vol 16 - 1990

Considering the state of the world, as we write this preface in August of 1990, this issue of Feminist Studies ought to have several articles on the Middle East, perhaps comparing the position of women in Iraq (bad) with their position in Saudi Arabia (worse), and an article on the gendered nature of American militarism. But given the vageries of scholarly journal publishing, none of the excellent contributions in volume 16, number 3, comes close to these subjects—for which we apologize.

As negotiations over German reunification draw to a close, however, we are in the fortuitous position of having three pieces, two articles and one short story, connected through their subject, the fate of women in Germany between 1920 and 1945, along with a recent-but nonetheless historical-document from feminists in East Germany. Mary Nolan, in "'Housework Made Easy': The Taylorized Housewife in Weimar Germany's Rationalized Economy," examines the consequences when what Americans in the 1920s called home economics was exported to Germany. Weimar Germany, crushed by war, inflation, and social turmoil, could not support the American consumerist vision of households crammed with wonderful labor-saving electrical appliances: irons, toasters, vacuum cleaners. In Germany, instead, many constituencies, including such unlikely bedfellows as the Social Democratic party, the Home Economics Group of a major industrial employers' organization, and a number of women's groups, promoted household "rationalization" primarily as a way of redefining working-class women and housewives. Only very secondarily was the movement an effort to make housework easier and more efficient for women. What in the United States was a series of techniques for selling new mass-produced consumer goods was in Germany quite simply a method of social control.



Judith Newton
Historicisms New and Old: "Charles Dickens" Meets Marxism,
Feminism, and West Coast Foucault

Susan Groag Bell Women
Create Gardens in Male Landscapes: A Revisionist Approach to Eighteenth-Century English Garden History (Art Essay)

Victoria Bissell Brown
The Fear of Feminization: Los Angeles High Schools
in the Progressive Era

Dorothy Sue Cobble
Rethinking Troubled Relations between Women and Unions:
Craft Unionism and Female Activism

Mary Nolan
"Housework Made Easy": The Taylorized Housewife
in Weimar Germany's Rationalized Economy

Marion A. Kaplan
Jewish Women in Nazi Germany: Daily Life, Daily Struggles,

Irene Eber
Drops of Honey (Fiction);
East German Feminists:
The Lila Manifesto,
Introduction by Lisa DiCaprio

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