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The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany

Throughout the Weimar period the so-called masculinization of womanA" was much more than merely an outsider or subcultural phenomenon; it was central to representations of the changing female ideal, and fed into wider debates concerning the health and fertility of the German raceA" following the rupture of war. While some commentators celebrated this new,A" masculineA" woman in her short skirt, tuxedo, and pageboy haircut as symbolic of women's entrance into non-traditional fields of work, leisure, and consumption, others held her up as a warning against deviating too far from traditional ideas about men's and women's "roles." Drawing on recent developments within the history of sexuality, this book sheds new light on representations and discussions of the masculine woman within the Weimar print media from 1918-1933. It traces the connotations and controversies surrounding this figure from her rise to media prominence in the early 1920s until the beginning of the Nazi period, considering questions of race, class, sexuality, and geography. By focusing on styles, bodies and identities that did not conform to societal norms of binary gender or heterosexuality, this book contributes to our understanding of gendered lives and experiences at this pivotal juncture in German history.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures Acknowledgments Introduction: "The Masculinization of Woman" Chapter 1. "Which One is the Man?" The Masculinization of Women's Fashions Chapter 2. "In the Beginning there was Sport": The Masculinized Female Athlete Chapter 3. "My Emil is Different": Queer Female Masculinities in the Weimar Media Chapter 4. The Trouser Role: Female Masculinity as Performance Chapter 5. Female Masculinities and the Rural-Urban Divide in Weimar Fiction Conclusion Bibliography

About the Author

Katie Sutton is an Australian Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the University of Melbourne, where she is working as part of a research team on an interdisciplinary history of the case study genre. She has previously undertaken postdoctoral research on early twentieth-century German sexual subcultures as a DAAD fellow at the Universitat Potsdam, and holds a PhD in German Studies from the University of Melbourne.


The author makes an important contribution to the scholarship in that she has worked through the printed material systematically to give an authoritative account of a female sub-culture under the republic. As far as I am aware, she is the first to do so in the English language. The book therefore fills an important gap in Weimar cultural/gender studies.A" * Anthony McElligott, University of Limerick This work is a worthwhile examination of the masculine woman in an emergent field of female masculinity, a category that has not been addressed in Weimar to the extent that this work does. Sutton's text denies the reader the comfort of binary sexualities and instead unpacks the many-layered complexities and interplays of (mostly female) queer genders and sexualities." * Vibeke Rutzou Petersen, Drake University

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