Women and the Politics of Gender

TitleWomen and the Politics of Gender
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsCanning, Kathleen
EditorMcElligott, Anthony
Book TitleWeimar Germany
PublisherOxford University Press

The history of women and gender in the Weimar Republic was profoundly shaped by the four years of the First World War and its revolutionary end. The wartime transformations of women's place in German society, and the anxieties they generated, were formative of gender relations in the Weimar Republic, from the figure of the 'new woman' who became representative of both the crisis and promise of modernity in the 1920s, to that of the 'new man', whose idealization of war and fantasies of revenge became a hallmark of nationalist politics in the mid-1920s. The politics of gender in the Weimar Republic were profoundly shaped by the war and the widely shared sense that the transformations it wrought were in need of thorough and urgent reversal. Thus underpinning the fragility of the Weimar economy and state, its political party landscape and welfare system, was the drive to return to the pre-war notions of family and gender as the foundation of social stability.

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