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From Student Riots to Feminist Firebombs: Debates about “Counterviolence” in the West German Student Movement and Women’s Movement

From Student Riots to Feminist Firebombs: Debates about “Counterviolence” in the West German... Abstract: Drawing on theories of political violence and postcolonial feminist thought, this article analyzes discussions about violent resistance in strands of the student movement and women’s movement in the Federal Republic of Germany. In the late 1960s, Rudi Dutschke and other leading thinkers in the antiauthoritarian wing of the student movement argued that counterviolence in the form of symbolic attacks against property was a legitimate response to state repression and violence. In the 1970s, the militant feminist group Rote Zora (Red Zora) adapted this notion of counterviolence to fight for the cause of women. This article shows that discussions about counterviolence have developed and changed as a result of debates within the two movements and in response to broader social and political developments. Although both concepts of counterviolence have reflected and reinforced existing patterns of discrimination and marginalization, the ways in which they were used by some activists sparked critical debates about the scope and limits of political protest. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Women in German Yearbook: Feminist Studies in German Literature & Culture University of Nebraska Press

From Student Riots to Feminist Firebombs: Debates about “Counterviolence” in the West German Student Movement and Women’s Movement

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Board of Regents.
ISSN
1940-512X
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: Drawing on theories of political violence and postcolonial feminist thought, this article analyzes discussions about violent resistance in strands of the student movement and women’s movement in the Federal Republic of Germany. In the late 1960s, Rudi Dutschke and other leading thinkers in the antiauthoritarian wing of the student movement argued that counterviolence in the form of symbolic attacks against property was a legitimate response to state repression and violence. In the 1970s, the militant feminist group Rote Zora (Red Zora) adapted this notion of counterviolence to fight for the cause of women. This article shows that discussions about counterviolence have developed and changed as a result of debates within the two movements and in response to broader social and political developments. Although both concepts of counterviolence have reflected and reinforced existing patterns of discrimination and marginalization, the ways in which they were used by some activists sparked critical debates about the scope and limits of political protest.

Journal

Women in German Yearbook: Feminist Studies in German Literature & CultureUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jan 19, 2016

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