St. Lawrence University
Rebecca Clayman '17

 

The global feminist movement began in the late nineteenth century and has continued to the present with the goal of obtaining equal rights for women in social, economic, and political sectors. In contemporary, international mainstream rhetoric, the term “feminism” may conjure negative connotations due to a misconception that the goal of the movement is to disadvantage or berate masculinity. Rather, the movement seeks to dismantle a highly patriarchal society in order to promote gender equality.

While the global feminist movement has certain unified overarching goals, it differs depending on the specific cultural climate and political history of a nation. The issue of gender relations in Germany has a complicated history partly attributed to the post-World War II separate regimes of East Germany and West Germany and their subsequent re-unification in 1990. The opportunities available to women and to women’s relationships to work, education, and family differed greatly. It took the German Parliament until 2005 to outlaw discrimination based on gender, skin color, ethnicity, disability, age, and religion. Despite the seemingly slow progression of equality, the representation of women in positions of government leadership has steadily risen since in 1970s, vastly surpassing the United States.

Modern feminist issues in Germany include fighting gender-based violence, subverting traditional female gender roles, lobbying for healthcare and reproductive autonomy, and battling structural institutions that fail to provide support. The stickers combine a feminine punk aesthetic to subvert the traditional roles placed upon women’s bodies and livelihoods. Many of these stickers advocate anti-fascist, anti-capitalist, pro-socialist, and feminist narratives through organizations like Antifaschistische Aktion, Linksjugend ’solid, and Rosa Antifa Wien. Using an intersectional approach to feminist advocacy, the stickers defend the rights of women from different racial groups, economic classes, and sexual orientations.

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