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The German League for the Prevention of Women’s Emancipation

Antifeminism in Germany, 1912-1920


Diane J. Guido

The German League for the Prevention of Women’s Emancipation: Antifeminism in Germany, 1912-1920 presents a detailed account of the activities of the German League for the Prevention of Women’s Emancipation from its beginnings in 1912 to its dissolution in 1920. It underscores the impact of this conservative, keenly nationalist, and increasingly anti-socialist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Catholic organization as it targeted primarily the moderate bourgeois Federation of German Women’s Associations and the conservative German-Evangelical Women’s League. This book also documents motives for membership, the League’s philosophy, and the political and social activism used by the League to achieve its aims. Based on a membership list reconstructed by the author, it offers a demographic analysis of League members and officers including an evaluation of the League’s geographic distribution and the extent of women’s participation in it.

«Diane J. Guido perceptively analyses the antifeminist (and antisocialist) German League whose partisans sought to keep women ‘in their place’ and to retain a particularly national and racist form of male domination during the early twentieth century. This book exposes the shrill and often vindictive messages and concerted organizational efforts that confronted partisans of women’s emancipation, even those who were quite moderate. Today such opposition may be more covert and less ‘Christian’ but it is still very much with us, even in the western world. Throughout history, women’s status has provided the touchstone for defining a society’s culture. To appreciate the determination and arguments of the ‘patriarchal imperative’ is to begin to acquire the means of countering it, in whatever form it may take.» (Karen Offen, Author of ‘European Feminisms 1700-1950’ and Editor of ‘Globalizing Feminisms 1789-1945’)