'Anarchist Amazons’: The Gendering of Radicalism in 1970s West Germany


Rosenfeld, Alan. 2010. “‘Anarchist Amazons’: The Gendering of Radicalism in 1970s West Germany.” Contemporary European History 19 (4): 351-74.

Author: Alan Rosenfeld


This article examines the intersection between reactions to urban guerrilla violence and anxieties over the women's liberation movement in 1970s West Germany. State officials and the mainstream press focused a disproportionate amount of attention on women's contributions to left-wing violence, claiming that female guerrillas suffered from an ‘excess of women's liberation.’ However, while commentators juxtaposed domineering women with effeminate men, the actual experiences of women inside groups such as the Red Army Faction often featured expressions of male dominance. Evidence suggests that female guerrillas suffered more from a compulsion to self-sacrifice than excessive emancipation.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups Regions: Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2010

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