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The long march through the institutions: from Alice Schwarzer to pop-feminism and the new German girls

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Oxford German Studies
Issue number1
Volume43
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)69-88
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The feminist campaigner Alice Schwarzer, West German feminism’s media figurehead since the 1970s, was openly challenged in the mid-2000s by the authors of several neo-feminist volumes. These volumes include Susanne Klingner, Meredith Haaf and Barbara Streidl’s ‘Wir Alpha-Mädchen: Warum Feminismus das Leben schöner macht’ (2008) and Elisabeth Raether and Jana Hensel’s ‘Neue deutsche Mädchen’ (2008). Others, such as Sonja Eismann’s ‘Hot Topic: Popfeminismus heute’ (2007), seek to build bridges between the second wave and new, pop-inflected feminisms. This paper examines intergenerational feminist relations by drawing on theories of postfeminism as well as Foucault’s insights into institutions. Viewing Schwarzer herself as an institution reveals the dynamics of authority, resistance and normalization at play in the encounter between established feminism, popfeminism and postfeminist patriarchal institutions. The paper goes on to examine the dual modes of resistance and collaboration with regard to the second-wave in two contemporary novels: Charlotte Roche’s ‘Schoßgebete’ (2011) and Kerstin Grether’s ‘Zuckerbabys’ (2004).