed legislation that tightens asylum laws, extending the number of “secure third states” into which people can be deported, streamlining asylum procedures for “economic refugees” and giving people in asylum homes only in-kind benefits instead of pocket money (which seriously limits people’s options). Also, I’m pretty sure her motivation for opening the borders was that closing them would produce horrible pictures, which nobody would want to see.

I fear that the terror attacks in Paris will be connected to the refugee question, although all security agencies agree that the number of terrorists among the refugees is basically zero – ISIS has much better means to send people to Europe, without them having to risk an arduous journey along the refugee routes.

Hell’s bells – I woke up to this horrible news.

Hugs to everyone – too many to mention here.

But @autosoma – I was also within earshot of the Ealing Broadway bombing as I was walking home to my Mum’s in Kent Gardens: thought it was a gas main exploding. And I was passing by the Admiral Duncan pub when they were dragging out the dead and injured…

The Calais refugee camp is burning at the moment, caught fire in the small hours, which may be accidental as there are lots of fire hazards there, gas bottles, parafin lamps, and no water. This was reported by the BBC, then retracted and the images said to be of a fire a week or so ago, but I have friends working with the refugees there right now and they have confirmed it. As far as I know, no casualties, but a lot of damage: many tents destroyed and the store is low on sleeping bags at the moment. The borders are still open, in the sense that the Channel Tunnel and the ferry are still running, so people will continue to visit from here to bring donations. A couple (it seems people of colour) report having been harassed by the French border police while returning from visits to Calais

Worst tweets – always kind of interesting to see who has the worse response to any atrocity – I think Julian Assange’s is pretty shitty. And Trump is of course a deflated condom of nonsense (it’s a lot easier to get guns in France than it is in the UK, for example) as usual.

I have so much on my mind but for now I just want to say that France is a strong country, and opposite to the “weak” trope I see on American tv shows. This is a horrific situation and can and will have wide spread effects regarding Syrian situation and people who need to come to Europe for safety. The reactions will be strong whether they are solidarity or vitriol.

I hope the public conversation will be loud and intelligent, for solutions towards better. The terrorists cannot get their wish to stir up hatred towards the wrong people.

My thanks to David as well, this will be the only online conversation about this I will read. The best people are here.

@chiomara – your post made me cry. No-one should have to go through any one of those things – let alone all of them piled on. Hoping for rapid healing for you, and that your situation improves from here on.

Re Paris – I really have no words. But hate is what the terrorists want. We defeat them with Love.

That must be terrifying. I am sorry you’ve been through that.

@kat Thank you. I know this place is awesome, I have been visiting it daily since April or so ^^. I love kitty hugs, only the mental image already makes me smile, please do send me lots of those.

I have returned to a more rational state of mind now.

I do take pride in that despite their hatred and preparation, the slaughter was much less than what it could have been. I fear the reaction of the political world and the pressure of far right extremism.

possible TW – quite strong imagery. Read while hugging a kitty.

@Kale Oh, my, my, don’t even tell me about health care. (KALE, IF YOURE SENSITIVE STOP READING) You see, when it happened, I was not too sure it was rape. It was extremely strong coercion and mental and emotional manipulation of a girl who was young, naive and kind. But I didn’t feel guilty, I felt destroyed, invaded, but I felt stronger. Until I decided to check myself at the doctor, in an specialized clinic. I explained to him I didn’t know if it was rape. He victim blamed me so, so, so bad. He laughed at me during my physical exam (if you get what I mean), that kind of dirty laugh you do when you find an used condom. He compared me to a CRIMINAL (-this is the first time this happens to me, I swear! – Yeah? Well, a thief steals for the first time only too. Then he gets addicted.) . He said he was not sure he would give me the meds because he couldn’t give it to me every time I did “that”, and much more horrible things that I won’t say. It was almost as bad as the thing itself. I am a shy person. When I cry, you can’t see I’m crying. But when I left that hospital I was crying like an animal being eaten. I could barely walk.
sensitive people can begin reading again
Since then I couldn’t go to another doctor, nor take this one into justice. About police, I didn’t even try it. For the nature of the thing itself, because the people who did this are powerful, because there is no evidence I ever was in the nightclub where this happened (they didn’t request my name or documents. Which is funny, since I am pretty young and look even younger, for all they knew, I could be 16.). Since then I wonder, you know, how can anyone say we falsely accuse? Tell you what, takes (for lack of better expression) balls as big as the moon to even truthly accuse, especially if you can’t afford a fancy lawyer.
The way this world is today, there are very few people a victim can trust, and 100% of these people are feminists. I am sorry about your… Friend. I hope (s)he keeps on keeping on. If s) he needs a stranger, my e-mail is p.chiomara at Gmail. I like helping people, it’s really no problem if (s)he contacts.

@EJ I accept trunk hugs :3
You guessed it, I love elephants. Such smart and kind animals, I am somewhat baffled they don’t speak like humans.
I especially like the punk first elephant, with those little hairs starting to grow ^^

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