Alice Schwarzer – Germany

Linked with So long, Marianne.

Alice Schwarzer (born December 3, 1942 in Wuppertal) is the most prominent contemporary German feminist. She is founder and publisher of the German feminist journal EMMA. As the daughter of a single mother she spent her childhood with her grandparents. In 1969 she started working as a journalist. From 1970 to 1974 she worked as a freelancer for different media in Paris. At the same time she studied psychology and sociology, amongst others lectured by Michel Foucault. She was one of the founders of the Feminist Movement in Paris (Mouvement de Liberation des femmes, MLF) and also spread their ideas to Germany. In 1971 she raised public attention for the first time with her project “Frauen gegen den § 218″ (Women against Paragraph 218, which was the German statute that made abortion illegal). In autumn 1971 she released her first book of the same title. She contributed substantially to the abortion debate in Germany, resulting in legalization in 1974. (See Abortion in Germany.) One of her best known books is “Der kleine Unterschied und seine großen Folgen” (The little difference and its huge consequences), which was released in 1975 and made her famous beyond the borders of Germany. It was translated into 11 languages. Since its release, Schwarzer is considered as Germany’s best known, but also most controversial contemporary feminist. She is a second-wave feminist representing concepts of feminist equality, similar to Simone de Beauvoir. One of her goals was the realization of economic self-sufficiency for women. She argued against the law which required married women to obtain permission from their husbands before before beginning paid work outside the home. This provision was removed in 1976. In January 1977 the first issue of her journal EMMA was published. The next years she concentrated on the work for her journal, serving as chief editor and publisher. With her PorNo campaign, started in 1987, she advocates the ban of pornography in Germany, arguing that pornography violates the dignity of women, constitutes a form of medial violence against them, and contributes to misogyny and physical violence against women. The ongoing campaign has not seen much success … (full text).

… Alice Schwarzer not only made her name as an author and activist, but as a publisher as well. In 1977 she launched the monthly magazine EMMA, Europes only independant feminist magazine. Still published today, it regularly sparks heated debates and high-interest campaigns. Although Alice Schwarzer (now aged 57) hails from the pioneer generation of the 1970s, she enjoys an even more prominent position in the public dabate today at the start of the twenty-first century. Her latest book is one of this autumns most eagerly anticipated arrivals. (full text Kiepenheuer and Witsch, 2000 /her book publisher).


Alice Schwarzer – Germany

Her official homepage in german.

She says (on Angela Merkel): … “ Sixty years after Hitler and 87 years after gaining the right for women to vote, the people may have elected her, but the majority of the powerful are still far removed from conceding the highest  office to a woman” … and: “For the first time, we’ve got a woman as head of government. That means something. I hope that this woman really gets a chance and doesn’t continue to be surrounded by disrespect and intrigue” … (quotes).

She is named as political heroe.

… But when it gets dark and the rioting begins, there is not a single woman left on the streets. For on fiery nights like these, the “whores” are in just as much danger as the “sons of whores” … (full text).

Specially some books:

Find her and her publications on better world links; on Frankfurt Bookfair 2007 – Alice Schwarzer; on; on IMDb (in german); on Google News-results; on Google Image-results; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

An honor killing or honour killing is the murder of a family or clan member by one or more fellow family members, when the murderers (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community, normally by (a) utilising dress codes unacceptable to certain Islamic people or (b) engaging in certain sexual acts. These killings result from the perception that defense of honour justifies killing a person whose behavior dishonours their clan or family. The United Nations Population Fund estimates that the annual worldwide total of honour-killing victims may be as high as 5,000 … (full long text).

She says also: … “While we have entertained the contention that a deed may make more propaganda than hundreds of speeches, thousands of articles, and tens of thousands of pamphlets, we have held that an arbitrary act of violence will not necessarily have such an effect” … and: “The god of the Christians, as we have seen, is the god who makes promises only to break them; who sends them pestilence and disease in order to heal them; a god who demoralizes mankind in order to improve it” … and: (next page) “It is the lash of hunger which compels the poor man to submit. In order to live he must sell – `voluntarily` sell – himself every day and hour to the `beast of property” …`(quotes).

… They look back at women’s passionate struggle for their right to vote. What seems so normal today was considered a scandalous, outrageous demand in those days. Not only notoriously misogynistic men rejected women’s suffrage, but also the political parties, from left to right. But then women all over the world rallied together: from Germany’s sharp-tongued Hedwig Dohm to the militant Emily Pankhurst in England right up to America’s legendary Susan B. Anthony … // … Alice Schwarzer, born 1942, journalist and essayist, since 1971, has been one of the most successful authors in Germany. Her books have been translated into numerous languages.  Other titles with Kiwi: Simone de Beauvoir. Weggefährtinnen im Gespräch (2008), Romy Schneider. Mythos und Leben (2008), Marion Dönhoff. Ein widerständiges Leben (2008). (full text).

… Schwarzer’s project started in 1984 with the founding of the “Feministische Archiv und Dokumentationszentrum”  (Feminist Archive and Center for Documentation) in Frankfurt that sought to counter women’s collective obliteration from the history books. With the move into the Bayenturm, Schwarzer felt that her project had found a space that represented adequately the archive’s mission: to give women access to their history in a room (or rather a collection) of their own. Thus Schwarzer’s stress on the symbolic occupation of the (phallic) tower by women and its re-creation as a woman-only space. An advisory board headed by Schwarzer took over the leadership of the FMT. The archive’s primary mission became to collect and archive historical documents of the first-wave feminist movement (roughly from the mid 19th century until 1933) and the second wave (from1971 until the present). It has since expanded its scope to include documentation about a wide range of feminist topics such as feminist theory, sexual politics and sexual violence, work (domestic and labor), literature, art, and biographies … (full text).

I am currently reading interviews with Simone de Beauvoir, interviewed by Germany’s leading femininst, Alice Schwarzer. They first met in the early 1970s when Schwarzer conducted an interview with Jean-Paul Sartre in Beauvoir’s and Sartre’s Paris apartment. Schwarzer and Beauvoir where connected through their activities in the women’s movement and stayed close friends until Beauvoir’s death in 1986. What makes the interviews so inspiring are not only the feminist thoughts and theories that the two women discuss; it’s more that they dare to think outside of conventions, traditions or any kind of societal or other restricting boundaries. (books and coffee).

In german: Alice Schwarzer (* 3. Dezember 1942 in Wuppertal-Elberfeld) ist eine der bekanntesten Vertreterinnen der neuen deutschen Frauenbewegung. Sie ist Gründerin und Herausgeberin der Frauenzeitschrift Emma … (full text de.wikipedia).


Shift in ‘honour’ killings, by Calgary Herald, January 17, 2009: When certain practices are rampant in a society, it requires a paradigm shift in public thinking to get them outlawed … (full text).

Lawyers, civil society appreciate LHC ruling on honour killings, January 24, 2009;

Muslim ‘Honor Killing’ American Style, Jan 28, 2009;

Dealing with forced marriage and ‘honour’-based violence, July 2008;

Gendercide Watch;

stop honour killings;

honour killings at amazon;

a honour killing story on YouTube, 9.38 min, and others;

Barbaric ‘honour killings’ become the weapon to subjugate women in Iraq, 28 April 2008;

Honour killing: Life term for girl’s father, brother, 25 Jan 2009;

The German TV Awards 2008;

Categories on wikipedia: German journalists; German feminists; German activists; Feminists by nationality; Honor killing as category; Domestic violence; Violence against women; Violence against women in Pakistan; Women’s rights; Homicide; Islam and women.

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