Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 August 2007
In the years around the turn of the twentieth century, the “war between the sexes” was a major topic of public discussion and concern in Germany—in the daily press, in academic sexology journals and organizations, among medical and psychiatric professionals, in the women's movements, among conservative Christians, in art and music. Jacques Le Rider has even referred to the “obsessive leitmotif of male-female confrontation” in central European culture in this period. Much of what has been written about this topic in recent years posits a crisis of gender relations produced by the growth of the women's movement, and by the backlash against it. The idea that the feminist challenge generated hostility between men and women in this period was one that was also common at the time, particularly among anti-feminists. As Hedwig Dohm put it in 1913, “In all anti-feminist speeches and writings, the hostility between men and women is tirelessly denounced as a characteristic of the times, and a product of the women's movement.”
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