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From “Free Love” To Married Love : Gender Politics, Marie Stopes, And Middlebrow Fiction By Women In The Early Nineteen Twenties

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Chapter Summary

The concept of surplus women or Frauenuberschuss was absolutely central to the pre-war women's movement in Germany. This chapter examines the ways in which the single woman was represented in public discourse and in the women's press during the war and its immediate aftermath (1918-1920) in order to offer some explanation for the apparent weakness of feminist rhetoric in general during this period, and in particular for the singular absence of unmarried women from feminist discourse in the German women's journals. It compares the German case with the post-war coverage of the surplus women debate in British publications and considers whether any differences and commonalities can be explained by the very different circumstances of the two nations in 1918. In the battle to control women's patterns of consumption during the economic blockade of Germany by British ships, the German Hausfrau was the key to preserving scarce resources and reducing waste.

Keywords:Hausfrau; post-war debate; surplus women; Weimar Germany



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