Women’s Center

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Feminist Projects (1974-76)

1974 Frauenbuchvertrieb (Women’s Book Distribution), up to 1987 BIFF — Counseling and Information for Women Frauenselbstverlag (publishers, later sub rosa, then Orlanda), since 1974 FFGZ — Feminist Women’s Health Center since 1974/ www.ffgz.de Flying Lesbians — 1st women’s rock band in Europe 1974–1976/ www.flying-lesbians.de   1975 PSIFF Therapy Center for Women, since 1975 Labrys Women’s[...]

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Women Against Violence (1974-76)

Self-defense/ Concept of an autonomous women’s shelter/ Tribunals   Self-defense against male violence At first, all we had was a diffuse intention to stand by any woman in trouble, not to withdraw anymore and look away as we had done in the past. In this spirit, when a bar owner asked for our protection, we[...]

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Lesbian and Strait Women Cooperate (1973)

Lyrics of Bisexuality   The current literature on second-wave feminism routinely portrays the lesbian movement as an “offshoot“ of the women’s centers. In Berlin, at any rate, the opposite was the case. We lesbians from Homosexual Action West Berlin (HAW) called for the founding of a women’s center and brought our cultural revolutionary experience with[...]

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Media Group (1973-75)

Censorship at SFB/  the coverage of the murder trial of a lesbian couple/ The first autonomous group for women media professionals in Germany forms Lyrics of This Song is for Dr. A.   Magdalena Kemper was one of the founders of the media group at the Berlin women’s center, and in subsequent years remained active[...]

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Prison Group (1973)

Hunger Strikes at the Women’s Center and the Women’s Prison The prison group was one of the first working groups at the Berlin women’s center. The group’s existence belies the image of the new women’s movement painted by authors who reduce it to abortion counseling and consciousness-raising groups and are unfamiliar with its anarchist roots.[...]

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Abortion / Gynecology (1973-75)

Trips to Holland/ Vacuum Aspiration Method/ Modernizing Gynecology /Civil Disobedience / Self-examination/ Feminist Health Center   In a 1971 action in which women publicly admitted to having had an abortion, Alice Schwarzer had already mobilized against the German abortion ban in collaboration with the Stern news magazine.[i] The Socialist Women’s League of West Berlin (SFB)[...]

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CR Groups (1973)

Consciousness-raising and Sexuality/ The Privat is Political/ Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm   We called the encounter groups that we formed at the women’s center “CR groups,” after the method we had adopted from the US women’s movement. At each session, a group member had the opportunity to talk about her situation, and the questions[...]

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Starting the Berlin Women’s Center (1972)

Instead of a position paper we learn together   We initiated the HAW lesbian group in the winter of 1971–72 and by the summer we found ourselves stuck between cozy sociability and theoretical ambitions. As a result, I and some other lesbians felt the urge to move the feminist cause forward. In November 1972 Waltraut[...]

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Activists’ Background (1972)

The Winds of Freedom – Where Did the Activists Come From? – Short biographies   What was the socio-economic-political background to the sudden reawakening of the women’s movement in Germany? Frigga Haug already poses this question in her 1988 essay “Lessons from the Women’s Movement in Western Europe,” in which she tests the assertion that[...]

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Berlin goes feminist